Fiat knock sensor replacement, made easy

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Our expert insights into knock sensor replacement

What does a knock sensor do?

The knock sensor is bolted directly onto the outside of the engine block and is used to detect vibrations and detonation “knock” noises from the engine to prevent engine damage.

What are the symptoms of a bad knock sensor?

Below are the top three symptoms that could indicate you need to replace your knock sensor:

  • Engine pre-detonation known as “pinking” or knocking

  • Reduced engine power

  • Increased fuel consumption

What happens when we do a knock sensor replacement on your car?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Perform a diagnostic check to discover any fault codes coming from the knock sensor and other related parts of the engine.

  • Once they confirm that the knock sensor is faulty, they will fit a replacement knock sensor.

  • Once replaced, the mechanic will start the engine and recheck for fault codes.

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, what causes a knock sensor to break?

Knock sensors can fail due to incorrect mounting, corrosion, breaks in wiring or mechanical damage. Knock sensors are quite fragile, therefore you should take proper care of it to maintain its life for longer.

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Want to learn more about Fiat knock sensor replacement?

What does a knock sensor do?

The knock sensor is located on the outside of the engine block. Its job is to record knocking noise from the engine in order to prevent engine damage.

The knock sensor "listens out for" vibrations from the engine block and converts these into electrical signals. The signals are filtered and evaluated in the engine’s control unit. If the vibrations are determined to be outside of the predefined ‘normal’ limits, the engine management control unit will alter the ignition timing until it returns to within the correct limits.

Fiat

Fiat Automobiles is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, originally established over 100 years ago in July 1899, and is a subsidiary of FCA Italy (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

There are around 890k Fiat cars on the road in the UK. Their popularity as a modern car supplier grew through the 1990s and peaked around the current number in the mid-2000s, where it has remained constant over the past 10 years.

As a long established and easily recognised brand, a large part of their success can be put down to their historical models and retro styling.

Attractively priced fun and funky cars

Fiat is renowned for providing unique styling associated with Italian car design, yet without the hefty sports car price tag.

The Fiat 500 is possibly one of the most easily recognised cars in the world and a true piece of iconic car culture. Despite looking virtually the same as it did at its introduction in 1957, the latest model featured over 1,800 updates to its previous version, making sure it stands its ground in a modern car buyer’s market.

Colourful cars for colourful people

When you visit Fiat’s website, you’ll be presented with bright, punchy colours and slogans, suggesting a younger feel and a driving culture based around a carefree life in the now. Riding the on-going success of the 500 and their strength in the city car market, Fiat has added the 500L and 500X to their current range; mini SUV and MPV offerings that build on the styling and popularity of the 500. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a smart way to break into new markets with a trusted and recognisable brand.

How often should a knock sensor need replacing?

Replacing a knock sensor is not part of routine car maintenance so should only need to be fixed when it breaks or begins to fail. On most modern vehicles, the knock sensor should last over 150,000 miles or the lifetime of the vehicle.

The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT

A fault with the knock sensor will often illuminate the Engine Management Light in your car. Your vehicle will fail its MOT if your Engine Management Light remains on when the engine has been started. Under the new MOT rules, it is now classed as a major fault so will need to be fixed before a mechanic can pass your car. Therefore it’s crucial that you keep an eye out for engine warning lights and have your car inspected by one of our vetted mechanics when necessary.

What happens when we do a knock sensor replacement on your car?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Perform a diagnostic check to discover any fault codes coming from the knock sensor and other related parts of the engine.

  • Once they confirm that the knock sensor is faulty, they will fit a replacement knock sensor.

  • Once replaced, the mechanic will start the engine and recheck for fault codes.

When should a knock sensor be replaced?

You should have your knock sensor looked at as soon as you notice any of the related symptoms, such as an illuminated engine warning light, reduced engine power or poor fuel economy. Because your knock sensor plays a vital role in preventing engine damage and in the safe and efficient running of your car, it’s very important to have it fixed as soon as possible.

What are the signs of a bad knock sensor?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Engine pre-detonation known as “pinking” or knocking

  • Engine warning light comes on

  • Reduced engine power

  • Increased fuel consumption

How often should you replace your knock sensor?

Replacing a knock sensor is not part of routine car maintenance so should only need to be fixed when it breaks or begins to fail. On most modern vehicles, the knock sensor should last over 150,000 miles or the lifetime of the vehicle.

What happens during a knock sensor replacement?

During the repair our certified mechanics will:

  • Perform a diagnostic check to discover any fault codes coming from the knock sensor and other related parts of the engine.

  • Once they confirm that the knock sensor is faulty, they will fit a replacement knock sensor.

  • Once replaced, the mechanic will start the engine and recheck for fault codes.

What is the average life of a knock sensor?

On most modern vehicles, the knock sensor should last over 150,000 miles or the lifetime of the vehicle.

Can you drive with a broken knock sensor?

You should not drive with a bad knock sensor. If you continue to drive with a failing sensor, serious damage could be done to your engine, causing an expensive repair or replacement. As well as this a bad knock sensor will greatly reduce your cars power and fuel economy. To save yourself time and money down the line we recommend refraining from driving and getting the issue fixed as soon as possible.

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