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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:06   #1
Carl Ulli
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Location: Oshawa, Ontario
Fuel Economy: Usually about 1100KM per tankful
Default About tweaking the GlowPlug Pre-glow time?

I have a question for anybody who could help me.
I am a 7 hours drive away from home with my fairly newly acquired VAC-COM to help a friend with his 2005 BEW Jetta wagon. I would like to help him solve a hard starting issue before tomorrow, at which time I have to return home. Last night I just did a lengthy "observation session" with my VAG-COM to see just what is happening. I found that the glowplugs only pre-glow for 1.6 seconds. (The car sat all day, hadn't been run at all, so coolant temp. being equal to ambient temp. was 17degrees celsius.) We looked at alot of other things also before starting up the engine, just to get familiar with it. It called for injection time to be at 9deg. BTDC, and after it finally came up to operating temp. it changed to 2.8 deg. BTDC. I take it that this is bang on. I explained to my friend many things that I had learned from reading TDI forums and that all I really want to do is to tweak the pre-glow time a little bit, and recalibrate the EGR. He said that his mechanic cleaned out the intake system, and when I saw it start up I got the impression that he doesn't need to do the intake cleaning job. But I wanted to reduce the EGR to help keep his intake breathing well. His main problem starting up will be later on when it gets colder, so I want to address the glowplug issue. Ok that's enough backgound info.
Now the question: Since the glowplugs are either 5 or 7 volts and the full 12 volts would blow them, is that why the pre-glow is so short, and I understand that when winter comes that could increase without hurting the plugs, or does the ECU automatically change to pulses in the GP relay to drop the effective voltage to the GP's at the right time regardless of how much pre-glow I might set it to? In other words, should I try to change the setting to about 1.8 seconds or can I take it higher without risking damage?
Also, I found that the adaptation value screen comes up in Group 5 instead of Group 3 for the BEW engine, and then instead of the benchmark value of 32768 it is at 0 and the whole screen looks different than for the ALH anyway. So am I doing something wrong there?
I will check back here shortly, and any help would be appreciated.

PS I have started a thread in TDI 101 and now also here hopefully to get a faster response from more readers.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:08   #2
Carl Ulli
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As far as I know, the glow plug adaptation (adjusting the glow time & temp at which they come on) can only be done on the ALH and older TDI's. Someone tried it on a BEW engine and were unsuccessfull. I have not personally tried it on a BEW, so I don't know if its possible or not. But it is certainly not the same procedure as with the ALH engines.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:08   #3
Carl Ulli
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Thanks for the quick reply, Wingnut, (I was actually hoping you would come on)
I know that it is not common for the tweak to work on a BEW engine, but I am about to try to do it if possible. I am wondering what others have come up with so far.
While you're on, Do you know if the ECU is programmed to limit the voltage to the GP's as soon as they come up to their optimum glow temperature, regardless if they are in pre-glow mode or in "engine running mode"?

I did study your How To in the following link http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=123304 and if we can build on it to include the BEW engines we can all benefit, right?
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