There’s nothing more annoying than an engine making that knocking sound. So, how did it happen? What were do doing to your car to cause such an issue? This post will examine those engine knocking sounds and offer some solutions for remedying the problem!
What is an Engine & how Does it Work?
To state it plainly, the engine is the heart of your vehicle. It’s also a complex machine that’s constructed to transform heat from burning gas, into the force that turns the wheels. A car engine generally uses a four-stroke combustion cycle. Those four strokes include intake, followed by compression, combustion and lastly exhaust.
During this important cycle, the intake valve will open, with the piston moving downward. The cycle begins as the air and the gas are brought together into the engine.
During the compression cycle, the piston moves up while pushing the air and gas into a smaller area. That smaller area means a more powerful explosion.
During the combustion, the spark plug engages and then creates a spark which ignites and afterward explodes the gas. With this power of the explosion, the piston is forced back downward.
The last part of the cycle is the exhaust- in which the exhaust valve opens, and then releasing wasted gas created by the explosion. This gas waste is moved to the catalytic converter. There it is cleaned and then travels through the muffler. Afterward it exists the vehicle through the tailpipe.
So, what’s happening when an engine begins to make those knocking sounds?
An engine making that disturbing knocking sound can begin to “knock” on your nerves. Seen as one of the most annoying issues to have with a car, the engine knocking is also referred to as pinging, spark knock or detonation. The knocking occurs when the fuel/air mixture located inside a cylinder is not correct. This incorrect formula causes the fuel burn unevenly. Under normal performance, the fuel burns in pockets, as opposed to one big giant fireball. When you have that knocking sound, the pockets are not burning evenly, thus causing shock waves at the incorrect times. This incorrect formulation and activity can potentially damage the cylinder wall as well as the piston itself. You may also hear a “pinging” noise that is often accompanied by the knocking.
Common Causes of Engine Knock
Like with any other vehicle issue, the first thing that’s important to understand, is the possible causes of your engine knocking. Knowing the causes will make fixing the engine knock easier, and even allow you to prevent the issue from the get-go. Check out some main engine knock causes, to be on the lookout for:
Bad Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are a crucial component to a car- especially when it comes to starting a vehicle. But like any and all other car parts, they can go bad. As spark plugs can be prone to wear, tear and deterioration, your worn-out spark plugs can be a source of engine knock.
Even using the incorrect spark plugs can have the same effect as spark plugs not working efficiently and correctly. So, be sure that you know and purchase the correct spark plugs for your vehicle. Buying spark plugs that have gaps, are too large or too small will make your car knock.
Lower Octane Fuel
We all know that our gasoline comes with varying octane levels. So, when we fill up our cars, it’s important that we use the correct octane level. Using the incorrect level can cause your car to knock. You can call your dealership or take your car to a trusted mechanic and find out what octane you should be using.
Buildup of Carbon
When fuel burns in the engine, it produces a lot of carbon. Over time, this will begin to build up in the vehicle. So, if there is ever just too much carbon build-up, the fuel will not burn effectively as well as efficiently. As a result, you may possibly hear a knocking sound when starting your vehicle.
An Engine That Overheats
An engine that is overheating can result in abnormal combustion- that causes engine knock. An overheated engine can also lead to other engine issues, if not looked at by a trusted auto professional quickly.
Bad Engine Timing
With lots of modern vehicles, the engine timing- the point where the spark plugs have to fire up to begin- has to be precise. So, if you have bad engine timing, and the spark plugs are not able to fire off at their designated time, there can be numerous detonations in the cylinder- consequently causing an engine to make that knocking sound.
How do you stop engine knocking?
Now that you have an idea of the causes of your engine knocking, let’s look at some ways to remedy the issue. How do fix engine knocking can be relatively simple, but it requires patience, efficiency and a bit of knowhow.
Increase your fuel octane levels and fill up with correct gas
When you go to the gas station, you have to make a choice of choosing the correct gas. The kind of fuel you are using in your vehicle impacts your engine’s performance. And the incorrect fuel can cause your engine to knock. One of the best ways to combat engine knocking is to increase octane levels in your fuel as this will ensure it will ignite at the right time. And here you will only need to add an octane booster to your fuel. As the minimum level recommended in many places -such as our country is 87- you have to look at your car. If you are driving a high-performance vehicle, you may need 89, or even 93. It may cost more, but in the end, you will save money on engine repairs in the long run.
Cleaning your Combustion Chamber
You inspect your car. You have the correct spark plugs. You even utilize the correct octane for your car and yet, you still get an engine knock. This may be a sign that you need to clean the combustion chamber. While a dirty chamber may cause a knocking sound, you can begin by cleaning the cylinder. Then, you can move on to adding fuel additives to your fuel for an even more thorough cleaning. And you may even perform an engine flush to flush out your vehicle’s engine.
Keep Taps on Your Engine Temperature
If you have tried all of the methods stated above to remedy your engine knock and nothing seems to be working, you may want to check your engine temperature. Is your engine overheating? Is your electric fan is working well and turning on to cool the engine when it is supposed to cool it? You may want to check your temperature gauge too. Constant checks of your engine cooling system are crucial in maintaining the proper engine temperature. In addition to checking your engine’s cooling system should also be filled with the proper coolant.
How much does it cost to fix engine knock?
While the cost to repair your engine knocking will depend on the cause, you should be able to set aside at least $500-$1000 for your engine knocking repair. This amount will be helpful if you decide to take your car to a mechanic. You may be able to get the fix for less by taking it to a private mechanic or even a mechanic in your family or friend circle. It’s important to locate the issue and try to resolve it from the inside to out.
Tips for Preventing Engine Knock
The best way to keep engine knock away, is noting and taking of your car on a regular basis. There are ways that you can prevent engine knock and below are some ways to do such:
- Be sure to fill up your car and get fuel from a reputable gas station with quality fuel.
- Take the time to examine and then change your spark plugs as often as required. Don’t wait for them to become worn out.
- When you notice any small knocking or pinging sounds, don’t ignore them- remedy them fast.
- Make sure that you take the time to use high-quality fuel additives to minimize the build-up of carbon.
- Have a good relationship with a mechanic so that you can obtain regular engine checks and inspections.
How To Fix Engine Knocking – Ways to Protect Your Engine
When we take are of our cars, generally they will take care of us. As the engine is the heart of your car, there are ways you can protect your engine.
Change your oil
When it’s time to change your oil, be sure that you do so. Don’t wait or let it slide. You want to make regular oil chances a part of your car maintenance.
Check your cooling system regularly
As a car owner, you want to make sure that your vehicle’s cooling system is working properly. This system is an important system as it helps keep your engine cool ensuring it doesn’t overheat as well as cause major engine damage- such as locking and knocking.
Don’t forget to change your air filter
Because your air filter keeps particles and debris from getting into your engine and causing damage, you have to be sure that you change it. Usually, this is changed during oil changes.
Change your fuel filter
Just like it’s important to change your air filter, you have to monitor and tend to your fuel filter. This component keeps debris as well as particles from entering your vehicle’s engine and causing major damage later.
Tend to that check engine light
When that “check engine light” comes on, don’t ignore it! You want to make sure that you perform a checklist of preventive measures and be sure to take your car to a trusted mechanic. You’ll be glad you did, as you realize you don’t have a larger issue and you were able to tend to the engine issue you had.
Ready to sell your car with the engine issues?
We here at Cash Cars Buyer, purchase cars with engine issues. So, if you decide that you just don’t want to tend to the “how to fix engine knocking”, allow us to buy that engine problem- laced car! You can obtain a FREE online quote! Once you accept your offer, we’ll arrange for FREE pickup and FAST payout!