Diesel problem

'96 E300 Diesel, little over 100K miles. This morning, my wife starts the car, gets out of the garage, immediately gets back in the garage, tells me the car has a problem. Does a lot of
smoke and runs all square.
I get in the car and can see that the Glowplug-light does not light up. The engine starts but after a few seconds a message says: Electron. ...CheckEngine......Moteur (french for engine).
Wonder if I can drive the car to a repair shop.
Someone knows what is the cause of that sudden problem. Never felt this problem coming up until now.
Thank you
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Hi Jacques,
Always something!
I suspect one of the glow plugs has failed and its cylinder is misfiring causing the smoke and engine shaking. If the engine is allowed to run a few minutes it will run smoothly and no longer smoke. It will then operate normally until it's restarted cold. In my experience glow plugs seem to have a 100K mile life after which they need to be replaced at a cost of about $8 to $10 each (US) plus labor.
Glow plugs have a small resistance wire coil inside that quickly gets hot enough to boil water; the coil burns out much like a light bulb. Most likely only one GP has failed for it's doubtful (to me) that the engine would start otherwise in winter temperatures (unless your garage is heated). The "otherwise" would imply that the glow plug relay or its fuse may have failed.
Happy New Year!
Tom
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dans l'article snipped-for-privacy@NoHamOrSpamcomcast.net, T.G. Lambach snipped-for-privacy@NoHamOrSpamcomcast.net a crit le 28/12/03 16:52:

Tom,
Thanks for your rapid answer to my problem. You were right and your comment re-assured me.
Am just back from the Dealership 35 miles away.
They replaced glow plug #4 and erased the code (this on the invoice).
The glow plug costs $44.95 Cdn
Labor, glow plug and tax $139.82
Happy new Year again.
Jacques
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