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My 190D is having a tough time starting. Originally I thought it was caused by air in the fuel linefrom the leaky diesel thermostat, so that was changed. Car has a new battery and glow plug relay. When the car finally does come on, the glow plug indicator lamp is slightly lit. And when I hit the brake pedal the light goes out. Does that indicate it needs new glow plugs?
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Get an Ohm meter (a cheap-o $5 multimeter should have that feature), remove the wire going to each glowplug and test each plugs resistance between the engine (ground) and the plug's terminal (positive).
They should be less than 1 Ohm. If a plug has more than 1, have 0 (short) or infinite (open) then it needs to be replaced.
Ok, instead of buying an ohm meter, I just replaced the plugs. I still would have had to remove the intake manifold to test them. Upon first start, the car started immediately after the install, which was in fairly cold weather!
Buta day lateras I was leaving a friend's house after their New Year's party, the car's engine wouldn't even turn over. Using some starting fluid I got it home, let it sit over night, and the same thing happened again. I noticed that the glow plug light doesn't come on when the key is in position 2 also.