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Re: 1988 six have to burn premium gas to lessen engine...
I'd be replacing the "knock sensor". It sends signal back to computer to adjust timing when this type of condition occurs. It should be on drivers side of lower engine, below ignition coil, mounted to the block. Here's alink to picture so you can I.D it. Let me know. thanks.
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Depends on your definition of rattle. Engines don't rattle unless something is loose or a rock has landed in a cooling hole on the side of the catalytic converter. So , if you can give us a better description of what the engine is doing, you'll get a load of incorrect answers.
Not likely your problem. Sputters are usually spark and or fuel problem. Here is what we recommend to our customers with a drive problem like yours. First fill up with known good gas like Shell Premium. Not $5 worth, not regular, not plus, PREMIUM and fill it up!!! See how she does. You may just have a slightly dirty injector. Of course there is the tune up, which if due, should be done anyway. We have seen the 4.3 do this with a faulty or dirty EGR valve, bad dist caps and rotors, a huge amount of them had bad plug wires, bad injector but rare, plugged fuel filter, weak fuel pump, The 4.3l chevy engine is a beast and will run and run and run. They have their quirks but they last. I pray I've help.
Fuel comes in different grades due to octane levels, the higher grade the higher octane, the higher price. If you have the owners manual or window sticker, you would see that the car was probably made to run on 87 octane (regular unleaded), I have been through the different octane levels for more than 30 years and I have decided that the cheapest runs as well as the most expensive. The higher octane will sometimes cause an engine to ping or rattle under acceleration, if this happens to yours go back to the cheap stuff and everything will be fine. That is my opinion, others may differ, but I run my BMW on the cheapest I can find and I still get 31 MPG hwy.