A motor-car engine that runs on petrol has a number of cylinders that are fitted with pistons. When the engine is working, the pistons move up and down inside the cylinders and each upward or down ward movement of a piston is known as a stroke. The motor-car engine works on a four-stroke energy cycle. This means that the fuel-air mixture is ignited at each cycle to provide the needed energy for the engine to work properly. The efficient working of the motor-car engine is dependent on the fuel-air mixture which (i) must ignite at the correct stage in each cycle and (ii) must be completely burnt. This post will attempt to advance the various ways you can adopt to prevent a petrol engine knock.
The fuel should posses the correct volatility and temperature of ignition for it to be burnt at the right time of the cycle. If the fuel is too volatile and has too low an ignition point, it would be burnt prematurely. When this happens, a condition called knocking, or pinking, results. In examining the problem of petrol engine knock, we must first realise that knocking is a characteristic metallic sound caused by vibrating pistons. This knocking reduces the efficiency of the motor-car engine and shortens its life. On the other hand, a fuel which is not volatile enough and has too high an ignition temperature may not be burnt completely. Excessive black smoke and unburnt hydrocarbons are expelled from the car via the exhaust, causing air pollution.
Petrol is the only fuel that meets all the requirements necessary to power a motor-car engine. Therefore, motor-car engines are known as petrol engines. Nowadays, more efficient petrol engines have been designed. However, even these newly designed petrol engines have a tendency to knock( Petrol Engine knock) if low quality fuel is used.
The engine is a complex mechanism that relies on precise conditions to work. If anything goes wrong, your car will start pinging. Engine knock occurs when sparks in your engine are ignited before or after the optimal time window for detonation. This creates a series of fireballs that damage your pistons and engine.
1. Upgrade to a Newer Car
There are a number of things that can cause petrol engine knock, from a lack of fuel to an improperly tuned spark plug. Whatever the reason, this problem isn’t something you should ignore, because it can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and possibly even engine damage. So listen for that telltale clacking sound, and take action before it’s too late.
The way a petrol engine works is simple: air and fuel are mixed together in the cylinder block, and a spark plug creates a flame front to ignite the mixture. Normally, this causes one detonation, but if there is a malfunction of any kind, multiple fireballs may hit each other in the chamber and produce a series of knocking sounds that are heard when you accelerate.
Modern cars are designed with computer-controlled ignition systems to ensure that the spark plugs fire at exactly the right time for optimum power and efficiency. However, if there’s a problem with the oxygen sensors, fuel injectors, mass airflow sensor or anything else, it can throw off the timing of combustion and create a lean air/fuel mixture that won’t burn fast enough to suppress detonation. This will result in a multiple detonation and the annoying pinging noise you hear when you are driving your car.
Another potential issue with fuel is that you are using the wrong type of gasoline. Most high-performance or luxury vehicles require premium fuel with a higher octane rating, and if you’re using regular unleaded to cut costs, you’re likely experiencing the consequences.
If you use a detergent-based fuel additive, it can help to clean the combustion chamber and reduce the risk of engine knock. However, if your engine still seems to be pinging after you try these steps, you might need to talk to your mechanic.
Getting your engine to stop pinging isn’t an impossible task, but it can be expensive, so you should take the issue seriously and seek repair services as soon as possible before the damage becomes more severe. The best thing to do is to bring your car to a professional mechanic, who can identify the source of the issue and determine what repairs are needed to stop the knocking completely.
2. Replace the Spark Plugs
Providing the spark that powers your engine, spark plugs have one of the most important jobs in your car. If you have spark plugs that are old or worn out, they will have a harder time creating the necessary spark, and your engine may start to sputter and knock. Spark plugs need to have a wide gap in order to create a strong spark, and if they get too close or too broad, it could keep them from igniting the air-fuel mixture properly. If you notice that your engine is having a hard time starting, it might be time to replace your spark plugs and wires.
Another common cause of petrol engine knock is low octane fuel. High performance engines require fuel with a higher octane level than standard engines in order to prevent detonation. When you burn lower octane fuel, it will ignite prematurely, and detonate multiple times in the same cylinder. This can damage the surface of the piston and cylinder walls.
Engine knock can also occur when there is an issue with ignition timing. If the computer is advancing the ignition too quickly, it can cause the combustion process to accelerate too fast, and this can lead to engine knock. This issue can often be corrected by adjusting the ignition timing to stock specifications, or by using a special tool that resets ignition timing.
Sometimes, the pinging noise that you hear from your engine can be caused by loose rod bearings. When the bearings that attach the pistons to the rods wear out, they can rattle against the cylinder walls and cause engine damage. This is known as rod knock, and it is a sign that the engine needs immediate repairs.
If you have noticed that your petrol engine is knocking, it’s important to bring your vehicle in for service right away. If left untreated, this can cause serious and costly damage to your engine. Our team at Stringer Auto Repair in Johnstown, Ohio, can help diagnose the problem and fix it before it gets worse! Call us today to schedule an appointment.
3. Clean Your Cylinders
Engine knock can be a sign that something is wrong with your car. The pinging sound is caused by fuel burning unevenly in your engine’s cylinders. When everything is working properly, the air and fuel burn in regulated pockets, like little sparklers. These pockets then create shock waves that ignite the next pocket in a controlled and progressive manner. When these sparks go off at the wrong time, however, they cause damage to your engine’s cylinder walls and pistons.
The most common cause of engine knock is using fuel with a lower octane rating than the recommended one for your vehicle. When the air/fuel mixture is compressed too much, it ignites before the spark plug can get to it. This can also happen if the piston rings are worn out, which causes carbon deposits to build up on your cylinders and interfere with the air/fuel ratio.
You can avoid this by following your car manufacturer’s recommendations for spark plugs and fuel type. You should also use an octane booster to increase your fuel’s octane rating. If these steps don’t help, you may need to flush your engine with detergent to clean out the carbon deposits.
Eventually, the carbon will clog your cylinders to the point that it interrupts the combustion process and leads to engine knock. This can also lead to other problems, like overheating, which leads to a decrease in fuel efficiency and poor engine performance.
A warning signal, engine knock is a problem that needs to be dealt with as soon as you notice it. Ignoring it can lead to expensive repair bills and a less smooth ride on the road. The good news is, engine knock is relatively easy to fix, compared to some of the other more serious issues your car could be experiencing.
If you have any questions or concerns about your car’s engine, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We’re always happy to help! We have many locations across Canada. Call or book an appointment online today!
4. Change Your Fuel
If the engine knock is not caused by a problem under the hood, it could be a sign of an issue with your fuel or ignition. For example, if your engine is a bit older, and you switch to cheaper unleaded gasoline, the fuel may be formulated with detergents that are designed to keep your engine clean. However, this can cause carbon deposits to form in the cylinders that interrupt the air/fuel mixture, leading to incomplete combustion. This can lead to engine knock, as well as other problems such as poor fuel economy and a loss of power.
It is also possible that the knocking noise you are hearing isn’t coming from the engine itself at all. Instead, the sound might be coming from the accessory belt. This belt is connected to several pulleys throughout the engine bay. It needs to be under the right amount of tension so it will turn smoothly and quietly. However, if the belt is stretched out or the pulleys are distorted in some way, this can lead to clicking, rattling and slapping noises that are often mistaken for engine knock. In this case, the fix is as simple as replacing or adjusting the belt and/or pulleys.
If you have been using a lower-octane fuel than your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends, this can also cause the engine to knock. To avoid this, refer to your owner’s manual to see what octane level is recommended for your vehicle. Make sure you use the correct octane fuel every time you fill up, and consider using an octane booster for a few tanks to get rid of any low octane gasoline that might still be in the tank.
Change Your Air Filters
Lastly, if you have been skipping engine tune-ups and ignoring the air filter, it could be contributing to engine knock. The air filter keeps dirt and debris out of the engine, but if it’s clogged, the dirty fuel will enter the engine and ignite. If you are concerned about the condition of your vehicle, schedule a service appointment at Jiffy Lube to have it checked out by a technician.