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Old December 17th, 2010, 14:16   #1
turbocharged798
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Exclamation Check your coolant glow plugs!

I was repairing an unrelated wire on my 04 PD when I remembered that somebody on these forms nearly had their car catch on fire due to a bad connection on the coolant glow plugs. Well, I went to check mine and holly $#!@, the one nearest to the rear of the car has a completely melted tip. I know it still is working, because when I unplug it, the engine tone changes due to the electrical load change. The other three were fine. it appears that the base of the glow plug is loose and creating a bad connection.

I just unplugged it for now, but I am probably just going to replace the glow plug and possibly the connector as well.


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Old December 17th, 2010, 14:44   #2
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Wow.....I checked mine when I bought my Beetle and I had to fix one of my wires as it was hanging on by a thread. The other two were in good shape though!
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Old December 17th, 2010, 14:50   #3
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Do the coolant glow plugs come on when you turn the key to the accessory position along with the fuel glow plugs? And will they throw a CEL if they aren't properly connected?
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Old December 17th, 2010, 15:23   #4
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don't see anything wrong in that pic..
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Old December 17th, 2010, 15:25   #5
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????? Looks fine to me from here????
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Old December 17th, 2010, 15:31   #6
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The inside of the tip is all melted plastic. I guess I should have taken a better picture.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 15:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WantingaTDI View Post
Do the coolant glow plugs come on when you turn the key to the accessory position along with the fuel glow plugs? And will they throw a CEL if they aren't properly connected?
They come on like the combustion ones do upon cold start when coolant is below certain temp and then they stay on during operation until the coolant reaches the pre-determined temp (don't recall how warm).
The ECU doesnt monitor whether they are working or not, so they don't throw a CEL.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 17:14   #8
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028 971 782A-Angled connector with harness glow plug. 3 required to replace all. There are only 3, don't know what statement in post 1 means.

$27.35 at IMPEX

This connection I would probably solder and heat shrink.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 17:26   #9
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Me too. I would not pay $27 plus shipping for a connector.

My coolant GPs and connectors are in great shape and show continuity, but I have no idea if they ever come on. It would be nice to have some sort of LED indicator hooked into the circuit to see when they are getting power. Perhaps a different LED color of each one, mounted on the dash.

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Old December 17th, 2010, 17:48   #10
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Just solder the wire directly to the plug you mean, right?



It would be nice to have some LEDs that came on in brightness that reflected the actual current flowing to each glow plug also... I had some fun with a cheap Amp meter with a 30amp scale testing my glow plugs outside of the car and finding that they start off around 20amps when cold then slowly come down to 10amps or when glowing red hot. So in THEORY a circuit might be designed that would give you a glowing indication on an LED of how much current the plugs are drawing, with the LED being possibly twice as bright when cold then coming down. This we you could compare all four cylinder head glow plugs against each other and see if one is failing to draw the same amount of current. I think this would be more accurate then measuring their cold resistance with a few milliamps of current from a multimeter.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 18:41   #11
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"Just solder the wire directly to the plug you mean, right?"

Looks like that would do it. Add a little shrink wrap tubing ahead of time and you'd be set.

FYI, I just looked at the wiring diagram in my Bentley and the ECU controlls two relays for the coolant GPs. There is a "low temp" and "high temp." relay. The low temp controls one of the GPs and the hi temp relay controls two GPs in parallel (they come on at the same time). So I suppose either the low temp relay can be on, the hi temp, or both. That way you can have 1, 2, or 3 plugs on at once (or none of them). The plugs get their power through one of the 50 amp fuses on top of the battery. They are grounded via their case in the coolant flange. One of the main power relays in the car provides fused power to the "+" side of both realys' switching coils (the other side (ground) of the switching coils in the GP relays each go to a different terminal on the ECU). I have no idea what prameters are used, or under what conditions, the ECU switches the coolant GPs on. I assume all three are the same wattage.

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Old December 17th, 2010, 19:27   #12
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I always wondered if the plug itself ever burns out and what plug is it since there are so many glow plugs out there even on the VW's.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 20:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NarfBLAST View Post
Just solder the wire directly to the plug you mean, right?.
Repair piece posted comes with a wire pigtail. I would solder new pigtail to old wire leading to plug.

It'd be a PITA to get the vac pump off if you soldered the wire to the glowplug.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 20:20   #14
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The coolant plugs don't come on until after the engine starts, and only if ambient is below about -5C *and* coolant temp is low as well (haven't quite determined what value...every drive to work is a new experiment!). Only one coolant plug comes on (first coolant plug relay which is connected to only one plug) if the glowplugs are also running (probably to save load on the alternator) and then as soon as the glow plug after-run is complete the other two coolant plugs come on via the second coolant plug relay. They stay on till the coolant hits 50C.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 02:23   #15
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When I bought my German half cut Golf, the coolant plug wires were completely melted. I've just haven't used em ever. Maybe now that Bruce posted a pn I can repair these bad boys. Mmm, quicker morning warmups!
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