Glow Plug Iocon

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kanewesley
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Glow Plug Iocon

Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:46 pm

A Simple question.....

When I look to start my X5 E53 3.0D 2006 facelift model these cold mornings, I look for a glow plug icon on the dash, that extinguishes after a few seconds to inform me that pre heating has taken place.

Alas.....The is no such Icon displaying itself on the dash.

The car does start but when its very cold it's as if it hasnt been pre heated.

Is there an icon which illuminates....and then extinguishes to inform the driver that pre heating has taken place?

...or is that too much to ask of the boffins at BMW?.......I bet a reliant robin had one !!!
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:13 pm

My E53 used to say ‘pre-heating’ in the centre display, but sometimes it didn’t appear as it seems to depend upon how quickly the computers booted up and how long the plugs were actually on for. Our E46 (key turn start) only shows a message if it is very cold (below 0°C).

None of my BMWs have ever had an icon, and none that I have now (two) with push button start will crank until it has happened - even if no message has appeared. There is just a short pause. I always let the warning lights cycle before pressing ‘Start’..

My 2015 Škoda Superb was the same. No crank until completed. I think the old warning lights were there to tell you to wait before you cranked (I certainly remember them on diesels until about 2005), but modern electronically controlled engines with start buttons seem do things a little differently. :(
:ant: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.
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Leslie
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:04 pm

Only ever seen this icon once recently on my e70 ( had it 3 months now) , looks like a coil spring on its side and only about 2 secs when it was a cold start.The time it showed it did sound like it was briefly of a cylinder . I never wait for lights to go out , hit the start button as soon as i get in and they don't really need heater plugs for the Uk climate most of the year as its rarely below zero.
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Alan Gunn
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:11 pm

They just say pre-heating but it has to be cold cold for it to show on mine.
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marti
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:37 am

Seen it on my e71 twice....both times minus temperatures but it only happens once ive pushed the start button it illuminates for a couple of seconds if that...
kanewesley
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:32 am

Thanks....thats jogged my memory.
Ive had the car 3 years now and I do remember "pre heating" showing
However.....as in my first post, the car does start when it's cold but it's as if pre heating hasnt taken place.
And Ive not seen the pre heating message at all this winter
What criteria has to be met for it to show?
wpoll
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:09 am

The glow plugs are activated under several conditions and only one of them includes a visual notification.

I think the pre-heating system runs something along these lines...

A short pre-heating cycle (2-8 seconds) is used any time the engine is started with the coolant below 30DegC. This is a silent cycle - no message...

The glow-plugs are activated if the engine coolant temps fall below 75DegC while running. No message....

A long pre-heat cycle (10-20 seconds) is run at start up start-up when coolant temps below 0DegC. - coolant temps, not ambient - and this cycle is indicated by the "PRE HEATING" message on the dash.

Too many failed glow plugs will stop these cycles from activating. Note the second instance where the glow plugs run - a bad thermostat can cause the engine to run very cool and so your glow plugs are running all the time - which kills them quickly.

Change a dying thermostat soonest, or replace your glow plugs too. DAMHIK...
kanewesley
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Thanks for that...I didn't know the glo plugs were involved in so many circumstances...
I always thought they were to aid cold starting, not the running of the car.

I have INPA and each time I look into the car with that, All 6 glo plugs are at the top of the lst but all is in german so can't make head nor tale of it !!!
wpoll
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:45 pm

Use Google translate for the error messages - you can "print" the list of errors in INPA to an XPS document then cut and paste to Google Translate....

Your error message will be: -

4212 Gluehkerze Zylinder 1

4212 is the error code (you can also Google this) - 42 is glow plugs, 1 means cylinder 1, 2 means open or shorted. 4252 would be the same fault on cylinder 5 etc.

Gluehkerze is "glow candle" (glow plug)

Zylinder 1 is Cylinder 1

Sounds like all six glow plugs are dead, which could be six dead glow plugs or a dead glow plug relay (controller on an LCI). Or both.

Given how hard these are to reach (you have to remove the inlet manifold, I would replace all six glow plugs AND the controller. I did just that a few months ago on my 2005 3.0d. You can buy a full set of glow plugs and the controller on eBay (from the UK).

But also confirm your thermostat is working correctly too - or you will just kill the new glow plugs. Check you engine coolant gets to at least 88DegC. on the hidden BC menu #7 - KTMP:

It's important to fix this for the long-term health of your engine. Not only might the engine start more easily (not a given) it will run better. Less smoke on hard acceleration, better economy, less carbon fouling. Not all huge differences but noticeable.
kanewesley
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:09 am

Great explanation and info, thanks.

Where's this "hidden menu"? :(
kanewesley
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:10 am

Wpoll....you seem very well versed in BMW technicalities

....and a newbie as well :o

Cheers !
wpoll
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:28 am

I'm new to this site - but not new to automotive engineering.... :D

I've owned a 2005 E53 3.0d LCI for 3 1/2 years now - long enough to "get familiar" with most common items.

The "hidden menu" is series of displays on the text display area on the high spec dash (cluster) that can be unlocked to display a good range of vehicle parameters.

Qsilver7 over at Xoutpost has posted many great images showing how to access these menus, which I'll re-post here.

How you access the menus depends on which cluster you have - high or low.

High Cluster

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Low Cluster

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Once you have entered the sum of your VIN digits, the full menu list can be accessed: -

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Note the menu list refers to how the menus display in the low cluster. Those with a high cluster wil see text descriptions rather than reference numbers. For instance, item #7.0 (coolant temp) is displays as item "032" on a low cluster while it dispalys as "KTMP:" on a high cluster. It's pretty obvious... :thumbsup:

Hope that helps... :driving:
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Paulpen
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:49 pm

Im not familiar with the diesel engine in the E53 but if the controller is easy to get to a few simple checks can be done from that connector to determine the state of the plugs :)
wpoll
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:59 pm

You have to remove the intake manifold to reach the glow plugs... :?

At this point, if your car has more than 100,000miles, just replace them all - they are done anyway. Controller too, as it is a known failure point.

BUT be careful and learn how to do this job properly - they are VERY easy to break when removing (if not removed correctly). They aren't as simple as spark plugs! :cry:
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Paulpen
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Re: Glow Plug Iocon

Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:17 pm

You do for the plugs but what about the controller ?

If the controller is easy to get to and supplys each plug seperatly then you can simply disconnect it and check the resistance of each plug feed to ground.

A high resistance indicates a dying plug and open circuit indicated a dead plug. Testing this way also checks the wiring between the controller and the plugs :)

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