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Recently (about 2 -3 months ago) my engine started to make pinging noises while traveling at highway speeds. It is a very light pinging noise and happens when gas is applied. No pinging at lower speeds or when accelerating from a stop or lower speeds.

No recent changes. Current mileage is 160,250. Replaced coil pack and plugs at 130,000 (#4 coil wire/coil pack corrosion caused misfires). Replaced vapor condensor valve as car would not immediately start after being filled with gas about 5 months ago. Change oil regularly. No other maintenance other than tires.

I did run a few tanks of high octane gas and it did improve (i.e. lessen) the pinging. My question is: What might be failing to cause the pinging when it hasn't pinged in 150,000 miles always on 87 octane gas? And, is it detrimental to the engine if it lightly pings?

Hoping to get over 200,000 on the car.
 

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Administrator, Resident Tater Salad
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Carbon buildup in the cylinders could be responsible. A top end engine cleaner (GM's is actually a pretty good product) will help clear that out.

Turbocharged engines really should not be run on 87 oct - they are constantly going to be pulling timing when the knock sensor trips.

Check for the usual Cruze-related PCV issues - namely the check valve in the intake manifold. Missing, it can cause both a lean condition and cause oil to go everywhere.

 

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Thanks. I'll check the PCV although I don't seem to have any symptoms related to a defective PCV. I'll spend a few $ more and use 89 octane gas and see if it lessens the pinging. Now that I've decided to keep it for a while longer I'll start doing more proactive maintenance such as the accessory belt, trans fluid, PCV once the weather warms up a bit (no garage. Live in Maine).
 
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