Wired in Series — Driving in The Philippines
The “Filipino Way” May Not Be As Dumb As Americans Think
- 0.1 The “Filipino Way” May Not Be As Dumb As Americans Think
- 0.2 Heater plugs?
- 0.3 Unlike Gasoline, Diesel Fuel Is Hard To Ignite at Room Temperature
- 0.4 But The Engine Won’t Start From Cold Unless There Is Something To Provide Some Heat.
- 0.5 No Current To The Plugs Meant No Heat
- 0.6 So What Does It Cost to Replace 4 Glow Plugs On A Rainy Saturday?
- 0.7 Adding It All Up
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Now if this had been a service call from an American mechanic, he would have arrived in a $30,000 or $40,000 service truck with cabinets full of tools, test sets, service manuals, Internet access to all sorts of factory data and, for sure, an online credit card reader to make sure I got billed a healthy fee.
“Ed’s Way” was to try the starter, get out, open the hood and ask me to borrow a piece of scrap wire which he then used to jumper current from the positive terminal of the battery to the connection on the side of the engine which powered the glow plugs. Filipinos commonly call these “heater plugs”, becuase, well, that’s what they do.
Seeing no spark when he touched the terminal, he immediately announced that my “heater plugs” were bad.
Unlike Gasoline, Diesel Fuel Is Hard To Ignite at Room Temperature
Once the engine is started the temperature inside the combustion chambers is super hot (typically over 1,000 degrees Celsius), so when the fuel injectors spray fuel in, the engine runs, and runs good.
But The Engine Won’t Start From Cold Unless There Is Something To Provide Some Heat.
Thus we have the glow plug for starting. Here’s a sample picture of glow plugs going from cold to hot enough to start the engine in a few seconds.
This is basically all automatic, but to ket the driver know what’s going on, most cars have an indicator on the instrument panel that tells what’s going on with the glow plugs.
No Current To The Plugs Meant No Heat
So What Does It Cost to Replace 4 Glow Plugs On A Rainy Saturday?
Rd offered me a choice of going to the dealer’s shop for replacement plugs or to a local parts store. The dealer would charge about P1,000 each, in the parts store they run P300 each. Didn’t take me long to make up my mind on that issue 😉