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Glow plugs are used in place of spark plugs in almost all diesel engines. This is due to the fact that diesel engines are more difficult to start than gasoline engines. They rely on cylinder pressures to ignite the fuel air mixture as opposed to the spark that gasoline engines rely on. Found in the pre-chamber or combustion chamber of each cylinder, glow plugs are used to help start diesel engines start in cold weather by preheating the engine so the air fuel mixture is at the high ignition temperature required for diesel engines to start. Fuel injector spray then strikes the hot tip of the glow plug which causes the fuel to ignite. Unlike a spark plug, a glow plug is only needed during the ignition process. If your heavy equipment is misfiring or having trouble starting in the cold there is a chance you have a faulty glow plug.