On Glow Plugs and Ni-Starter
by Jeff Junker
Sometimes the first conclusion – although reasonable – is not always the correct one. Here’s an example of just such a case, this one dealing with starting engines. Here’s the scenario:
You’ve had five flights and get ready for a sixth. You go to crank it up and nothing happens. First thought goes to the glow plug. You remove it and check to see if it lights. It doesn’t.
You put in a new plug – nothing happens. You check it – it doesn’t light Conclusion: “Dead battery”, you say to yourself, so you borrow another flier’s ni-starter
- You go home, plug the battery into the charger. The charger light goes on. You come back later and the charger light is off; the battery is still dead. Conclusion: dead charger
- You get another charger: same results – no light, no charge. You reach for the votmeter. Both chargers show the correct output. Conclusion: Dead cell.
- You test the battery: it shows 1.2V. Conclusion: Dead Kwik Clip
- Replace the Kwik clip and the glow plug lights.
Conclusion: first appearances – as well as 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ones – can sometimes be deceiving.
And maybe even 5th conclusions: While it’s true that over time, these things wear out, who’s to say that blasting all the gunk out of the tip of the ni-starter wouldn’t have gotten it working again.