Originally Posted by DebatewiseDave
Real noob question here but what's the best practice for starting a diesel engine (I've got the 2005 1.9GT JTDM)?
It's just struck me that there's a glow plug and I guess I should wait until that goes out before starting? I've read elsewhere that one person waited until it went out, turned the ignition off then on again before starting.
Also, given that this has just occurred to me, have I done much damage by not waiting for the light in the 6 months I've now owned the car?
With regard to your question, your engine has 4 glow plugs, 1 for each cylinder and a warning light in the instrument cluster.This is particularly important from cold start and all the more so given the recent weather.
Allow the engine to idle for about 15-30 seconds so that oil pressure is up and flowing through the turbo. Turbo's do not respond well to any kind of abuse so it is good practice to give time for oil to reach it and give time for it to slow down before shutting down the engine.
As for any damage done? Well I can't answer that. Suffice to say if your car is driving well, making no unusual noises, delivering full power, returning good mpg, etc, etc I should be hoping that all is well.
I worked on HGV's 20 years ago.....big engines 10-16 litre things. Volvo TD100 and 120 engines used a heating element in the inlet manifold despite being direct injection engines. Cummins engines did not employ any kind of pre-heater, if my memory is correct. Small diesel engines such as the Perkins 4 108 and stuff in Land Rovers were in-direct injection engines, based on the Ricardo principle. They used glow plugs and would not start at all without them.
Diesel engines operate using very high compression, hence the term 'compression ignition'. It is the massive heat generated on the compression stroke that provides for the atomized fuel injected into the cylinder to ignite.
So, let the glow plugs do their job, allow the engine oil to give life to the turbo, allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature and then have fun.