Quality Tires

State Inspection

Auto Services

Special Offers

Schedule Service

Resource Center

Why is My Engine Knocking or Pinging?

Welcome, and thanks for visiting the Burke Centre Automotive Resource Center with video tips about vehicle maintenance to keep your car safe and at peak performance. Our goal is to help you make the best decision about car maintenance options to assure you, your family, and your passengers are safe…

There are several reasons why your engine may emit unsettling knocking or pinging sounds. Engine “knocking, a.k.a. detonation, spark knock, pinging or pinking” inside a spark plug ignited internal fuel combustion engine is the result of exploding pockets of the air-fuel mixture. This is one auto repair problem that, if ignored, may lead to serious, irreversible destruction and ultimately seizure of your vehicle engine.

Although the spark-ignition movement begins normally within the cylinder, a rogue fuel mixture pocket occurs outside the normal combustion chamber and makes noises ranging from a soft metallic ping to a very loud, instantaneous explosion from a shock-wave that travels in front of the fuel spark.

Often combustion of the air-fuel mixture starts off correctly in response to ignition by the spark plug. However, excessively high combustion temperatures caused by a timing error create expanding pressure in the cylinder. This leads to an off-tempo disruption, or a misfire, in the regular rhythm of the cylinder and piston cycle, resulting in the engine knocking and pinging.

Our ASE-certified mechanics will perform a thorough engine inspection along with appropriate diagnostic tests to detect the presence of one or more of the following conditions:

  • Low oil level
  • Ignition timing off
  • Improper or contaminated fuel mixture ratio
  • Irregular cylinder pressure
  • Worn pistons or valve edges or surfaces
  • Not enough engine coolant
  • Cooling system malfunctions leading to engine overheating, or perhaps
  • The wrong size spark plugs.

When your engine is knocking or pinging you need immediate, reliable auto repair. Trust the auto experts at Burke Center Automotive to deliver the right auto repair solutions and get you safely back on the road in no time.