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Can Engine Knocking Be Fixed? Yes, In Most Scenarios!

How To Fix Engine Clicking

When dealing with engine knocking, you might ask yourself, “can engine knocking be fixed?” The good news is that engine knocking can be resolved by choosing a better fuel, cleaning the engine from carbon, repairing faulty components, and performing tune-ups.

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In any vehicle equipped with a combustion system, your engine requires a specific amount of air, fuel, and spark. Therefore, if there is any problem with one of the mentioned elements, you'll deal with different consequences, including weird noises in the form of engine knocking.

Engine knocking is not a simple problem, and whenever you deal with it, you must take it seriously to prevent major repair costs. However, you must never panic because engine knocking can be fixed, especially if you detect the problem early.

This article provides you with all details you need to know to answer the question “can engine knocking be fixed?” It also highlights all potential solutions to get rid of engine knocking. Finally, if engine knocking is related to a major internal problem, the article will provide you with some options about what to do with the vehicle, especially if repair costs are extremely high.

How does engine knock sound like?

Before we get directly to answer the question, “can engine knocking be fixed?” First, you must confirm that you know what you're hearing is engine knocking. In other words, your engine might make a lot of weird noises related to many different problems.

Typically, when engine knocking happens, it will make more like pinging or tapping noises repeatedly. These noises might occur as you start your vehicle or probably when your car is idle. However, in some scenarios, you might hear louder engine knocking when you accelerate, referring to a different issue inside the engine.

According to recent statistics, engine knocking is a common problem in older vehicles. If you're driving a more modern car, you don't have to worry about engine knocking because it is very rare to deal with such a problem in newer engines. Automotive experts and automakers understood exactly what causes engine knocking and created and designed the engines in a way that prevents engine knocking as much as possible.

What causes a knock in an engine?

Without understanding the main causes for the engine not, it can be extremely challenging to understand whether engine knocking can be fixed or not. Therefore, let's take a closer look at the common causes for engine knocking:

1-    You're using a low octane fuel

If you're dealing with engine knocking, you must step back and take a closer look at the type of fuel you're using. If you think that you're saving a good amount of money by going with a lower octane level, you might be sacrificing the entire engine.

Automotive experts recommend that you refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual to get an idea of the minimum octane level allowed to run your vehicle. You can't go below this level to save on money because this might impact how the engine functions and lead to common engine knocking noises.

2-    The spark plug is not working properly

The spark plug is responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture once it achieves specific pressure and temperature levels. When the spark plug doesn't work properly, it impacts the timing where it generates the spark and ignites the air-fuel mixture here. When that happens, it is easy to hear some loud knocking noises that might become louder when you accelerate.

Therefore, you must keep up with your vehicle's spark plug and understand when it needs to be replaced. Spark plug lifespan depends heavily on the type of spark plug you're using, and if you're not a fan of replacing spark plugs frequently, you might want to upgrade to a better-quality spark plug that doesn't require frequent replacements.

3-    The air-fuel mixture is not correct

In any vehicle with a combustion process, your engine must have an exact amount of air mixed with a specific amount of fuel. Therefore, any disturbance in the air-fuel mixture leads to a problem with the combustion process, and that's where you will hear some knocking noises.

The air-fuel mixture might be disturbed due to a variety of reasons. For instance, if your engine has a problem with the air intake valve, you'll have more fuel getting inside the cylinders than air, and that will cause engine knocking parents. Similarly, if there's an issue with the fuel injector, your cylinder won't receive the right amount of fuel, and you'll have more air than fuel in dishonored causing engine knocking.

Whatever the reason is for the disturbance in the air-fuel mixture should be taken care of to resolve the issue and prevent engine knocking from getting more complicated and causing further damages.

4-    The bad knock sensor broke

Depending on your vehicle's type, you might find a specific sensor responsible for monitoring any engine knocking noises. This sensor is extremely helpful, especially for inexperienced drivers who might not pay attention to engine knocking at the early stages.

While the knock sensor is a useful component, if it's not working properly or broken and you're relying on it completely to detect engine knocking, you might deal with that significant problem without realizing it.

First, you must keep up with the bad knock sensor and ensure that it's working properly or service when needed as per specified new vehicles owner's manual.

5-    The bearings are worn out

Sometimes engine knocking might not be related to the engine itself, which can be related to a broken rod. For example, the rod is connected to a certain bearing attached to the wheels, and with the bearings worn out, the rod will start making some knocking noise similar to the common engine knocking.

6-    The pulley is broken

Finally, if the timing belt or other pulleys are broken around the engine, you might deal with some engine knocking noises due to issues with these accessories. As a result, it is important for you as a driver to keep an eye on and replace these pulleys or belts when needed and not to wait until you're dealing with a problem because when these accessories break, they lead to major engine problems in no time.

Can engine knocking be fixed?

You mustn't panic whenever you hear engine knocking because it doesn't always relate to a major internal problem and can be fixed in most scenarios.

The good news is that fixing engine knocking is possible, and, in most scenarios, you can always resolve the issue unless you forget about the problem and ignore it for an extended time. In other words, experts recommend that whenever you deal with any noise coming from the engine, whether it's engine knocking or engine clicking or probably engine ticking, you must take it seriously to resolve it with the lowest repair costs.

Typically, to resolve engine knocking, you'll have to implement one of the following solutions:

1-    Choose a better fuel

Since bad fuel quality is the primary cause for engine knocking, the easiest solution to prevent engine knocking is to choose a better fuel. But, first, refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual and get an idea about what octane level is required as a minimum for your vehicle and never go below this level to save on money. This is because while you'll save some money in the short term, you'll deal with major engine problems down the road.

2-    Consider carbon cleanup additives

There are plenty of available additives in the market that you can apply to the engine to eliminate carbon buildup. Furthermore, these additives are designed. Thus, performing simple solutions like these can help you never deal with engine knocking at all.

3-    Perform tune up

If carbon buildup is very severe, you might want to consider tune-up as a strong solution to eliminate any carbon buildup inside the engine. Your mechanic will apply additional maintenance to help get rid of carbon buildup around the different engine components.

4-    Fix faulty components

Finally, if engine knocking is happening due to a faulty component impacting the combustion process, you'll have to take care of these components. Have your mechanic perform a thorough inspection and use specific tools to detect internal engine problems. Some of these tools might be an OBD2 scanner, which reads the engine's internal computer in the form of engine codes that you can translate to get an idea about what's causing the engine knocking issue.

For example, if the spark plug is not working properly, it won't send the right spark at the right time to ignite the air-fuel mixture. Similarly, if there is a problem with the intake air valve, your engine won't receive the right amount of air mixed with the fuel to generate the required energy. Also, a bad fuel injector might prevent fuel from getting inside the cylinder with the amount needed by your engine.

Once you confirm the faulty components, you must get them repaired or replaced in some scenarios. Determining whether it's worth fixing engine knocking depends heavily on the overall repair costs compared to your vehicle's value.

Can an oil change fix engine knock?

Not directly. Some people think that you can get rid of the engine not completely by performing a quick oil change. However, that might not be the case. When your engine doesn't receive the right lubrication, it might have internal problems impacting the timing of spark, fuel supply, and airflow.

Therefore, when you change your vehicle's oil and provide the right level of lubrication, it will allow the different elements to work properly and your engine to function the way it should generate the combustion process.

However, in most scenarios, resolving engine knock is not typically related to the oil change, which means that you might want to try all the previously mentioned solutions first before assuming it's a simple oil change.

Even if an oil change might not resolve engine knocking, you must follow your vehicle's owner’s manual regarding the frequency of changing your vehicle's oil. In other words, if your car is due for an oil change, you don't have to wait to deal with engine knocking to perform an oil change, and you must change the old oil immediately to prevent other complications.

How long can you drive with a knocking engine?

The time you can drive your car with a knocking engine varies significantly depending on the root of the problem, and it can range from less than an hour to more than six months. Therefore, you must never sacrifice your engine and immediately have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to prevent major breakdowns.

There is no clear answer for when your engine can run for six months and when it will break down in less than an hour. Thus, the best solution for engine knocking is to fix the problem as soon as possible.


Ignoring any weird noises coming from the engine is never a good idea. Engine knocking might be related to a serious internal problem that you should resolve to prevent major damages and hide repair costs.

If you are concerned and asking yourself, “can engine knocking be fixed?” The short answer is yes in most scenarios. First, however, you must detect the problem as early as possible and take your vehicle to the mechanic immediately to have him detect the root problem and resolve it.

However, engine knocking might be related to a major issue, especially if you ignore it for a long time. When that happens, you might ask yourself, “who's going to buy a vehicle with engine knocking?” The short answer is cash cars buyer does!

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