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VW Tdi Glow Plug Replacement



All parts used in these pictorials are available at the diesel parts for sale page


VW Tdi Glow Plug Replacement

Safety and security tips:

Please remember to recycle all your used fluids at an appropriate recycling center.  Be mindful to not spill or splash fluids on yourself, others or the ground.  Also as a safety tip please remember anytime you are working on, around or under your car, to wear safety glasses and secure the car with wheel stops and approved jack stands!  



Well as eventually happens at some point, the old glow plugs were starting to get tired after 4 years.  With 252k miles on the Jetta Tdi I decided to replace them as a set so I only have to do the job one time.  I knew that the last set of plugs I installed, the glow plug harness was getting very brittle from the heat, so that will come at a later time.

So lets dive in.



The evil check engine light....



Birds eye view of the engine in question, '98 Jetta Tdi.



Brand new Bosch glow plugs from Dieselgiant.com .....



Start by removing the glow plug harness very gently.  I use the long reach needle nose pliers.




Since this engine has over 252k miles on it the glow plug harness is brittle and I need to replace it, but as you can see the plastic is breaking apart.  Just do the best you can and DO NOT pull up on it, you will be sure to break it them.  The best way is to pry it up.


To aid in keeping the harness from totatly desinegrating, I will remove the injection lines to get additional vertical clearance.


Remove the connector at the injection pump.


Loosen the fuel line nuts....


Remove the first 2 lines and lay them aside on a clean paper towel.





Now with the 1st two lines removed we can get to the back two nuts to loosen, but not remove those two lines.




Now with our fuel lines rotated out of the way, we can gently lift the harness out of the way.  Each boot was cracked and broken to different degrees.  Yes I will replace this when I get the time.


I took some brake fluid cleaner and cleaned the area around each glow plug to as to not let debris fall into the cylinder once removed.  I followed up with a blast of compressed air.


Next I removed one plug at a time.  The first plug came out no problem...


Old plug and the new replacement.


I used some anti seize on the threads.  Since the glow plugs love to stick in the aluminum heads, its a smart thing to do for the next time they will be replaced.  Just do the same thing for each glow plug.  I had a good scare on the other 3 plugs.  For a few seconds I thought that each one was going to either snap in two or strip the threads out of the head.  I had not used any anti seize four years ago when I last did them.



Four old plugs.


Now get your VAG-COM out or find a friend that has one and lets clear the code.


Go to <Select Control Module>


Then to <01-Engine>


After some conversation with the cars computer the different info will load on the screen, then go to <Fault Codes-02>




Clear the code and you are in business.


Put it all back together and you good for another four years!