Fiat is an Italian car company that is known for producing luxury compact vehicles. This car brand has been known for its sleek and comfortable car design. To get the most of their luxury vehicles, Fiat drivers need to carry out the needed maintenance on the engine.
One of the issues you may discover in your Fiat is prolonged engine detonation. This car problem goes by numerous names — pinging, explosion, knock, and so on. Most times drivers don’t want to talk about this problem because it often sounds like the end of the road to an engine. Prolonged knock counts can lead to a major engine failure, which often comes in the form of cracked ringlands, a hole in the piston, or a crushed rod bearing.
Throughout its service life, almost every power spark-ignition engine will encounter sporadic knock incidents. It is one of those car problems that can never be totally prevented but can be readily regulated and kept within a safe limit using sensors and careful tuning. When you hear the typical death rattle of a detonating engine, the harm has most likely been done. The best option is to avoid detonation before it occurs. If it is too late, there are steps you may take to prevent a repeat. But first, it’s useful to understand what’s going on within the combustion chamber that produces that damaging pinging sound.
Symptoms of a Detonation
Detonation, often known as pre-ignition or knock, is a pinging noise that can be heard during acceleration. Detonation comes from the engine compartment. As opposed to regular exhaust noise, it produces a higher-pitched sound. Detonation can result in severe internal damage, such as burnt spark plug electrodes, shattered piston rings, cracked or melted pistons, and burst head gaskets. If you hear an explosion, remove your foot from the accelerator immediately.
Detonation causes damage to the engine when the piston crown, bearings, and rings are subjected to too much pressure in the engine’s combustion chamber. Whenever over-pressure occurs far too early, before the piston begins to descend for the power stroke, there would be a detonation. The pressure increase during the engine’s compression stroke generates a large quantity of heat that is too much for the cooling system to disperse in a timely manner. Each subsequent firing of that cylinder must then cope with the remaining heat from the preceding cycle’s detonation event, thus locking the operating state of that cylinder into detonation.
You must note that lifting your feet off the throttle and then going back to drive has no effect on an engine knock; it will remain until the undesirable ignition source in the concerned cylinder is removed.
Detonation Prevention Methods
There are a number of measures you can take to prevent detonation in your engine. Damage caused by detonation is usually caused by low-quality parts being used in the engine. Original equipment manufacturers often test engines for thousands of hours in a range of operational regimes, but DIY attempts usually ignore crucial features. There are some things that need to be baked into the design of an engine before construction, not patched up after random assembly.
What all this means is, never try to carry out any of these preventive measures yourself. Go to a reliable Fiat mechanic for an inspection when you observe a detonation.
Reduce the timing of the ignition lead
If your detonation is caused by an auto-ignition from a hot area in your combustion chamber, then a simple change in base time will stop the knock.
Increase the Octane of the Fuel
The octane number of gasoline indicates its tendency to self-ignite. A higher number means there would be a stronger resistance to light-off. The gasoline octane must rise as the compression ratio increases. It is possible to eliminate engine knock by simply using higher-octane gasoline.
Make Use Of A Colder Spark Plug
A spark plug’s electrode tip is a key source of an auto-ignition. Heat may accumulate quickly, and if it has nowhere to go, it will do its work on the fuel/air charge. That is what a spark plug is designed to do, but you want to be able to manage when it does it. For this reason, spark plugs are constructed in a variety of thermal ranges, and their insulators are precisely manufactured to manage the movement of heat from the electrode to the cylinder head.
A heated plug can hold too much heat, resulting in an explosion. Changing to a cooler heat range plug is frequently all that is required to shut it off. Note that a spark plug that is too cold can also cause other issues.
Visit The Best Fiat Engine Service Company In Kalamazoo, MI
Master Mechanics Auto Repair is a trusted auto repair shop where you can repair and service your Fiat engine. Our shop is located in Kalamazoo, MI and we serve Fiat drivers in areas like Portage, and Battle Creek, MI. Visit our shop now or book an appointment with our experts to get your Fiat back on the road.
* Fiat Car image credit goes to: Aliaksandr Litviniuk.