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It is a noise made by an engine caused by too low octane fuel. This can actually cause severe engine damage in worst cases, up to and including holes in your pistons. You shouldn't have to worry about this unless your car has a performance chip or high compression pistons or possibly shaved heads. A stock Ford 3.8L engine is designed to run on 87 octane fuel and any higher than this can actually be bad for your car.
 

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actually there is more to it than that. pinging can be cause by detonation. detonation is when unburned fuel spontaneously explodes. this will pretty much destroy your engine and will cost you a pretty penny. detonation can be brought on by using high compression with low octane fuel or using a blower of some kind with low octane fuel. the thing is, if you have been putting premium fuel into your car and then revert back to 87 octane, your car will start to ping. simply continue putting premium fuel in your car and it should go away. but remind yourself to not put any higher grade than what your car needs.

if your engine detonated then you are gonna need to buy a new motor. so i hope it was just brought on by the fuel thing.
 

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concordium pretty much has it. never go below the octane your car is designed to use or your chip specifies.
 

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Wrong dude, pinging, is detonation, just a milder form of it, and I think I already pretty well explained what causes it. Its not caused by going to a fuel that is too low of an octane, though it could be. In the case of a stock 3.8 Mustang the engine is designed to run on the lowest octane that is sold, if you are running more than that, you are just waisting money, and maybe damaging your engine. The only things that can cause the engine to need higher octanes are increasing compression, or advancing the timing with a performance chip, or if you have a 4.6 with a timing adjuster. The ways compression can be increased are with high compression pistons (domed) shaving the heads to increase it, or as you said, adding boost with a supercharger, turbo etc. If you increase the pressure in the cylinder then you will need more octane to slow down the burn, slower burns from higher octane stop detonation from fuels. Also I believe when I said detonation could damage an engine to the point of holes in the pistons, that pretty well destroys it.
 

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the way you explained it seemed that running premium fuel would cause the damage to happen to your car. you did not mention the word "detonation" in your post at all. running high compression/boost in your car along with low octane causes detonation. but you didnt specify that detonation was the direct cause of pinging. maybe it was a typo, but i didnt see the word "detonation" at all in your post.
 

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I did specify that running higher octane fuel than necessary can damage your engine, and it can. I didn't say it caused pinging at all, I didn't mention detonation, he didn't either, he asked about pinging, and pinging is detonation, it doens't cause it at all, its just a mild form of it. Check my signature, I know what I am talking about here. :cool:
 

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so do i. nothing personal. because your car pings when it detonates. but whatever dude. its all good on this end :)
 

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pinging is just the slang for pre-detonation. It sounds like your car "pings", it really sounds like you have some bibi's in a metal can and your shaking them around.


Pre-detonation is just that, when you car is detonating in the combustion chamber too early. This is caused by too high compression with low octance fuel, contaminants in the fuel/combustion chamber that would make it harder for the fuel to ignite, and similar problems.

To picture it, think of your piston going up and the fuel ignites before the piston has gone all the way up its stroke......hence pre-detonation.
 

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Pinging to me would be milder detonation, but I could have my facts mixed up here too. Ever see one diesel when you cut it off? Used to be more common back in the mid 70s, things would sit there and run for a couple of mins sometimes after you killed the switch. I am 53, and I have always done a lot of my own car repairs and tinkering, I got my Associates in Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology in 99 after I was already retired on 100% disability and have never really worked as a mechanic so I enjoy helping out on the Mustang forums as much as I can, I have been driving Mustangs off and on since I got my first one in 67.
 

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Nicely worded Stangin99!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is this pinging?

After i shut my 1994 mustang off. I can hear these "ding, ding" noises afterwards comming from the engine bay.

Is that pinging?


Thanks for your replies, you guys are really helping me.
 

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Correct, the exhaust system, or the cats most likely, one thing I remember seeing a lot was the a/c condesation hose dripping water on there making a racket.
 

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Rick0636 said:
Correct, the exhaust system, or the cats most likely, one thing I remember seeing a lot was the a/c condesation hose dripping water on there making a racket.
Yep that does make a racket especially if you park in a garage. Ford did a nice thing designing a A/C condensation hose to drip on the exhaust pipes. helps prevent water puddles on the garage floor in the summer with the A/C on.
 

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Danger Dude said:
Yep that does make a racket especially if you park in a garage. Ford did a nice thing designing a A/C condensation hose to drip on the exhaust pipes. helps prevent water puddles on the garage floor in the summer with the A/C on.
lol...


you'll hear pinging in the 2-3k RPM range usually, under load of course.

Sad thing is my car's so damn loud I wouldn't know if I was pinging like a mofo or not. :(
 

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yeah, the noise ur describing is most likely the ac condensation dripping on the hot exhaust. i park in a garage and hear it all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok thats good that nothigns wrong.

I never use the AC just to let you guys know. Its cold where i live.
 

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If you use your defrost, your a/c kicks in periodically. If you dont' think so, just let the car run with the defrost on and watch the a/c compressor, with the hood up of course, lol.
 

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Rick0636 said:
If you use your defrost, your a/c kicks in periodically. If you dont' think so, just let the car run with the defrost on and watch the a/c compressor, with the hood up of course, lol.

hmm. didnt know that. guess ya learn somethin new everyday.
 
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