Glow Plugs

Glow plugs
Glow plugs

Masterparts offers a full range of glow plugs, suitable for most vehicle makes and models.

What do glow plugs do in a car?

Glow plugs play a key role in the combustion process of diesel engines. They heat the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber and create the optimal conditions for ignition.

The heating device’s primary function is to ensure reliable engine start-ups, in all weather conditions.

There are several types of glow plugs, suitable for a wide range of vehicle makes and models.

Standard glow plugs consist of a heating coil enclosed by a metal tube. When energised, the heated tip can reach temperatures of 1,000 °C within a few seconds.

These types of plugs include quick-start plugs, pressure sensor glow plugs, quick glow systems and self-regulating metal plugs.

Glow Plugs

Source: Mechanic

In ceramic glow plugs, the heating element is enclosed in a ceramic casing. This allows for more rapid heating to temperatures of up to 1,300 °C.

Ceramic glow plugs are available as high temperature plugs and self-regulating plugs.

Apart from enabling reliable ignition, OE-quality glow plugs significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions.

How does a glow plug work?

When the heating component in each plug is electrified, the tip heats up and emits visible light.

During the fuel injection system, fuel is directed onto the hot tip of the glow plug. The heated fuel mixes with the compressed air, evaporates, and spontaneously combusts to start the engine.

Glow plugs go through three phases to ensure reliable ignition of a diesel engine:

  1. Preheating phase: the glow plug, located in each cylinder or pre-combustion chamber, heats rapidly to start the engine.
  2. Temperature maintenance phase: plugs maintain their temperature to support optimal combustion.
  3. Post-heating phase: plugs remain heated for up to three minutes after the engine has started to sustain the combustion process.

Signs of a faulty glow plug

Quality glow plugs typically last between 130,000 km and 160,000 km. As with all automotive components, they’re subject to wear.

Common symptoms of a damaged or failing glow plug include a misfiring engine, reduced fuel efficiency, difficulty starting the engine and/or a flashing warning light on the dashboard.

The emission of white or black smoke and a rough idle may also indicate a problem with the glow plugs.

As a rule, glow plugs are replaced as a complete set. Anyone with a basic understanding of a diesel engine can easily manage the job at home.

For step-by-step directions, try this guide on how to replace the glow plugs in your car.

High-quality automotive glow plugs for sale in South Africa

Masterparts stocks a wide range of metal and ceramic glow plugs from leading brands – among them, NGK, Febi Bilstein, Ignite and VSP.

All have optimal thermal conductivity properties to provide rapid heating over an extended period.

We offer door-to-door delivery. Alternatively, visit any of our branches across South Africa or in Windhoek, Namibia.

Glow plugs in and around Cape Town:

Glow plugs in KwaZulu-Natal:

Glow plugs in Namibia:

In addition to glow plugs, Masterparts stocks spark plugs, ignition leads, ignition coils, starters, alternators and other electrical components – so you can complete a full repair with one stop. Contact us if there’s a part you need, and we’ll do our best to assist.


Call us on 021 657 5757 or complete the form below to get a quote.

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