Does A Cummins Have Glow Plugs

Does a Cummins Have Glow Plugs?

When it comes to diesel engines, one of the common questions that often arises is whether a Cummins engine has glow plugs or not. Cummins is a well-known name in the world of diesel engines, and understanding the functioning of glow plugs in Cummins engines can be essential for proper maintenance and troubleshooting.

Glow plugs are an integral part of the starting process in most diesel engines. They are used to preheat the combustion chamber, ensuring that the air-fuel mixture ignites smoothly. However, Cummins engines do not have traditional glow plugs like some other diesel engine manufacturers.

In Cummins engines, an alternative system called the Cummins Intake Heater is used. The Cummins Intake Heater serves a similar purpose to glow plugs but operates in a different way. It is designed to preheat the incoming air before it enters the combustion chamber, aiding in the combustion process.

The Functioning of Cummins Intake Heater

Cummins Intake Heater uses grid-style heating elements that are similar to glow plugs, but they are designed to heat the air instead of the combustion chamber. The heating elements are positioned in the intake manifold, allowing them to directly warm the air as it passes through.

The Cummins Intake Heater is activated when the engine control module (ECM) receives a signal from the coolant temperature sensor. This signal indicates that the engine requires additional heat during cold starts or when the engine is cold. Once activated, the Intake Heater heats up the incoming air, making it easier to combust the fuel in the combustion chamber.

Advantages of Cummins Intake Heater

The Cummins Intake Heater offers several advantages over traditional glow plug systems found in other diesel engines. Some of the advantages include:

  1. Improved Cold Starting: The Intake Heater provides quicker and more efficient heating of the incoming air, allowing for easier cold starts in cold weather conditions. This can be particularly beneficial for diesel engines operating in regions with extreme temperatures.
  2. Reduced Emissions: The Intake Heater helps in achieving better combustion by ensuring the fuel is combusted more efficiently. This can result in reduced emissions, making the engine more environmentally friendly.
  3. Increased Fuel Efficiency: By enabling efficient combustion, the Cummins Intake Heater can improve the overall fuel efficiency of the engine. This can lead to cost savings for vehicle owners and operators.

Frequently Asked Questions For Does A Cummins Have Glow Plugs

Does A Cummins Engine Require Glow Plugs?

Yes, Cummins engines do require glow plugs to aid in cold starts by heating the combustion chamber.

How Do Glow Plugs Work In Cummins Engines?

Glow plugs in Cummins engines work by heating the air inside the combustion chamber, ensuring fuel ignition during cold starts.

Can I Start A Cummins Engine Without Glow Plugs?

While it is possible to start a Cummins engine without glow plugs, it may be difficult and may cause excessive wear and tear on the engine.

What Happens If The Glow Plugs Fail In A Cummins Engine?

If the glow plugs fail in a Cummins engine, cold starting may become challenging, leading to incomplete combustion and increased smoke emission.

Are Glow Plugs In A Cummins Engine Replaceable?

Yes, glow plugs in a Cummins engine are replaceable and should be inspected regularly to ensure proper functioning and avoid starting issues.


While Cummins engines do not have traditional glow plugs, they utilize the Cummins Intake Heater system to achieve similar results. The Intake Heater warms the incoming air, aiding in improved cold starting, reduced emissions, and increased fuel efficiency. Understanding the functioning of the Cummins Intake Heater can help in the proper maintenance and troubleshooting of Cummins engines.

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