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Want to learn more about Glow Plugs replacements?

Read our short guide with information on costs, symptoms and more.

What do glow plugs do?

Glow plugs were originally used to assist with starting diesel engines in cold temperatures when the heavy oil used to coagulate. Now that diesel has many additives to prevent this, glow plugs have taken on the role of heating the incoming fuel / air mix to provide greater efficiency while the engine warms up. This also assists with decreasing the noise during cold running.

What does a glow plugs replacement involve?

  • The mechanic will pre-soak the glow plug threads with penetrating oil or similar and wait for it to take effect.
  • Mechanic will then ease the glow plugs undone and remove them one by one
  • New glow plugs will then be installed
  • Engine start up will be tested and error codes cleared down

Can I change glow plugs myself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend a glow plugs replacement is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the symptoms of bad glow plugs?

You may experience some of the following symptoms

  • Glow plug warning light flashing when the ignition is switched on
  • Engine management warning light (EML) lit
  • Struggling to start from cold
  • Excessive fuel consumption while the engine warms up

How long will a glow plugs replacement take?

On average, glow plugs replacement times can range from 1 to 2 hours with an average of just over 1 hours. The time that the job takes will depend on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should glow plugs be replaced?

The majority of diesel vehicles will go through their life without requiring them to be changed, however like all electrical units, they can fail. If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, ideally would have the glow plugs changed as soon as possible. If the engine is starting OK, though and there is no EML lit, then get the glow plugs changed when you are able to.

Can you drive with a broken glow plug?

If you suspect there is any issue with the glow plug or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic with immediate effect. If the glow plug is physically broken or snapped do not drive the vehicle as this will lead to severe engine damage.

What is the Glow Plug Warning Light?

The glow plug warning light provides information on whether the glow plug has warmed up, and whether there is a problem with it. When the ignition is switched on the glow plug warning will come on as the glow plugs through it's pre-heat cycle, the light will go off again once the glow plugs have heated up.

If the glow plug warning light does not go off it means that the engine is not getting the right amount of heat from the plugs, which can affect starting and performance. If the glow plug warning light is flashing it means that the glow plugs are not getting hot enough to start the car and that there is a problem. This can be caused by a number of things.

Is it safe to drive with the Glow Plug Warning light on?

Generally it is ok to continue to drive at slower speeds with a flashing glow plug warning light, however, it does entirely depend on the scale of the glow plug issue. Often the engine also goes into 'limp mode' and power will be limited. It is highly recommended to get it checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible as it could lead to further problems and engine damage.

In rare cases the engine warning light may also flash simultaneously with the glow plug warning light, which can indicate an overheating engine. When this happens, the best thing to do is stop as soon as it is safe to do so and seek help from a breakdown service or a qualified vehicle technician

Will my car fail the MOT test if the Glow Plug Warning light is on?

Yes, it is possible that a flashing glow plug warning light may lead to an MOT fail. The underlying issue may lead to inefficient running of the engine and an emissions issue, on which a vehicle may be failed.

Is a faulty glow plug an MOT failure?

Yes, a faulty glow plug may result in an MOT failure - if the glow plug warning light on the dashboard goes off after a few seconds then it will normally pass the MOT (this is a sign the plugs have heated up correctly). If the warning light continues to flash or illuminate on the dashboard, it could result in an MOT failure as your vehicle may experience emissions issues.

How long do glow plugs last?

You can expect glow plugs to last at least 100,000 miles but they can become faulty at an earlier stage so may need replacing accordingly.

Are glow plugs easy to replace?

Glow plugs can be very hard to replace, especially if they are located in hard to reach location or in the case they are seized or stuck. The job best left to a certified mechanic as it needs the right parts and equipment to ensure the replacement is done properly. If a glow plug breaks on removal, an bits drop into the inside of the engine this will lead to the engine having to be opened up. Under no circumstances should the vehicle then be started as it can lead to catastrophic engine damage.

How many glow plugs do I need?

You need one glow plug for each cylinder in your engine so a 4 cylinder diesel engine will need 4 glow plugs.

How do you know if your glow plugs need changing?

Some tell-tale signs that your glow plugs may need changing include:

  • Engine misfiring
  • Rough idling
  • Decrease in fuel efficiency
  • Difficulty starting the car (especially in cold weather)
  • Dark or black-coloured exhaust smoke

How much does it cost to replace the glow plugs?

A glow plugs replacement generally costs between £125 and £250 with an average price of £170. Ultimately, the cost of replacing glow plugs depends on your car, what parts your car's manufacturer recommends using for the replacement, and how many are needed. Find out what you could save by having your glow plugs replaced by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Check out the ClickMechanic price for a glow plugs replacement, and find out what you would pay at a franchise dealer. We use industry standard data & millions of data points so you know what you should be paying. These estimates may include Glow plug. We have glow plugs replacement prices for 48 different manufacturers.

Name ClickMechanic Click Mechanic average Franchise dealer estimate

Alfa Romeo

£153 £175 - £248 Get exact price

Audi

£151 £173 - £243 Get exact price

Bentley

£3645 £4,412 - £4,412 Get exact price

BMW

£209 £265 - £378 Get exact price

Chevrolet

£159 £197 - £316 Get exact price

Chrysler

£177 £182 - £280 Get exact price

Citroen

£151 £181 - £266 Get exact price

Dacia

£144 £160 - £232 Get exact price

Daewoo

£111 £190 - £190 Get exact price

Daihatsu

£408 £491 - £525 Get exact price

Dodge

£179 £221 - £322 Get exact price

Ferrari

£1648 £2,005 - £2,005 Get exact price

Fiat

£167 £182 - £289 Get exact price

Ford

£140 £184 - £283 Get exact price

Honda

£208 £247 - £311 Get exact price

Hyundai

£219 £255 - £349 Get exact price

Infiniti

£268 £372 - £372 Get exact price

Isuzu

£219 £232 - £402 Get exact price

Iveco

£175 £212 - £254 Get exact price

Jaguar

£148 £182 - £251 Get exact price

Jeep

£182 £225 - £294 Get exact price

Kia

£216 £271 - £353 Get exact price

Land Rover

£193 £226 - £386 Get exact price

LDV

£194 £273 - £288 Get exact price

Lexus

£196 £254 - £285 Get exact price

Maserati

£1390 £1,719 - £1,719 Get exact price

Mazda

£174 £162 - £336 Get exact price

Mercedes-Benz

£201 £175 - £325 Get exact price

MG

£215 £222 - £575 Get exact price

MINI

£192 £172 - £319 Get exact price

Mitsubishi

£186 £213 - £292 Get exact price

Nissan

£153 £154 - £247 Get exact price

Peugeot

£158 £183 - £315 Get exact price

Peugeot Talbot

£103 £150 - £150 Get exact price

Porsche

£378 £212 - £1,118 Get exact price

Renault

£136 £149 - £237 Get exact price

Rover

£190 £181 - £469 Get exact price

Saab

£145 £185 - £237 Get exact price

SEAT

£139 £179 - £230 Get exact price

Skoda

£137 £157 - £229 Get exact price

Smart

£146 £181 - £264 Get exact price

Ssangyong

£167 £195 - £255 Get exact price

Subaru

£261 £269 - £441 Get exact price

Suzuki

£140 £179 - £221 Get exact price

Toyota

£186 £211 - £284 Get exact price

Vauxhall

£194 £187 - £261 Get exact price

Volkswagen

£147 £168 - £230 Get exact price

Volvo

£162 £170 - £335 Get exact price

Prices could not be created for 33 models. Show ∨

  • Microcar
  • Metrocab
  • Hummer
  • Reva
  • Asia
  • TVR
  • Morgan
  • Buick
  • Lamborghini
  • Pontiac
  • Carbodies
  • DS
  • Mitsubishi Fuso
  • Moskvich
  • Cadillac
  • Ford US
  • Aixam
  • Austin
  • Daimler
  • FSO
  • Maybach
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Santana
  • Tata
  • Great Wall
  • Piaggio
  • Perodua
  • Aston Martin
  • Lada
  • Lancia
  • Lotus
  • Proton
  • London Taxi's International

Estimates on repair costs, such as the above results for a glow plugs replacement, are created by combining data from multiple third-party sources. The actual cost of using your local repair providers may be outside of the estimated range. We provide estimates on repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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Recent Glow Plugs replacement quotes

These recent quotes were taken from our quote engine which uses third-party industry standard data on repair times, along with a live parts retailer, and a regional labour rate to build an accurate free quote. We are constantly improving our quote engine, so please let us know if a price seems incorrect.

£143.30

Glow plugs replacement (all)

Alfa Romeo 159
Newport
£137.43

Glow plugs replacement (all)

Ford Focus
Brighton
£116.42

Glow plugs replacement (all)

Saab 9-3
Halifax
£122.34

Glow plugs replacement (all)

Volkswagen Golf
Addlestone

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