December 22, 2015 is the first day of Winter….Is your diesel ready for the season? Call for an appointment today….
Since diesel engines ignite by using the heat of combustion, they usually need help when the climate changes to the cold of winter. In order for the diesel engine to fire in a cold weather, the glow plugs have to come on for a period of time in order to heat the air in the combustion chamber. Anyone who owns a diesel engine will tell you that when the cold weather sets in, your glow plugs had better function correctly. Regular inspection of glow plugs is very critical for the proper maintenance of a diesel engine. The ignition of this engine depends upon compressed heat, but it often fails to produce enough heat for the fuel to burn. As a result the glow plugs are used to heat up the cylinder before the cold engine gets started. These glow plugs require frequent inspection especially during the winter season.
Diesel engines require a complete maintenance check for a longer life. Maintenance will offset the rising cost of fuel and assure you of a longer life-cycle for your vehicle in general and your engine in particular. Diesel engines are excellent and reliable engines if regularly and properly maintained. Regular oil changes, as well as changing the oil and air filters, are critical to proper engine performance. The oil filter should be selected carefully as sulfur residue and carbon are created in the absence of completely burning the fuel. A good filter will exclude corrosive particles from the oil.
Every time you fill the diesel tank, add a dose of diesel treatment. This will prevent the diesel from getting gelled and help separate the impurities. Call us to ask about our products to help with the changing season.
Another way to increase the life of your engine is to use bio-diesel. It can be used in any diesel engine with few, if any, modifications. Bio-diesel is cleaner and can release deposits that have accumulated on the tank walls from previously stored diesel
First of all, in today’s diesel engines, the fuel system has changed. Now diesel engines are equipped with high-pressure fuel injection systems that inject diesel into the combustion chamber with a precisely metered amount of fuel at a precise time. Injection pressures can reach as high as 30,000 psi on common rail systems. Having higher pressures and metered fuel at the right time means more efficiency, less pollution and lower fuel consumption. This helps reduce the smoke that most diesel engines produce when being cranked on cold mornings.
Veteran owners of “old school” diesel engines understand what I’m talking about when I mention the “one-minute of silence.” This was the time every morning when you would turn the ignition switch to the “on” position and wait for the glow plugs to come on and warm for several seconds before the engine could be started.
With modern diesel technology, though, we often forget how spoiled we are today compared to the way things used to be. Now you can go out to your vehicle and cycle the ignition switch to the “on” position and in a period of three to five seconds, you can start your engine. The glow plug used now can reach 1,000 degrees F in three seconds. Consider the dramatic changes that have taken place!
In order to utilize these higher injection pressures, the combustion chamber and piston designs had to be changed. Pistons were redesigned to create more efficient combustion of the diesel fuel along with the combustion chamber creating more swirl. These two elements created a much quieter diesel that was more powerful and more fuel efficient, and it didn’t require as much glow plug “on-time” for starting.
I know you’re probably wondering what the big deal is with regard to glow plugs. The biggest reason diesel technology changed was the fact that tighter emissions for diesel engines were coming into effect. The government wanted to reduce the amount of diesel hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide levels being emitted from diesel engines. Now, this is where the importance of the glow plugs comes in. Not only do the glow plugs cycle to aid the engine during cold weather start up, but also after the engine is cranked – they will continue to cycle to reduce the amount of start-up emissions.
Even though the engine is running and the glow plug indicator is not illuminated in the dash, the glow plugs will cycle anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes after start up. This helps reduce the amount of start-up emissions by 60 percent and also helps reduce build up of soot that would typically be trapped in the regeneration filter (DPF).
But now, engine manufacturers are advancing glow plug technology to take diesel engine development even further. The glow plug now contains a pressure transducer called a “Glow Combustion Sensor” or GCS.
Not only can the GCS heat the combustion chamber, but it can also measure pressure inside the combustion chamber. Modern electronic diesel engines have always been considered “open-loop” design. This means that the electronics of the vehicle have set parameters under which the engine will run based on inputs received. They inject a metered amount of fuel based on throttle position, MAP, barometric pressure, coolant temp and oil temperature.
But these engines have no oxygen sensor in the exhaust system and therefore can not control situations where the engine may be too rich or too lean. The engine computer only knows that the metered amount should be close to what is needed. The engine does not have any feedback as to whether it was too much fuel or not enough.
By using the GCS, this creates a form of a “closed-loop” design. Now the engine computer can see what is happening inside the combustion chamber by measuring the pressure of combustion and make changes based on inputs received. This would be the equivalent of eight oxygen sensors in the engine monitoring and controlling fuel. Information like this – a “real-time” measurement of pressure in individual cylinders – allows for corrections to fuel during the warm-up period, under boost, during the EGR cycle and while cruising.
This all comes down to the fact that diesel engines are becoming more popular than gasoline. Yes, I said it. Diesel engines are no longer the “clanking” and “knocking” bucket of bolts they use to be. Frankly, when GM introduced its version of the diesel engine in passenger cars back in the ’70s, I think it ruined a whole generation of buyers for diesel engines.
However, the generation is changing.
The question that I often get is, why do other countries have so many diesel powered vehicles? The only answer that I have found universally is the fact that many of those countries have lower emissions standards than ours.
But it looks as though things are changing. Emissions standards are rising around the world and acceptance of diesel technology is increasing here in the U.S. True, diesel engines do cost more and are more expensive to repair.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself this question: “Do you want to give your money to the international companies who are helping us to develop the technology for these engines or do you want to give your money to the oil-producing countries?”
You are going to spend money regardless, it’s just a matter of WHO you are going to give your money to!
During the cold season, diesel engines do not always start as desired. The arising heat is often insufficient for starting the engine on its own . Therefore, the necessary heat in the combustion chambers is missing. Heat losses through the cold cylinders and the air intake impede the self-ignition. The diesel engine does not reach the necessary temperatures without the addition of heat.
The function of glow plugs
The central function of glow plugs is to provide additional energy for the start. Glow plugs from NGK are the required energy source. Before the start of the engine, the glow plug is energized and the glow tube heats up to more than 800 °C. This heat improves the engine’s ability to cold-start considerably. The glow plug’s heat development also optimizes the combustion, so that the development of smoke and other emissions is reduced.
Installation position in the engine
Glow plugs are installed in the cylinder head. The glow rod extends into the hot zone and/or the precombustion chambers. However, the glow rod should be positioned exactly at the edge of the mixture. In this way it can provide the heat exactly where it is needed. However, it may in no case extend too far into the combustion chamber, because the preparation of the fuel and thus the formation of a ignitable fuel-air mixture would not be guaranteed.
Bosch Glow Plugs are critical for starting up a diesel engine. The preheat, starting and post-glow phases of a glow plug’s operation affect not only the start-up function, but the vehicle’s overall performance as well. With a long history of diesel fuel injection expertise and innovation, Bosch engineers manufacture glow plugs to withstand the rigorous demands of today’s diesel engines.
Bosch patented Duraterm® technology enables the glow plug to reach higher temperatures more quickly for fast engine start-up
Nickel-plated rolled threads for increased strength and prevent seizure
Twin Viton® seals Promote longer life by protecting the coils against damage caused by exhaust gases
Winter months are a perfect time to have your glow plugs examined. Even if they are still operating, there could be problems which may lead to premature failure. Glow Plugs are critical for starting up a diesel engine. The pre-heat, starting and post-glow phases of a glow plug’s operation affect not only the start-up function, but the vehicle’s overall performance.
Check over the probe. Are there signs of carbon build up? If so, that may indicate a fuel injection system problem.
If an engine system fault is diagnosed and rectified, the whole glow plug set should be replaced to avoid the risk of any in-service failure. In the majority of cases, plugs reach their wear limit more or less at the same time – and if connecting cables are already removed, the replacement of the complete set costs less than having to replace future plugs.
When replacing a glow plug, ensure that the thread within the cylinder head is clean. Lightly coat the glow plug thread only with a nickel-loaded anti-seize grease.
Preventative maintenance is the key to obtaining optimal performance from your equipment. While the “phrase” is simple; we all know that it requires much more planning and time management to accomplish. I am sure each of you has your own lists for machinery checks as the season draws closer. However, if you need a helping hand, remember PurrFormance Diesel can service your equipment at our Drive in Service department.
Day-to-day maintenance and repair activities keep farm machinery and vehicles safe and reliable. Basic maintenance activities include oil and filter changes, check batteries & replace if necessary & clean connections, and fuel quality. When changing your filters-go ahead-cut it open to inspect for signs of Algae or other foreign materials. However, there is so much more to your equipment. For instance, the fuel system should be checked at the beginning of each season.
Some items to check…
1. Does your pump have any leaks
2. How does your turbo feel
3. Check your supply lines and hoses
4. Do you see corrosion at top of injectors
These steps could save you invaluable time when in the midst of planting or harvesting. But-don’t stop with your equipment; while you are in the groove, it would be advantageous to check your fuel storage units.
Whether you perform your maintenance or ask us to help; remember PurrFormance Diesel can provide you with original manufacturer or aftermarket engine parts. We are only a phone call away 800-698-1902