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Pinging Sound from Engine

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While driving on flat roads there is a pinging sound coming from the engine, also pinging sound occurs while driving uphill. Usually, the reason for pinging sound is the use of low-grade gas, other reasons are faulty turbocharger knock sensor, the EGR valve is faulty, or spark plug end cover is covered with carbon.

What causes pinging sound in the engine

The use of low-grade gas is causing a pinging sound

Pinging sound usually causes an engine-related fault, however, there are several causes of pinging sound one of the cause is the use of low-grade gas. Low-grade gas is usually with 88 octanes or below. A gas with low octane burns too easily because it is too combustible and will self-ignite before it reaches the combustion chamber, this phenomenon is called “pre-ignition”. When pre-ignition occurs on the engine, you will hear a pining sound.

When filling your car with gasoline always use a higher octane rating gasoline, usually 92 octanes and above, octane rating is displayed on the front of the gas pump on every gas station.

Faulty turbocharger knocks sensor if the car is equipped with a turbocharger.

Engine with turbocharger has a gadget that is called the knock sensor. The purpose of this sensor is to determine if there is an occurrence of pinging sound and feedback to the engine computerized control unit which is responsible for adjusting some parameters to eliminate the pinging sound or knocking sound. Now, if the knock sensor is faulty then the engine will likely have a pinging sound, it is also possible that the computerized control unit is at fault but this is very rare to happen and if this happens the engine will not run.

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Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to check the knock sensor, if the mechanic found that the knock sensor is faulty have it replaced.

The Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) Valve is Faulty

When your car is equipped with Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR). The main purpose of the EGR is to reduce the exhaust output coming from the engine so that air pollution that is coming out of the exhaust will also reduce. It works by routing the exhaust gas back into the engine combustion chamber for second burning.

The EGR has a component called the EGR valve, the purpose of this valve is to regulate the amount of exhaust gas going inside the combustion chambers, when the EGR valve is stuck in the closed position or even partially closed then the exhaust gas that will enter inside the engine combustion chamber will not be enough this will cause the gas to ignite too soon or what is known as pre-ignition which creates pinging sound coming from the engine.

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to check on the EGR valve and have it tested. If the EGR valve is the problem then have it replaced.

Thin Air is causing the pinging sound

When the pinging sound occurs at a high altitude only Thin air is causing the pinging sound, when the air is thin it causes the fuel combustion chamber to ignite early before the piston reaches the top of the combustion chamber, these phenomena is called pre-ignition and this is causing the pinging sound coming from the engine.

When you know that you are about to drive uphill on high-altitude roads, fill your tank with high octane fuel so that the fuel will not burn too early but instead it will burn slowly and will eliminate pre-ignition. When pre-ignition is eliminated pinging sound is also eliminated.

Spark plug end is covered with carbon (black sooty substance)

Check the spark plug if there is a black sooty substance on its end if the substance is present then it means that there is a carbon deposit from engine combustion chambers. When the operating temperature of the engine reaches some of the carbon deposit will cause the air/fuel mixture to ignite before its pistons reach the top of the combustion chamber. This is called pre-ignition and pre-ignition causes pinging sound from the engine.

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Drive the car for two to three hours on the highway to burn some of the carbon deposit this will minimize the pinging sound. If you want to eliminate the pinging sound then the carbon deposit inside the combustion chamber must be removed, this procedure is called “chemical decarbonization”. This kind of procedure is expensive and should be done by a shop that specialized in this kind of procedure.

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