Updated at: 05-03-2022 - By: micdot

Our vehicle’s performance can suffer as a result of adverse weather conditions. Do you know why a diesel engine has a difficult time starting up? Let’s take a look and find out.

What is causing a diesel engine to be difficult to start? In the end, there is no single answer. Glow plug malfunctions, defective starters, faulty injectors, and a host of other issues could be to blame.
We’ll go over all of the possible explanations below. Please continue to read and have fun with it.
Reasons for Difficulty Starting a Diesel Engine
Why does your diesel engine take so long to start? There are several possibilities.

1. A Faulty Glow Plug System

If slow cranking isn’t an issue, you may need to look at a malfunctioning glow plug system. Glow plugs are found on most automobiles. On cold starts, these light plugs help the vehicle. These glow plugs are powered by a timer and a switch. Plugs will receive a charge from these. It is imperative that the voltage is shut off once the timer has expired. However, the relays can get stuck in some situations, causing a constant supply of electricity to the glow plugs. This will result in the glow plugs being obliterated. This problem isn’t likely to create a hard start to a diesel engine in normal conditions, but it will if the temperature drops.

Your diesel engine will be more difficult to start if the glow plugs are damaged or burned out. If it gets any colder, this will get even worse. Use continuity or resistance testing to verify the glow plugs. Your glow plug module may not switch on the glow plugs if your diesel engine has a hard time starting. As temperatures drop, this becomes even more critical. A voltmeter can be used to verify the glow plug module. Glow plugs that needed to be replaced should be done so as soon as possible.

2. Problems With Stalling

If your diesel stalls while you decelerate, there is likely an issue with injector pump lubrication. Idle speed is the most important thing to check first. The pump governor will not be able to recover if the idle speed is too low.

To avoid a dead engine while braking, the pump governor needs to recover adequately. The diesel will still stall even if the metering valve or plungers inside the pump are stuck. Replacement of the pump is required. It’s possible to begin by adding in some ingredients. Remove, clean, or replace the pump if it doesn’t operate.

3. Problems With The Injector

Pressure requirements for a diesel injector are higher than those for a gasoline engine. The pressure can, however, be reduced over a long period of time. You should inspect the injector to see whether it is damaged or defective. It’s possible that your injector will develop varnish deposits, clog, leak, or wear with time. There is a way to tell if an injector on a diesel engine is defective. A digital pyrometer can be used.

Check the operating temperature of the cylinder by using this. Temperature differences between cylinders indicate that one of them is weaker than the others. Injectors may be clogged if you notice a stuttering or sluggish start to your engine. White exhaust smoke will also be visible. Glow plug resistance has to be checked. The cylinders’ temperatures must be checked as well.

4. Fuel Delivery Problem

For an engine to start, the timing of the injector must be precise. You must visually verify that the timing markings are aligned. Check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s timing process if you find an issue with timing. If you have air in your fuel, your automobile will struggle to start. When you try to start an engine with air in the fuel, it will die. It will be difficult to get back on track.

Your engine may struggle to start if air gets into the fuel. There is a way to see if the problem is with the air. A transparent return hose can be installed on the injection pump’s return side. Just crank the engine and keep an eye on the odometer. When a pump has air bubbles, the air bubbles will get inside the pump and clog the system. A clogged pump might also make it difficult to start your vehicle.

How to Start Diesel Engine More Easily?

There are a few ways to get your diesel engine up and running in a hurry. Glow plugs and block heaters are essential. When it’s cold outside, these two will kick start the diesel engine. The interior combustion chamber will be heated by the glow plugs. Compression and ignition will be possible after this. A second battery can be added if you choose. If you don’t have a full battery, your phone won’t work. To ensure that your battery is fully charged, always attach a second battery. The glow plugs will be powered by this second battery.

Glow plugs won’t do their job if the car’s battery has a lot of juice in it. Changing the oil is also necessary. When the oil in your diesel engine is particularly thick, it will be more difficult to get the engine to start. In addition, you can disable all unwanted features. All your batteries should be preserved by turning off all of your accessories that you won’t be using. The battery is used to power the devices that you turn on and use. Additionally, it is crucial that you utilize the proper diesel fuel. You can also add winter fuel additives to your vehicle’s fuel supply. Your fuel will receive this additive. This fuel additive must be mixed in.


Overall, this is a common issue. It’s not uncommon for diesel engines to be difficult to start for their owners. Diesel is notoriously difficult to drink.

Despite its widespread use in trucks and pickups, diesel has a number of drawbacks. Getting off to a shaky start is one of these challenges.