How many volts should a glow plug get ???

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  1. How many volts should a glow plug get ??? 
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    Hi all, hope someone can help, I've asked this question in the x3 forum but no answer so as this forum is more electrical minded I'm gonna try here to see if anyone knows what the voltage should be going to each glow plug???? the reason i ask is as follows (bmw x3 2.0d m47 engine)

    im having difficulty with my 2005 BMW x3 2.0d, When you attempt to start the car from cold it will start and die out straight away, you then try again and it will start and keep running albeit a bit rough until it warms up. To me it seems to be glow plug related so I tried doing the following, get in the car when cold and turn the ignition on and leave it a minuite before cranking or even turn the ifnition on and off a few times before cranking and sure enough if I do this it starts first time and runs smooth so I ordered new glow plugs and fitted them but the problem still persists. I unplugged the glow plug connectors (all 4 where they click onto the top of the glow plug) and measured the voltage going to each plug when the ignition is turned on and each glow plug is receiving around 2v now this seems a little low to me but I can't find anywhere online what the voltage going to the glow should be so I'm hoping someone can tell me. As I said its a 2.0d engine (m47) and I'm only getting 2v to each glow plug any help would be appreciated.

    Mark
     
     

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    Thanks for that,I see that it says rated voltage 5v so unless that means maximum voltage then I suppose you could be right, I didn't really want to change the glowplug controll unit until I had established that's its deffo toasted but it seems impossible to find out the voltage for sure, even the techs at BMW don't know, it's a funny one :(

    Thanks again
    Mark
     
     

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    Did you get the fault codes read as glow plugs normally show a code, if all 4 are gone then it will be the controller. If the glow plugs/controller is faulty it will affect your mpg and stop the DPF regenerating (if you have one).
     
     

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    I gave you duff gen in your other thread thinking of earlier systems which were 11-12 volts. Problem with testing these systems is the the way the controller works. Can't find out for certain, but I think the controller varies the power to the plugs by very rapid thyristor switching, which would fool a meter set to measure RMS voltage into reading a much lower voltage than the peak voltage being applied. From my experience though, I would change the controller as they seem to be the weak link in the system. I recently replaced my 6 glow plugs and the controller at 140000 miles after INPA reported 3 plugs down. I tested the old plugs and found that they were all good resistance so it must have been the controller that was the problem.
     
     

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    Thanks for the advise, Not pulled the codes, by the sound of things I'd better just change the controller because if the car starts fine after I've turned the ignition on and off a few times before starting when cold then it must be glow plug related and after changing all 4 for new ngk plugs then it only leaves the control unit i guess, I've heard it's a pig of a job to do and the hardest part is finding the damnd thing. If anyone here knows where it's located on the x3 I'd be grateful,

    Thanks again
    Mark
     
     

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    i thought the glowplugs where PWM and not a straight 5v , i am sure if scope them you will find them PWM
     
     

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