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Severe pinging @ Low & Heavy Load - Custom Cruiser Oldsmobile Cars & Trucks

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Check the timing, It might be too high. If this has a 307 engine, the timing needs to be 20 degrees btdc

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock Mar 01, 2009

    Why is it inappropriate? If the car is pinging(spark knock), it has to be timing, a lean mixture or carbon build-up on the pistons. The timing is easy to check, it is the first thing I would check.



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What problems can the knock senor cause?

The knock sensor adjusts the timing dependent on load conditions of the engine. It also compensates for changes in the fuel octane rating. If the engine is pinging or detonating it can damage the pistons and in the worst case under heavy load actually burn a hole in the top of the piston. This sensor also effects the milage.

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The spark knock or ping is 2 flame fronts colliding in the combustion chamber, the shock wave of which can eventually blow holes through the piston crowns if severe enough. In late model engines the causes can include:
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94 Buick Regal 3.8. Pings under load. All

Remove and inspect the spark plugs for heavy deposits or glazed-looking interior insulators. Make sure the plugs are the proper type for this engine. Heavy carbon build-up in the cylinder heads will cause pinging. If the ignition system is too advanced, it will also cause problems. Try a different brand of fuel. High engine temperatures can do the same (caused by poor cooling system or lean fuel/air mixture). If the check engine light is on, take the car to Autozone or a similar business that offers a free scan of the computer. This may provide additional clues. Hope some of this helps!

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Severe Pinging

Sounds like knock sensor is shot. I believe on that engine it is down to the right of throttle body intake. Kind of hard to get at, but can be done with a little patience.

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1 Answer

Pinging noise under heavy load at higher rpm

This seems to be an issue with this car. I have the same year and model as you. The book states that the car should be operated with gas with an octane of 91 or above. With gas prices like they are, I usually use regular. My car knocks and pings like crazy on a hill or full load. When I put premium in, it still does it but is a lot more quiet. My best friend also owns the exact same car - and is a mechanic - and says that this is not abnormal in a car of this size. He adjusted my timing the other day, and between that and my using premium gas - no matter what the cost - it has more power and is quieter. I've been driving my car like this for 14 months and it has 130k on it. He says not to fret over it, so I just get in the right lane and wind on down the road. (amazing that once this little baby gets moving, it's hard to stop it!!)

I know this didn't likely help you any...just wanted you to know that it's not all bad.

Apr 22, 2009 | 1984 Subaru Gl

1 Answer


Your rear knock sensor is probably going bad.

Does this discribe your problem? :
  • mild to severe engine ping, usually worse during acceleration and/or an illuminated MIL
if it does, take a look at this TSB issued by GM:

#02-06-04-023A Audible Spark Knock (Detonation), MIL Illuminated, DTC P0332 Set

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You can try getting the top end clean which includes cleaning the throttle body and chemicaly cleaning the carbon from the back of the valves and the intake runners. You could also try changing the Knock Sensor.

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