[Vwdiesel] Cold starting procedure?

Chris Geiser cfgeiser at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 05:49:04 PST 2010

My much less technical approach...
If the test light shows that you have power to the glow plugs:  Pull the
injectors, turn the key on and look down the injector holes.  Any working
glow plugs turn orange.
It's much easier to change glow plugs with the injectors out, so you'll end
up pulling them anyway.


**Sent with mobile device.
 On Dec 24, 2010 1:44 AM, "James Hansen" <jhsg at sasktel.net> wrote:
> If you don't have a clamp meter, measure voltage drop across the bus bar,
> should show a drop across each plug. Ones that don't show a drop in
> after the plug as measured on the bar aren't consuming power. Pretty easy.
> As Val suggests, a clamp meter for this is the way to go is you want to
> measure current. Most vom's are limited to 10a unfused passthrough
> as in you place the meter in the circuit, and will release the smoke if
> exceed that 10 a rating.
> -james
> -----Original Message-----
> From: vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com [mailto:vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com] On
> Behalf Of Val Christian
> Sent: December-23-10 10:11 PM
> To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
> Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] Cold starting procedure?
> Actually, a good DC clamp ampmeter is very valuable. A series ampmeter
> isn't as helpful, and as quick, especially if you are faced with harnesses
> that don't come apart as easily as the glowplug harness on an 82.
> For example on a TDI, you can clamp the sensor over different parts of
> the glow plug harness to see what the current is to each plug. Within
> about a minute, you get accurate readings.
> I had a intermittent problem which was causing a (non-diesel) engine to
> and it was tied in with the fuel pump, ECU, ignition harness. Took me a
> while
> to find it. But in the end, pulling out the clamp meter, tagging
> the individual wires, and nailing down was was happening at each point
> allowed me to find the ultimate problem. (Which was the insulation of a
> wire which had chaffed on a valve cover edge, through the insulation,
> intermittently grounding that signal.)
> Five years ago, I got a couple of these meters, and they were about $110
> each.
> Now I see them for about $40 on eBay. I have one which auto-zeros with a
> button, and one which is zeroed out with a side mounted thumb operated
> pot. Get the auto-zero one if you can. For 40 amp measurements, it doesn't
> matter, but much of the debugging you'll do on a car is less than an
> amp. Sure, an in-line ampmeter would be better with a couple of milliamps,
> but the DC clamp is good enough for 95% of what you will need to do on
> cars, houses, etc.
> AC only clamp meters (usually capable of measuring DC Volts) are in
> the $10-$13 range. The DC Amp ones are more, so don't buy the wrong one.
> While most of the clamp meters top out at 200 amps, some run to 400 amps.
> Generally, they aren't suitable for starter motor diagnostics on a diesel,
> because the currents are higher. But they work great for lighting,
> alternators, etc. Want to know how much charge is getting into your
> battery?
> Just put the clampmeter on a battery cable while the engine is running,
> and you can readily see.
> They are the bees knees for hunting down parasitic drains on batteries, as

> well.
> End of rant.
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