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Do glow plugs face fouling? I understand that spark plugs foul on occasion, do glow plugs face the same issue?

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    $\begingroup$ Glow plugs are only used to aid starting of a compression-ignition engine. Once the engine is running, the glow plugs aren't used. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 13, 2017 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ In most conditions, a diesel engine will start fine without glow plugs. The glow plug controller on my car failed and I didn't replace it for over a year. The only problem was occasional difficult starting on really cold mornings. I think you might be helped by reading some of the basics of how diesel engines work. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jun 13, 2017 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ Additionally, a glow plug does not spark. It is a simple electric heater coil and is therefore not susceptible to fouling. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jun 13, 2017 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ In many modern diesel engines, the ECU may keep the glow plugs on until temperature, time or RPM criteria are met. This is done to reduce emissions. $\endgroup$
    – mongo
    Jun 14, 2017 at 0:06

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Fine wire glow plugs, vulnerable to fouling, are not used on manned aircraft. Glow plugs in most diesel engines have massive elements where the coil is protected from being fouled.

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    $\begingroup$ It is worth noting that the fine wire glow plugs you mention really only have an application in model aircraft, not full-size aircraft. The theory and operation of those types of glow-plugs is substantially different than those used in diesel aircraft engines. $\endgroup$
    – J Walters
    Jun 13, 2017 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ The glow plugs I have cut open have a single rather heavy gauge wire which is welded to the glow tube at the tip of the plug. I believe that the tube is part of the heating element. Typical current draws are 7 to 20 amp at 12 V and about half that at 24V for smaller, aircraft sized engines. $\endgroup$
    – mongo
    Jun 14, 2017 at 0:10

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