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Intermittent cel glow plug. It's off when you first start…

Customer Question
Intermittent cel glow plug ...

Intermittent cel glow plug

Mechanic's Assistant: Does the light stay on, or does it blink?

It's off when you first start the engine and comes on in 1-2 min

Mechanic's Assistant: What year is your MINI?

2001 vw Jetta tdi

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your MINI yourself? What have you tried so far?

Checked the relay and measured 0 volts at the water jacket glow plugs

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

Water temp gauge runs below 190 most of the time

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: VW
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Answered in 8 hours by:
3/19/2018
VW Mechanic: VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner replied 4 months ago
VWDoc
VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 6,567
Experience: 20 years of experience working with VW's. Independent European shop owner and technician.
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Can you please post the fault code(s)? Either in VAG 5-digit format or Pxxxx format?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
P0380
VW Mechanic: VWDoc, Independent VW Shop owner replied 4 months ago

Ok, thank you. In most cases, the P0380 fault indicates at least one failed glow plug. It's always best to replace them as a set. Here are the test steps to confirm. Also, take a good look at the wiring harness to the glow plugs. This often deteriorates over time, and is available new for $125.

1. With the ignition switch turned off, disconnect the Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS).

2. Turn the ignition to the on position. The glow plug relay should energize for about 20 seconds (glow system self-test) and supply the glow plugs with 12 volts.

3. Check the amp draw on each individual glow plug. A normal glow plug will show a draw of about 9 amps (on initial application of power, the amp draw will spike high until the glow plug begins to heat. A typical spike can run as high as 19 amps).

4. Check the glow plug wiring and connections for damage, looseness or corrosion.

5. A difference in amperage draw of 3 amps between glow plugs can cause a code P0380 to set. Be sure that all glow plugs are within 3 amps of each other on initial application of power and also during normal glow period.

6. If glow plugs fail testing, always replace them as a set.
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