Do you hear a strange clunking or knocking sound coming from your engine while it’s running? This can sometimes happen when your engine is at idle, while revving up, or even while rolling along smoothly.
In fact, it could also be any combination of the three. This is an issue known as engine knock, and while it’s becoming increasingly rare in modern vehicles, when present, it’s still a difficult issue to fix. Running your car with engine knock leads to excessive wear and could even lead to engine failure.
Why is my engine knocking
Engine knock is caused by a variety of factors, but the two most common are low-octane fuel and carbon deposits. Low-octane fuel can cause knock because it doesn’t resist detonation as well as higher octane ratings. When the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders is ignited too early, it causes a knocking sound. This can also lead to engine damage.
Carbon deposits can also cause knock. When deposits build up on the valves, piston rings, and cylinder walls, they can cause the air/fuel mixture to ignite too early. In addition, carbon deposits can also cause pre-ignition, which is when the air/fuel mixture ignites spontaneously without the spark plug firing. While engine knock is most often caused by low-octane fuel or carbon deposits, it can also be caused by other factors, such as: worn or damaged piston rings, worn or damaged valves incorrect ignition timing, lean air/fuel mixture, and overheated engine
How to fix engine knock
If you hear engine knock, the first thing you should do is check the octane rating of your fuel. If it’s low, switch to a higher octane rating. If you’re using the correct fuel, the next step is to clean the carbon deposits from your engine. This can be done by using a cleaner that’s designed to remove carbon deposits.
If you’re still having knocking after trying these two things, it’s time to take your car to a mechanic. They can diagnose the problem and fix it accordingly.
What are some signs that your car needs more serious attention and might need a major overhaul
Some signs that your car needs more serious attention and might need a major overhaul are:
- check engine light is on
- knocking sound gets louder over time
- engine performance decreases
- vehicle shakes or vibrates excessively
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take your car to a mechanic. They can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.
Preventing engine knock from happening in the future
The best way to prevent engine knock is to use the correct fuel for your car and to keep your engine clean. When choosing fuel, always consult your owner’s manual to see what octane rating is recommended for your car.
To prevent carbon deposits from building up in your engine, make sure you regularly change your oil and use a fuel additive that cleans the injectors and valves.