› Tech Center
My nitro engine starts up instantly but won’t stay running. It runs great but dies after about a minute, starts back up easily, then dies again. What’s the problem?
There’s a 99 percent chance the problem is a tired glow plug. When the glow igniter is clipped to it
(or your electric starter is pumping juice to it), the glow plug gets good and hot and the engine starts and runs easily. But as you drive, the glow plug isn’t maintaining enough heat to keep the engine running, so it dies. If you’re using a clip-on glow igniter, you can test this by running the engine with the glow-igniter clipped on. If the stalling issue disappears, then a bad plug is definitely the problem. Replace the plug and you should be back in business.
The other scenario that can cause your stalling problem is running the engine too rich, which loads the engine with more fuel than it can combust, causing it to stall. If bogging, low RPM, and slow acceleration had been mentioned, a too-rich needle setting would have been the first thing to check. But if the symptom is “starts great, runs great, dies,” you can bet it’s the glow plug.
A fresh plug should cure any “starts easy, dies quickly” engine trouble.