How much damage am I doing?

Apr 13, 2006
Paso Robles, Ca.
I believe one or more of my glow plugs are going or gone bad. I have noticed more white smoke when starting. It starts right up, but it blows more smoke than it used to. I plan on getting new plugs, but every time I get the money, something like a winch comes along and puts me deeper in debt than when I started. Am I causing damage buy starting my engine without the glow plugs working properly, or am I way off base with the white smoke issue?


Mod in Hibernation
Sep 6, 2004
North West Ontario
I'm doing it everyday with my Mercedes diesel. I'm sure one to two plugs are out.

I don't think any damage is going to occur. If you were starting with ether I would say STOP. But if you can get it started normally with a plug bad, no biggie.

If a plug is obad in a cylinder it just takes more compression to get it to detonate, so it compresses a few times till there is more warmth in the cylinder then finally it catches. Where as the plugs warm it up quicker and combusts right away.

If your strapped for cash why not just do the troubleshooting and find "which" plug is bad, and buy one plug. Nothing saying you need to replace them all at the same time. One plug is 20 bucks.

In order to find out which plug is bad, requires taking the busbar apart and using a meter to discover it. then you could also pull them out and hook them one at time to your battery to see how each one glows.

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