Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Engine Knocking

Bring your vehicle to Geller's Automotive in Byram, NJ, if you notice any engine knocking.

Whether it’s a “different” feeling when you drive, an odd smell, or a strange noise, your vehicle is trying to tell you that something is not quite right. That’s certainly the case when you notice a knocking sound in the engine. Many problems under the hood can lead to major engine damage if you don’t do anything to take care of them. This article is going to identify the problems that can cause engine knocking and what you should do about them. Read on to learn more.

What’s Happening in My Car Engine to Make it Knock?

Every time you start and drive your vehicle, there are tiny explosions going on under the hood. Your vehicle’s engine needs a correct balance of air and fuel to operate efficiently. When the mixture is off (too much of one thing, not enough of the other) or the ignition of the fuel happens at the wrong time, you will hear the engine knock. It may seem harmless, but if left uncorrected, you could end up with damaged cylinder walls and pistons. That’s not good.

What Things Can Cause Engine Knocking? 

  1. Bad Spark Plugs – The spark plugs are responsible for creating an electric spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture in the engine. When the get old, they aren’t as effective at doing their job and engine knocking may be the result. Spark plugs should be replaced with ones recommended by the manufacturer about every 30,000 miles. If yours haven’t been replaced, it’s time to schedule a tune-up. If you don’t replace the spark plugs when they go bad, you will begin to notice less engine power and you’ll have to fill the tank more often because of poor fuel economy. Click here to schedule a tune-up at our auto repair shop in Byram, New Jersey.
  2. Using the Wrong Octane Fuel for Your Type of Car Engine – Car engines with high compression ratios require the use of a premium octane fuel. If you use a low octane fuel in a vehicle that has a high compression ratio, the fuel/air mixture will ignite prematurely and the engine will knock. Check with your owner’s manual to see what type of fuel they recommend you use. If you continue to use a lower octane fuel, you could end up damaging your car engine.
  3. Carbon Buildup –Over time, carbon deposits will form in the cylinders. Yes, your fuel contains certain detergents designed to clean out the carbon, but it still happens. When the cylinders have carbon buildup, there is less compression space for the fuel/air mixture to ignite. This, in turn, causes the gasoline and air to ignite at the wrong time. Hence… engine knocking. The best way to deal with this is to have the cylinders checked and cleaned by a professional like Geller’s Automotive. Click here to schedule your tune-up now

 The best way to avoid engine knocking is to have your vehicle maintained on a regular basis. At Geller’s Automotive, we keep detailed records of your service history and will let you know when it’s time for a tune-up. Click here to make an appointment for your next vehicle maintenance or tune-up now.

photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry I-5 via photopin (license)