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Car Engine Knocks and Pings

An engine knock, or ping, is caused when something causes the fuel in the cylinder to ignite - usually before the spark plug even sparks. Heavy pinging can lead to severe engine trouble due to the magnitude of the forces involved. When the fuel ignites early it is not adding to the output power of your engine, it can even be causing an engine loss of power and also decreased fuel efficiency. If you have a newer model car and it knocks or pings try increasing the quality of gas and see if it goes away. If not then your engine's knock sensor is suspect.

How to detect and fix Engine Knock?

If you hear your engine knocking and believe that it is the knock sensor then AutoTap could be a useful tool to determine the problem. Since an errant knock sensor can have a dramatic impact on power and gas mileage, not to mention engine life, it is well worth a check up. Fire up AutoTap, and go for a drive.

Keep in mind that other vibrations in the engine area can cause the knock sensor to operate improperly. If a manifold bolt has worked loose or if your valve train is making excessive noise then the knock sensor will interpret this as engine knock and attempt to control your engine as though it has engine knock!

Check Engine Light keeping you awake?

Oxygen sensor problems can also cause a loss of power and a decrease in fuel mileage. A vacuum leak can cause a lean mixture which would trigger the oxygen sensor to show an error code. Plugged injectors or even a bad gas filter can cause similar problems.

Be sure to check your Idle Air Control Valve if you are experiencing a rough idle condition. Although there may be error codes which indicate other issues if the Air Control Valve is not working properly then you will encounter problems which may look like a bad oxygen sensor.

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