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What Are the Common Engine Knocking Causes?

The fuel in the engine burns in waves that are timed to the cycle of the engine. However, it causes explosions and interferes with the engine’s cycles when it is ignited improperly, causing knocking sound in the engine. Various types of engine knocking causes are there, and the sounds of knocking differ from each other based on the source of the cause.

Three Common Engine Knocking Causes

Engine knock detection is necessary for solving the engine knock problems. Either it’s a deep throbbing sound or a little bang, you can address the problem by detecting the root of the noise.

Check out the three most common causes of engine knock:

causes of engine knock

1. Using Low-Quality Fuel

Sub-par gasoline can increase the cylinder pressure and chamber temperature. The octane rating of fuel represents the level of compression it can tolerate. A fuel with a higher rating can resist the combustion better.
So, using low-quality gasoline in the engine causes engine knock by being burnt earlier than it should. Low engine compression causes the fuel to burn incompletely. As a result, remaining fuel components and compounds create debris that sticks to the inside of the chamber. This buildup causes engine knock in the cylinder.

2. Debris Formation on the Cylinder Walls

We’ve already discussed that how using sub-par gasoline creates debris in the engine cylinder. Once the debris starts to build, they don’t stop.

The engine needs to mix up air and fuel to function normally. But, the debris formation takes up valuable engine space, creating an obstruction for the engine to work properly. The bigger the debris deposit, the higher the compression will be in the cylinder; which will eventually cause knocking if the compression is not on a par with the engine’s temperature ranges or the quality of the fuel.

3. Using Wrong Spark Plugs

The experts identify it as one of the most common engines knocking causes. Spark plugs help to control the internal environment of an engine. As they function under precise conditions, you have to use the ones exactly what the manufacturer has recommended.

engine knock detection

Many people often buy the wrong ones for they either misread the user manual or try to save on a cheaper alternative. So, using the wrong plugs will cause debris formation in the combustion chamber and improper engine temperature. These two conditions, as we already know, are the two leading causes of engine knock.

Other engine knocking causes are also related to these three primary reasons for engine knocking problems. Engine knock can also occur for high engine temperature, worn rings and valve seals, bad knock sensor, greasy injectors, and more.

Remember that you have to find out the root source of the problem to solve it correctly.

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  1. Abdallah says

    It’s possible motor vehcle economy fuel

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thank you for your comment. Find this article useful? Please share exciting updates with your friends and they will love it!

    2. Muyunda Mataa says

      Kindly advise me. i changed the engine in a Toyota sienta to a second hand engine from Japan and now my car speed cant exceed 60km/ph. tried diagnosis says ignition circuit. and engine check light cant go off. been one garage to the other still no solution.

  2. Mugarura Leonard says

    Thanx for that important information.
    My car has a problem with its timing chain making a funny noise as I’d it needs straightening but it at its maximum. I tried and replaced with anew one but the problem persisted. What could it be?

  3. Stanbul junior says


  4. Alege Tom says

    Thanks for the main tips for engine knock, my vehicle has a problem of hard start in morning hours but Diesel, heater plugs, rota head, fuel filters are all okay. How can you help me.

  5. Benedict Munywoki says

    This is very useful. My RAV 4 engine just knocked. Being forced to buy slim engine.

  6. hector says

    Thanks for such important information. I will definitely adhere to the guidelines to protect my vehicle from engine knock.In addition, we need more such data on our vehicles’ specification.

  7. William says

    Found it useful and very important to prolong engine life. Continue such posts

  8. khan says

    I have toyota axio 2007 model japan when i change the first gear n catch the cluch paddle the vibrate the engine of my car so what can cause of that plz any idea

  9. R says

    Hi guys! Nice article. How about timing chain noise? Some say it sounds like engine knocks and ping. Any guides on how to differentiate them?

  10. Jackson mweso says

    I have car the is knock 1az engine what can do please help me

  11. Sabid says

    I have a Toyota Corolla AE 100 with 5A engine (1498cc). The new set of plug always gets burnt with in few weeks. What is the recommended plug for 5A engine.

  12. Amos sikayile says

    Very useful blog although you did not highlight much on solutions for knock engines.

  13. Lewis says

    Thanks for the information, what are the recommended spark plugs for Hyundai tucson jm 2006 model?

  14. Lyson says

    What is recommended plugs for Hyundai Atos 1999?

  15. John says

    For Toyota guys, simply visit Toyota Kenya With your chassis number

  16. bonisiwe says

    im driving a kia optima 2013 model ,how much will it cause for engine knock?where can l take my car for engine knock reapirs arround JHB

  17. usman Talat says

    i have honda civic hybrid 2008 model. the car engine is knocking at slow rpm, as the car acceleration goes above 2000 rpm the knocking is gone.
    kindly suggest the solution to the problem, as i have done every possible thing, changed plugs, using 0w-20 oil, changed gear oil, cleaned the manifule and fuel injectors, changed the fuel pump, replaced the knock sensor, as no engine light is there.

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