Engine knock is one serious problem you can have with your car. If not observed early and fixed correctly, it has the potential to knock down the entire engine. Many people do know what it is, or what causes it despite the serious damage it can cause to a car.
What is engine knocking?
The engine is designed to burn fuel in even waves that are synchronized to the cycle of the valves. When fuel fails to ignite at the proper time, it causes mini-explosions that mess with the engine’s proper cycle. These premature detonations are the cause of the ‘ping’ noise that characterize an engine knock problem. Left unattended, the issue can deal damage to the piston and cylinder wall. Some damage can be easily fixed, while others can completely destroy the engine.
Now that you know how the noise is made, take a look at three common causes of engine knocking and what you can do to resolve them.
Your fuel octane rating is too low for your car
Engines have a specific range of fuel octane rating recommended for use. If you accidentally put in fuel with an octane rating that’s too low , the air and fuel mixture will ignite earlier than the spark produced by the spark plug, causing the knock that you hear. Avoid this problem by always using an octane rating at or above the one recommended by your car manufacturer.
You used the wrong spark plugs
Same as with fuel octane ratings, car manufacturers have a list of recommended spark plugs for their vehicles. If your car uses anything other than what’s on that list, you may experience knocking. It’s also possible for knocking to occur when the spark plug gap is set incorrectly. When replacing your fuel doesn’t work, this is the next issue you should look at. Replace your plugs according to your manufacturer’s recommendations, and set them properly.
Carbon has accumulated on your cylinder walls
When air and fuel mixture ignites, it leaves a residue of carbon behind. Over time, this residue can start to accumulate on your cylinder walls. Modern fuels have carbon cleaning additive that prevent carbon from building up, but they may not be enough to stop them completely. Eventually, the deposits limit the volume of the cylinder, which leads to the knock. You can combat this problem with an aftermarket detergent additive product that you can buy at better auto parts stores everywhere.