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smart142

Glow Plug/heater Circuit A Malfunction- Po380

148 posts in this topic

This is cool - they use a set of tools - bushings, cutters, taps and pullers to ream off the top of the glow plug (after the head has snapped) - thread the lower bit (thermal part) - get rid of the metal seized in the head then pull the thermal part out - by doing all the machining with the lower bits in place no metal gets into the engine. Afterwards he reams the glow plug hole (uses compressed air into the injector hole to blow out the carbon) and installs the new glow plug.

Hate to think what all the tools cost though (they probably share one around Canada) and you would probably need to drop the engine on the smart.

Cheers,

Cameron

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Beru plugs $42 and change at Napa.You guys were joking about having the engine hot right? By the time I got all the crap cleared away from the plugs it was room temperature again. Gentle tapping with a 6 oz machinist's hammer on an old fashioned impact driver, back and forth as recommended, then a torque wrench, back and forth, then a regular ratchet. Each time with plenty of ReleaseAll- the best penetrating agent since the p...nevermind.Anyway, about anti-seize, is permatex brand OK? It looks the same as the stuff in Gandalf's photos.Tested the old ones at 12v 20A on my battery charger and they glowed their little butts off. Looked OK to me, but I've never seen one before. Hope the new ones cure the rough starts.I dropped the tailgate vertically down the back of the car so I wouldn't have to lean as far. My back's bad enough, and climbing in from the passenger seat (every time I've forgotten a tool) is a non-starter. Good suggestion though if I was younger and more flexible.Time for twenty-five or thirty beers. With any luck I'll remember how to put it back together in the morning. If not? Well, it might be cheaper to fly Tolsen from Scotland to the Yukon than to flat deck the car out to Edmonton. How 'bout that Tolsen? Up for a trip?Cheers Carl

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Time for twenty-five or thirty beers. With any luck I'll remember how to put it back together in the morning. If not? Well, it might be cheaper to fly Tolsen from Scotland to the Yukon than to flat deck the car out to Edmonton. How 'bout that Tolsen? Up for a trip?

Cheers

Carl

I've never been to the Yukon. Might be a nice place to visit during spring and summer. Bet it is cold and barren looking this time of the year.

As regards your plugs glowing their butts off, here is one of mine on its last leg:

Posted Image

The glow plug should glow read hot starting at its tip. This one glows red hot away from its tip.

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Mine appeared hotter than your photo, and right down to the tip. That was at 20 amps on the battery charger. Does amperage make a difference? The starting symptoms said glow plugs to me. Hope I wasn't wasting my time.Carl

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You should only leave them on for a few seconds when testing as I and presumably you did. The plugs can suffer damage if leaving them on for too long as there is no heat sink. 2 - 3 seconds is sufficient to check where they get hot first. Amperage will drop as plug gets hotter and around 20 amps is normal.

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The crud build up around them can also act as an insulator so that might be a consideration in them not working properly as well - hence the reamer down the hole trick - by the by you can get expandable reamers as well - might work on this situation as well.Cheers,Cameron

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Just wondering if the glow plugs that fit the MB E320 CDI also fit the smart. If so, then fiddlefaddle.ca could be a source of Bosch glowplugs at $16.86 CAD each.Roy

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I doubt it! :D I know for fact that the injectors for the 451 cdi are different from our 450's. I suspect that the glow plugs would be different as well.Anyone have part #'s?

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I don't have a code reader but I'm getting the same 'Glow plug light stays on' symptom followed by the check engine lightstaying on. I guess I'm up for some glow plugs as well.I'm fairly mechanically Inclined, I've worked on several cars, trucks, and heavy equipment, but you guys have scared thecrap out of me with the thought of stripping these things.Are the heads that the socket fits over stripping or are the plugs breaking?I'm really nervous to do this, any advice from those that have done it would be appreciated.I mean really, do you have to be a moron to break these things? Am I safe with common senseor should I just pay someone to do it for me?Vince

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They will snap off if applied torque exceeds 35 Nm. Hot wiring into the plug and leaving on for a few minutes burns off carbon and makes removal easier and safer. This method obviously only works on those plugs that are not completely burnt out.

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They will snap off if applied torque exceeds 35 Nm. Hot wiring into the plug and leaving on for a few minutes burns off carbon and makes removal easier and safer. This method obviously only works on those plugs that are not completely burnt out.

So if I use a torque wrench to remove them, set it at 25 ft pounds (I hope I have the conversion right), I should be okay?At least this would help me in knowing how excessive 'excessive force' is.I'll start spraying some liquid wrench today I guess.

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Okay so I attached my code reader yesterday and confirmed the dreaded 'Po380' so I pulled the wires off the tops of the glow plus (had to use a hook like driver to do this) read the resistance as per the instructions by Gandalf, and found a dead #2 glow plug.I used the torque wrench to snap them loose as per Tolsens's advice and they came loose quite easily.(Thanks a million Tolsen - you're advice was awesome). I then used a very short stubby type of ratchet to removethem as this prevented me from applying too much force, but it also made my wrists very sore.I didn't catch on by reading the thread that the plug wouldn't just release itself from it's hole and that I'd have to pull them out with some force. I used a pair of long nose vice grips to do this but I guess this is why Tolson made a custom tool to remove themin a seperate thread.All in all everything worked out fine, took me a little over an hour to get all three out and back in again, reset the engine light andso far so good.Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread and to Tolsen for his other thread about this procedure.

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I did the replacement today. I was having the problems that everyone is describing and from the excellent posts here decided to DIY.I did not bother with diagnosing which one was bad and decided to replace all three. Local MB dealer sold them to me for $36 each, which is a small discount from retail.Install took about 45 minutes. With the engine warm, the plugs came out easily and without problems. To get to the driver side one, I just pried up and back on that plastic electric harness that is in the way (just enough to get at the plug). Small amount of anti-seize and a torque wrench set to 15nm and they were in. Clipping the connectors back on took almost as long as the install.In closing, I think anyone that has ever changed a spark plug should be able to tackle this one. Thanks for all the helpful post on this topic. ;)

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... I used the torque wrench to snap them loose as per Tolsens's advice and they came loose quite easily....

A note on this: I prefer to use a T handle to be certain that no bending (breaking) forces are introduced. Using a torque wrench does give an indicator of the force applied (minimizes breakage from excessive torque) but the user should support the socket end of the wrench (that may be easier with an extension) to nullify the bending moment (due to pulling at the end of the lever).smart142 first pointed out working on a hot engine is better for removing the glow plugs. Aluminum expands more than steel therefore it will be a slightly looser fit when hot than when cold.Use a quality penetrating oil not WD40 and give it time.I have not had good experiences with anti seize compound located in hot environments because it tends to coke with time.Raymond

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I had mine replaced by Binny yesterday at 68,783 km for $395. He had quoted me $295 but had to use a jackhammer so it cost more. The $295 also didn't include Dalton but the $395 did. Fortunately I was able to enjoy two Starbucks and three muffins while waiting. The car still starts a bit rough but not as scary as it did the last few times before bringing it in, and the Check Engine light is now off. Unfortunately, both headlights were also off while driving on the 401 after midnight as mentioned in another post. I'm assuming it isn't related to the glow plugs!

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In closing, I think anyone that has ever changed a spark plug should be able to tackle this one. Thanks for all the helpful post on this topic. ;)

I bought 2 and changed the middle then pass side. I had a real tough time with middle. I bought a torque wrench (needed one for years) so really needed to get it done myself. for a while I thought I would not even get the connector off. very tight quarters. I suppose MB has a tool for the connector. check engine light is still on so I will buy one more this week and do the driver side - not sure how you guys do it - can hardly even see the thing! I am sure it is just like the headlamps - gets easier the more times done. Thanks for all posting above here - excellent tips!

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Does anyone know where the glow plug controller/relay is located? The glow plugs seem to check out ok but I get nothing on key up with a test light or ohm meter on the end of the plug leads. This is with the PO380 dtc as well.

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Black plastic box on right hand side of engine, bolted to top of subframe. Two plugs are connected to it.

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My G2 threw the PO380 code last week, just in time for the cold weather.

I was a little nervous doing this one because G2 has 230,000kms and the glow plugs are original.

I've been so busy lately (changing the hot water boiler at my house) that I only had a very limited amount of time to do the job. No pre spraying with WD40.

So yesterday I got to the shop and gathered up all the tools I needed. Took out the 8mm bolt on the right to release the fuel lines and pop off the plastic piece to give more exposure.

Sprayed the glow plugs with WD40 and then took G2 out for a 10 min run to heat up the engine- kept her revving at over 3000 rpm all the time.

Back in the shop all 3 came loose. Wrenched for a while to make sure the threads were out. Still had to get the long nosed vise grips out to get them out of the holes.

The new ones were put it and torqued down....whew!!! A happy man... :hottie:

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I have changed 2 glow plugs out last winter now have the same issue. I have one new one ready to put in. Can someone confirm the check engine light will stay on with only one bad glow plug. wondering if I should buy a second one or not. Thanks!

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changed the LHS glow plug. at just over 140k it has never been changed so wanted to do it even if it was not at fault. what a pain in the ass! The other two were much easier. Ended up using almost 20Nm to remove. Thanks for all the postings on this. My suggestions do it inside where warm with lots of light and drop the tailgate...

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Hi guys, Is it normal that I have a P0380 OBDII code, cyl. #3 glowplug was blown and after I replaced it, the check engine light are still "ON" and the glowplugs lights stay "ON" too after the engine is started?? All other glowplugs are in good condition and well connected. Could this code indicate a glowplug module failure? I'm still the one who can't have same problem as the other smart owners! <_<

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Yes it can be the controller. After my son was rear ended, I got the P0380 code and Eddy diagnosed it as cylinder #3. I changed the glow plug but problem still exists. So it's either a break in the wire or the controller itself... :mad: P.S. Welcome back after your problems down South. I worked in the US for several years and didn't like it downthere at all!

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Yeah after a holiday like that....well maybe some other country should be on the agenda!

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Haha! Yeap! Maybe an other country next time! :PSo, I replaced the glowplugs controler but unfortunately, the problem is still there. Well, I think that I'll have no other choice than strip all the glowplug electrical wiring and find the defective wire. That will be fun... under the snow! <_< Thank you guys!Dom

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