Kia 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 Kia 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.

Kia

Kia Motors Corporation (widely known as Kia Motors) is South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, behind their parent company, the Hyundai Motor Company.

They were initially established in December 1944, over 70 years ago, as a steel tubing and bicycle parts manufacturer who started building cars in the 1970s.

Coming from a background of building cars under licence for the likes of Fiat, Mazda and Peugeot, it wasn’t until the 1980s when Kia started to produce vehicles under their own brand name, and only more recently were they to become minority owned by Hyundai, who currently holds a 33.88% stake in the company, in 2015.

From the mid-1990s, the amount of Kia cars on UK roads has seen a steady increase to the current number of around 800k today.

Given their reliability, value for money and market-leading 7-year, 100k mile warranty, Kia is a marque that is heading for further popularity, greater sales and added respect.

Superb value for money

With an extensive range of models to choose from, Kia cars offer excellent value. From their city car Picanto starting at under £10k, through to their luxury spec SUV Sorento at £30k, Kia cars compete with more established mainstream brands, offering not only strong price-points but with advanced levels of technology and the extended benefits you’d expect from a car of a higher price.

Kia Sportage: The 10th best selling car in the UK

Given the rise in growth of the Korean car brand, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see its best selling model sneak into the top 10 best selling cars of 2018. This great value and practical SUV is ideal for family motoring; not only is it rugged and good looking, but it’s also backed with Kia’s impressive reliability and extensive warranty.

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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