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Which air heater parts to get in advance?

Which air heater parts to get in advance?

Posted by Heatso on 8th Nov 2021

In this guide, we’ll go over the essential spare parts that you need to get, and how to keep your air heater running reliably and smoothly.

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Which Espar heater parts to get ahead of time?

If you’ve acquired an Espar or Webasto air heater for your van or RV, the last thing you want is for it to break on the road. In this guide, we’re going to go over the essential spare parts that you need to get, and how to keep your air heater running reliably and smoothly.

Types of air heater parts

All air diesel heater parts essentially break down into three categories: external parts, internal parts, and fuel system parts. We’ll go over each group, looking into the possible faults that may occur, and what you can do to prepare yourself for any heater-related wear and tear.

If you really want to get the most out of your Webasto or Espar heater, don’t wait for something to break before replacing it. Carry out routine pre-season maintenance and check-ups to proactively avoid any issues that you might run into on the road.

Internal Espar/Webasto heater parts

There are many parts inside your air heater, and most of them are better left to the professionals. We’ll be taking a look at the glow plug, glow plug screen, and the fuse. You can easily clean or replace these parts by yourself at home, with nothing more than some basic tools.

What is a glow plug?

A glow plug is a heating element that heats incoming fuel and air to encourage efficient fuel combustion in a diesel engine. Since diesel heaters are more like a blow torch than an internal combustion engine, that initial ignition is crucial. Keeping your glow plug in good condition is essential, as without it, the combustion chamber may not reach the right temperature to ignite the fuel.

Having a glow plug, screen, and fuse kit in advance lets you perform both routine and emergency maintenance. If your heater starts smoking, the heating output is suboptimal, or it takes longer to start, it might be a problem with carbon buildup. This occurs naturally, and it’s enough to just clean it out. When cleaning out carbon buildup, it’s considered good practice to also inspect the glow plug, and replace it if necessary.

How to deal with internal carbon buildup

The most common issue with glow plugs is carbon buildup. Carbon deposits will form over time in the combustion chamber and reduce heating performance. A good way to defer this from happening is to avoid running the air heater on low settings or for short periods of time. Running your heater at full heat for an hour or so will burn off a lot of the carbon deposit, but regular maintenance is still necessary.

D2 Glow Plug Screen
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Espar Airtronic D2 Glow Plug Screen

D5 Glow Plug
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Espar Airtronic D5 12V Glow Plug

Espar Fuze Kit
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Complete Espar Fuse Kit

Servicing your Espar / Webasto air heater

Be proactive, and perform this easy 10 minute service on your heaters. Set the heater on a clean and well-lit work surface. Remove the plastic casing, and unclip the fan impeller from the motor shaft. Once the upper body is unbolted from the heat exchanger unit, you can remove the combustion chamber, which contains the glow plug.

Make sure to thoroughly clean out any carbon deposits in the inner area of the heater and in the combustion chamber. Once you’ve cleaned out all the carbon buildup, remove the old glow plug and fit the new one in place. Sometimes, if the plug isn’t deformed or damaged, it’s enough to just replace the glow plug screen (the casing around the glow plug).

Stainless Steel Exhaust Hose
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Espar 24mm Stainless Steel Exhaust Hose

24-26mm Exhaust Clamps
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Set of 2 Espar 24-26mm Exhaust Clamps

Espar EasyStart Pro Controller
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Espar EasyStart Pro Controller with Timer

External Espar/Webasto heater parts

External Espar or Webasto heater parts are prone to regular wear and tear. It’s not uncommon for an exhaust hose to develop holes and begin leaking with time, or for an exhaust pipe clamp to be poorly fitted, getting pulled off, or coming loose.

Keep an eye on your exhaust system

The exhaust system is made to keep carbon monoxide out of the living area. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, which can render you unconscious in minutes, and in extreme cases even be lethal. It is essential to keep your exhaust system well maintained, as it directly affects your health and safety while travelling.

During each routine check-up, it’s important that you check at least the main components of your exhaust system. If your exhaust hose gets damaged or comes loose, having a spare hose and clamps can keep the show on the road. Do not attempt to use the air heater with a damaged exhaust system.

Get a spare EasyStart Pro controller

The Espar EasyStart Pro Controller, which is used all the time, can get accidentally damaged. Having a replacement for at least your controller, exhaust hose, and clamp, will ensure that no matter what happens on the road, you’ll be prepared.

Your EasyStart Pro Controller lets you monitor and manage your entire heating system from one place. Without it, the air heater becomes practically unusable. If the dial or the screen get damaged, having a spare controller on hand means that you can continue with your adventure like nothing happened.

Espar/Webasto heater fuel system parts

Fuel is what keeps your heater running, so it makes sense to make sure that such a vital function is well maintained. Fuel contaminated with small particles of paint, dirt, or rust can damage your fuel pump, injector, and cause accelerated carbon buildup. Fuel filters also improve performance, as the fewer contaminants present in the fuel, the more efficiently it can be burnt.

Air heater fuel filter and pump

During a routine check-up, if you don’t already have an inline fuel filter installed, now would be a good time to install one. Fuel filters need to be regularly changed, depending on the model, as well as the fuel type and quality. This will improve the efficiency of your heater, reduce carbon buildup, and will allow you to use your heater for longer.

With time, the electrical connections of any system tend to get worn down, corroded, or damaged. If your air heater fuel pump suddenly stops working in the middle of a road trip, this could potentially leave you without heating. In this case, it’s always good to have a spare fuel pump connector. Replacing an old connector is fast and easy, so having one on demand can make a world of difference.

Gaskets keep things airtight

When taking apart any system that has airtight seals, you will want to replace the gaskets after every time you take it apart. Gaskets tend to be easily torn by debris, and even the slightest compromise in the seal can greatly affect performance. Having a few spare gaskets in several sizes will make servicing your heater that much more easier and effective.

Espar Service Kit
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Complete Espar Service Kit

Espar Fuel Pump Plug
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Espar S2 M2 Fuel Pump Plug

Espar Fuel Filter
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Espar Internal Fuel Filter

Conclusion

There are many things that can go wrong on the road. If you’re travelling in colder environments, being well prepared is a necessity. If you don't want to get each spare part individually, we offer a range of complete service kits, which usually include a few gaskets, a glow plug screen, and an inline fuel filter.

If your exhaust hose gets torn, or your heater’s output is greatly reduced, or you’ve accidentally broken the controller, it’s up to you whether that will be the end of your trip, or just a minor, easily fixable inconvenience.