5 Causes of Car Engine Knocking Noise

An internal combustion engine that is fully functional will not make any unusual noises. But if you do start to hear strange noises that you don’t normally hear, there could be a lot of different reasons for this.

The exact type of sound that you hear might determine the problem. Most people will hear a knocking sound when there is a mechanical problem somewhere in their engine. Some people call it a pinging sound which does not go away. It may even get worse as you step on the gas pedal.

Top 5 Reasons Your Car is Making a Knocking Sound

People who hear strange noises coming from their engine may disregard them as being nothing. They often wait until the functionality of their vehicle is compromised before they do anything about it.

Do not put yourself in this situation because many vital components of your engine could be damaged if you do. It is best to investigate the cause of the knocking noises as soon as you hear them. Then you can take your vehicle to an auto repair shop and get the necessary repairs or replacements done.

Here are five of the most common causes of car engine knocking noises.

1) Imbalanced Air-to-Fuel Mixture

If the internal combustion chamber is not getting the proper balance of air and fuel mixing together for combustion, then it will cause the fuel to unevenly burn. If this continues on a regular basis, the cylinder wall and piston will be damaged.

This will cause those strange knocking noises to be made from the cylinder wall and piston. Replace these components of the engine immediately before further damage is caused.

2) Octane Rating is Low

The fuel at the gas station should have an octane rating indicated on the pump. This rating refers to how susceptible the fuel is to engine knocking while the internal combustion chamber is compressing it.

If you are driving a high-performance vehicle that needs a highly compressed fuel and air mixture, then you will need fuel with a high octane rating of 91 or above. But if the octane rating is too low, the air and fuel mixture will ignite before the spark is generated by the spark plug. This will cause those knocking sounds to be heard.

Related: Best Octane Boosters for Better Performance

3) Incompatible Spark Plugs

If you are using the wrong type of spark plugs in your vehicle, then this could easily cause knocking noises from your engine. Basically, spark plugs have different levels of resistance to hotter temperatures from the engine.

If you use the wrong spark plug which cannot tolerate your engine’s heat, then it will not work correctly. This will result in a knocking noise in most cases.

4) Carbon Deposits

Gasoline needs to have a carbon cleaning additive to prevent carbon deposits from building up on the spark plugs, valves, and various other parts which assist in the internal combustion process.

Once the air and fuel mixture is ignited, carbon molecules can easily form on these parts if there is no cleaning detergent to wipe them away. If you regularly bring your car in for maintenance, you can have your mechanic add this cleaning agent for you.

Read also: 10 Causes of Car Engine Hesitation

5) Cylinders Not Lubricated Enough

It is important for the upper area of the cylinder head to receive oil for lubrication purposes. If the cylinder head is not adequately lubricated in this area, then you can expect knocking noises to form.

This is usually the result of loose lifters or valves which may not be getting the proper amount of oil they need. In any event, check to ensure that your oil is flowing properly to the cylinder head area. Either you have an oil leak or perhaps your oil is too old and needs to be replaced.

Related: Best Oil Additives to Stop Engine Knocking

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