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Glow Plug Failures in Sprinters and How to Fix Them

Overall, Sprinters are highly reliable vehicles. As a result, they are popular among businesses and organizations for commercial use, even being used by emergency services. Despite their efficiency and reliability, there are issues that befall Sprinter vans. In this blog, we’ll explain a common problem with glow plugs and how to overcome it.

What is a Glow Plug

A glow plug is an electrical heating device that helps diesel-powered vehicles reach the required ignition temperature. Compression temperature in a cold diesel engine may not be high enough to ignite the engine, therefore, a glow plug is required.

Typically, a glow plug is comprised of a heating coil in a metal tube that is closed at one end and filled with insulating ceramic powder. When a glow plug is electrically energized, the heated portion reaches temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius within just a few seconds, igniting the engine.

Glow Plug Failures in Sprinters

It is rather common in T1N Sprinters for the glow plugs to seize into the cylinder head, meaning major repairs may be needed. The engine control module (ECM) does monitor the glow plugs and if a problem arises, can issue a fault. Inevitably, glow plugs do wear over time, but this can be an easy procedure to fix. However, such a repair does require caution as they can be difficult to remove. Don’t apply too much force as broken glow plugs are expensive to replace, so the best time to remove glow plugs is when the engine is warm (not hot). After driving your vehicle, leave it for around 30-40 minutes before attempting to remove the glow plugs and replacing them.

Alternatively, to make the process much easier, you could leave the task to the professionals who are guaranteed to get the job done right. So head on down to Sprinter Gurus to ensure that your glow plug failure is corrected properly by the experts.

What is Fuel Injector “Black Death”?

What is the dreaded “Black Death” that many sprinter van owners have come to know? How do you know if your vehicle is affected? What can you do to repair and prevent it? The Black Death is a mechanical issue involving your vehicles fuel injectors and more specifically their seals. This problem is given its name due to the thick black residue found underneath the plastic injector cover. This black residue is a buildup of carbon as a result of a leaking fuel injector. These leaks can arise from a few different causes including; faulty injector seals, improperly installed seals, or incorrect seals being installed. So how can you tell if your van is having this issue? There are a few red flags that show when it comes to Black Death that you can look out for including; rattling sounds from the engine, hissing or leaking sounds from the engine, failure to start, and obviously removing the cover and checking for the black residue carbon buildups. So your van has the “Black Death”, it’s not the end of the world, there are a few steps you can take to fix your leaking injector and restore your engine back to its originality.

The first thing you should do is remove your leaking injector. (You’ll see the white mist escaping the injector when running). To do this disconnect the fuel line to the injector, disconnect the wires to the injector, remove the injector bolt, and use one or two screw drivers to pry the injector from its seat. (This takes time, be patient and do not use too much force in risk of breaking the injector). Once the injector is out, determine whether or not the entire injector or just the seal needs to be replaced based on exterior wear.

Side Note – Once you remove the injector bolt you MUST purchase a new one to replace, these are only meant to be installed once and cannot be reinstalled. Once you finish with the cleanup process, follow the steps on removing the injector in reverse order. After replaced, make sure to properly torque down the bolt to the correct specification and clean off the rest of the carbon buildup.