What to Do if Your Volkswagen’s Glow Plug Timer Relay Fails

Volkswagen Starting Issue

Generally, Volkswagen is tough and reliable. The major selling point of Volkswagen’s diesel, petrol, or hybrid variations is their long-lasting mechanics, which can expect service-free miles of travel and low maintenance costs.

Volkswagens develop flaws after mileage builds up. The failure of the timer relay is one of the challenges that Volkswagen customers face. It is frequently installed in a non-obtrusive area, such as on a firewall or sidewall. If your vehicle has a relay, it will be found in the main fuse box or near the engine, where it will be less likely to get hot.

The Function of the Glow Plug Timer Relay

The glow plug control device uses a glow plug relay to turn the electrical current of plugs on and off. The circuit will require more current if there are more glow plugs monitored by a control unit.

The glow plugs in the TDI engine are positioned in the cylinder head, with the tips extending all the way into the combustion chambers. This absorbs the heat quickly through the incoming air charge.

There are different variants of glow time relay. There are also pre-heating systems in which the engine control unit takes over the timing function. The glow time relay is then only responsible for switching the high currents required by the glow plugs.

Because the temperature might be substantially lower during cold starts, glow plugs are utilized to assist warm up the engine cylinders to an acceptable temperature that will allow for effective combustion.

Identifying a Glow Plug Timer Relay Failure

The glow plug timer is the component that controls the glow plugs by controlling the amount of time they stay switched on, ensuring that they stay on long enough to properly warm the cylinders but not for too long that the glow plugs are damaged or wear out too quickly.

It will have a tough time starting smoothly or at all if the glow plugs can’t create enough heat and electricity to the engine, or if the timer relay isn’t working properly.

Common signs include

  • Odd Sounds: An unusual sound from the engine always indicates a problem that should be investigated.
  • Difficulty starting the car: Glow plugs that aren’t working properly won’t be able to supply the extra heat needed to assist the engine start regularly, and a malfunctioning timer could cause them to operate at inappropriate intervals. This would cause starting problems with the engine, which may become more obvious in cold weather.
  • Experiencing reduced performance: When a glow plug timer relay fails, your engine’s performance may progressively deteriorate to the point where it should be checked out.
  • White smoke appears when there isn’t enough heat to burn the fuel. When the engine starts up, white smoke might be caused by damaged glow plugs or a malfunctioning glow plug control module. If the white smoke persists after the engine has warmed up, the engine could be suffering from faulty injectors, delayed injection timing, or a damaged injection pump. (This is not to be confused with condensation.)
  • Black Smoke: Faulty glow plugs can disrupt the delicate diesel combustion process, causing the engine to produce black smoke from the exhaust pipe. This is a warning indicator that something is wrong with the glow plugs or other important combustion components.

Let Landmark Motors Help You!

The failure of the timer relay in the glow plug can cause serious problems when you want to start your Volkswagen. These problems can be indicative of other causes and it will take a professional to be able to identify the source. Regardless of when or how you experience a timer relay failure in your Volkswagen, Landmark Motors is here to help you.

Volkswagen Glow Plug

We are eager to assist you with your maintenance or performance needs. Our service center is state-of-the-art with the most recent tools and software available at our disposal.

Landmark Motors is conveniently located to serve Bellevue and Seattle, WA, and proudly helps drivers from surrounding areas. Since 2000, our mechanics have assisted drivers take better care of their European vehicles by providing exceptional service and repairs for most popular brands.

If you ever experience timer relay failure in the glow plug or any problem in your Volkswagen, visit our shop or give us a call today at 425-800-0345.  We are eager to assist you with your car’s maintenance or performance needs.