Brand: VW teaches lessons about glowplugs

  • Article by: PAUL BRAND
  • Updated: January 3, 2014 - 10:38 PM

Q: I have a 2001 VW Golf TDI. It starts right up but after I drive a few feet, the “Check engine” light pops on. I get a code P0380. I replaced the glow plugs, as they had 120,000 miles on them. Any help would really be appreciated.

A: According to my ALLDATA database, the P0380 DTC fault code relates to a problem with the glow plugs, the glow plug relay or the RPM sensor. But first, a question: Did you have the P0380 code cleared from the engine control module (ECM) after replacing the glow plugs? A scan tool is required to clear DTCs; they cannot be cleared manually.

If the P0380 code has returned after having been cleared, there is a continuing issue. The glow plugs on this diesel engine are controlled by the ECM, which engages the glow plug relay to turn them on to “preglow” to warm the air in the combustion chamber adequately to start the engine. When the glow plug light goes off, “preglow” is finished and the engine is ready to start. After the engine starts, the glow plugs operate in “afterglow” mode to shorten warmup time, reduce combustion noise and emissions. The “afterglow” mode lasts until engine RPM reaches 2,500, coolant temperature reaches 140 degrees F. or three minutes elapse.

Since the “Check engine” light comes on after the vehicle is in motion, meaning that engine RPM is likely above 2,500, the problem may well be associated with the RPM sensor.

Q: My vehicle is kept outside all year. I did not get a good coat of wax on it before the cold and snow arrived. How do I get the snow and road grime off during the cold weather without having the doors freeze shut?

A: Whether or not the vehicle has been waxed, the only way to remove road debris, dirt, grime and — worst of all — salt is to wash the vehicle regularly and thoroughly. It’s best not to wash a vehicle when temperatures are seriously below freezing, but if temperatures are or will be in the 20s or higher, wash the vehicle. In addition to the exterior painted surfaces, it is critically important to flush the underside, wheel wells, bumpers, valances and any areas that can trap winter debris. Also, wash the inside edges of the doors, hood and trunk along with their jambs and sills.

How can you keep the doors, hood and trunk from freezing closed after washing? Dry the inside edges, seals/gaskets, jambs and sills, then apply aerosol silicone spray to the door seals and gaskets and their contact surfaces.

To finish up, insert the extension tube of a spray lubricant/moisture dispersant like Deep Creep into the outside key slots and spray liberally. Do the same to the locking mechanism on the door jamb. Then operate each lock/latch a few times to make sure the lubricant is well distributed.

Q: We bought a 2002 Lexus RX300 with 134,000 miles on it. The “Check engine” light indicated an issue with the camshaft sensor. The owner of the dealership said that if the vehicle was his, he wouldn’t spend the money to replace it. What do you think?

A: A scan tool can identify the specific fault code associated with the “Check engine” light. P0340 indicates a cam sensor issue. P0345 indicates an issue with the variable valve timing actuator position sensor. Both are easily accessible under the engine cover. The cam sensor costs roughly $85 and takes about 20 minutes to install. Since both of these are part of the variable valve timing system, if either is faulty I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it.

The dealer may be thinking of a more expensive failure of the variable valve timing system, but until you know the specific DTC that triggered the check engine light, you won’t know.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close