Can I Drive with a Bad Knock Sensor?

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Can I drive with a bad knock sensor? Technically, yes, but the real question is, should you?

Located on the cylinder head, intake manifold, or engine block, the knock sensor functions as an ear to your car’s computer, picking up unusual vibrations caused by engine detonation. Upon detecting these small internal tremors, the knock sensor sends a voltage signal to the powertain control module so it can adjust the ignition’s timing to stop the detonation.

By performing this task, the knock sensor ensures your engine operates properly and isn’t damaged as you drive.

When your knock sensor gets broken, your car will experience a dip in acceleration. Your emission production will also worsen as the engine may run hot. Overall, your car’s output will be compromised.

Knock sensor installed on an engine block
When the knock sensor function is compromised, you can expect a lot of drawbacks to happen, one of which is an underperforming engine.

That said, it helps to know common bad knock sensor symptoms. As mentioned, if you feel the engine isn’t accelerating as smooth as before, there’s a good chance your knock sensor has already conked out. You can confirm this if driving at a certain speed feels off, especially if you’re hauling heavy load. When this happens, the Check Engine Light usually turns on—this is a signal you can’t miss.

Other indications include loud knocking sounds, reduced fuel economy, and a damaged engine. You wouldn’t want to wait for that last symptom because, well, we all know how horrific the repercussions of a busted engine are. Also, knock sensor cost is a price cheaper to pay than having your engine replaced.

In conclusion, you can drive with a bad knock sensor—that is, if you want to destroy your engine and get atrocious performance from your car. The moment you confirm that your knock sensor has seen better days, it would be wise to swap it right away with a high-quality replacement.

For knock sensor replacement options that will surely meet your car’s specifications (and your budget expectations too), go to CarParts.com. We have a wide selection for top-notch knock sensors coming from brands trusted in the industry.

You can shop on our online store at your convenience, either via your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. Search for your item in our easy-to-navigate interface—you can get more specific results if you enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model in our vehicle selector—place an order, and have the part delivered to you in no time.

You can check the knock sensors we offer here: https://bit.ly/3adk0Iu

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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