Is your check engine light on; do you hear a pounding noise coming from your engine; have you noticed your car is getting fewer miles per gallon? Then you might have a faulty knock sensor, also known as a detonation sensor, that needs to be replaced. The sensor can go bad over time due to prolonged heat and vibration from the engine. That sound you hear coming from your engine is known as pre-ignition, it is caused by the fuel igniting in the cylinder before it's supposed to instead of burning smoothly. A bad sensor will also affects your gas mileage, as it will cause your engine to burn through gas quicker. Other symptoms of a bad sensor include trouble accelerating or a vibration or misfire while starting your car. A bad sensor can possibly cause serious damage to your engine if not changed as continuous pre-ignition can cause a fracture in the pistons. If your check engine light is on, but you don't have any of the other problems described, then you might also be getting a false code from the engines main control board. This can be caused by using a lower octane gas, then what is recommended by your vehicles owner's manual. Cheap gasoline causes detonation and can make it seem like you have a faulty knock sensor. Sometime by just using a higher grade gas can solve your problem but please consult with a professional mechanic before attempting to fix your vehicle.
A knock detonation sensor basically works like a microphone. Its main function is to listen for pre-ignition knocks and then it will send a signal to the engines control module to help adjust the timing. The sensor is usually screwed into the block of the engine and connected to the control module with a wiring harness. The knock sensor's "microphone" is so sensitive it can pick up the slightest ping or knock even when the engine is at top speed. On some vehicles with more advance engines, more than one sensor is used.
Removal and installation of the actual knock senor is easy, as it is a screw-on application. The difficulty of the job comes in gaining access to the bad sensor. Since the sensor is used to listen for knocks or pings, it is usually located deep in the engine on the block. It will usually require the removal of the intake manifold, exhaust manifold, timing cover, and perhaps some additional parts. Depending on your vehicle, location of the sensor will vary and so will the access to the sensor. If you are changing your knock sensor, it might be a good idea to also replace the wiring harness or pigtail connector, as the wiring can also go bad.
So improve your gas mileage and help prevent any serious damage to your engine by replacing your knock sensor. Your engine will run smoother, quieter and more efficiently. The experts here at Car Parts Discount can help you find the correct knock sensor for your vehicle.