My car has been running quite well for a while. However recently during
a road trip in Vegas, my engine is pinging when I accelerate. I had a
full tuneup about 10K ago and an oil change about 2K ago. I thought it
was bad gas (I always use 87) and have been filling up with Chevron
lately, but I filled up (from close to an empty tank) at another
station and the pinging isn't gone. Does anyone know what can cause
engine pinging and what can be done?
Make sure you have exactly the brand and model of spark plugs listed in
the manual. There are a lot of crappy plugs out there, regardless of
cost, that will crack or foul up in 10K miles. Carbon builds up in them
and then catches fire every time you run the engine hard.
If that fails, have the tune-up work inspected. The only tuning is the
valve clearance. The rest is replacement of worn parts and old fluids.
As Curly says, a lot depends on what was done at the tuneup. The most likely
culprits are that the ignition timing was set too far advanced ( a couple
degrees would do it) or the spark plugs were replaced with a set that are
too "hot." Plugs in the wrong heat range can ignite the charge before the
spark fires if the engine is pushed hard.
Don't ignore this - "pinging" does serious damage if allowed to continue.
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