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Glow plugs are similar to spark plugs. However Diesel engines don't have spark plugs therefore its down to the glow plugs to heat and start the engine when it is cold. Glow plugs are often forgotten about until they fail. The amount of heat which a glow plug produces reduces over time and this causes the engine to become progressively harder to start in cold weather. For that reason it is advisable to replace the glow plugs every 40,000-60,000 miles.