Intermittent P0380 Glow Plug Problem

4 posts in this topic

I had originally posted this in another older thread, but it did not appear on the front page.


For this reason I had to start a new thread.




Yesterday, I took my 2005 Cabriolet with 75,000 km on it on the highway for the first time in a long time.


After parking the car, when I restarted it, I noticed a check engine light.. A scangauge check revealed P0380 which indicates a glow plug problem. I couldn't clear the code with the scangauge.


When I started the car today (no problem starting) , the check engine light came on and the glow plug light stayed on for over a minute, but then the glow plug light went out leaving only the check engine light on.


After reading this thread I was convinced that I needed new glow plugs.


Later on in the day, I started the car, drove 30 km and when I restarted the car again both the glow plug light and the check engine light were off and everything was behaving normally. 


I was hoping that someone who had experienced a P0380 problem could comment on the possible reasons that a code such as this can possibly fix itself.

Edited by smartdriver

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Is it possible that the car was simply warmer on the later starting, so the glow plugs weren't used and didn't prompt a code?

I've got the P0380 code happening as well, and the car starts fine.  Maybe a bit rough initially, but it smooths out pretty quick.  But in my case, the code seems to be permanent.  Might just be the fact that it's not very warm here; or maybe the glow plugs are in worse condition than yours.

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Thanks for the reply, good thought, but after starting the car on numerous occasions, the problem has not recurred.


One thought that I had was that the glow plugs draw large amounts of current which the ECU likely senses to determine if one or more plugs have failed.


A possibility exists that there could be corrosion on the glow plug connector or a marginal ground from the glow plug driver.

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The first thing I would do is pull each connector to glow plugs and glow plug controller. Check for overheating damage, clean connectors and refit.

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