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Combustion Control: What does a Knock Sensor do?

What does a Knock Sensor do?

The knock sensor creates a voltage signal based on the vibrations caused by engine detonation. The computer uses this signal to retard timing when spark knock occurs.

Where are these sensors located?

The knock sensor is typically located in the lower engine block, cylinder head or intake manifold.

Will a malfunctioning knock sensor illuminate the check engine light or affect vehicle operation?

Yes, a failing sensor can illuminate the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), and may cause pinging and drivability problems.

What are the common causes of failure?

 Detonation (Knock) Sensor

The knock sensor can be damaged and fail if it is over tightened during service or replacement. There are typically 10 diagnostic trouble codes that can be set, ranging between P0325 through P0334.

How to determine if these sensors are malfunctioning?

To check for proper operation, monitor the knock sensor data parameter on a scan tool. Some activity should be occurring while accelerating the engine. The diagnostic codes range between P0324 and P0333.

Check out all the relays, sensors and switches available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on your engine knock sensors, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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