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hi,the garage is 100% right the modern direct injection diesel engines do not need glow plugs to start,the kia engine is one of these(hence crd).The fuel is injected straight into the cylinder and not into a swirl chamber or ante chamber so there is nothing to heat up.All the glow plugs due is smooth out the running from cold,stop the lumpyness.
we have vehicles in when all 4 glowplugs or the control module isnt working and they will still start,rattle and bang a bit but still start,the bmw e60/61 is a common one.

Very hard to diagnose if the garage cant replicate the fault,if its not there then no one will be able to find it,on something of that age the diagnostics available are limited.You should be checking the operation of the low pressure fuel pump(in tank),the high pressure on cranking (needs to be 350 bar minimum),any signs of fuel leaks ,if fuel is leaking then air will be entering the system,sane way you have to purge the system when you change the fuel filter and also coolant sensors and crank sensors need to be scoped and checked.

most of the faults listed on new modern common rail diesels can be very expensive ,due to the cost of the parts,hope this helps

john
 
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