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Low-Speed Pre-IgnitionAre you familiar with low-speed pre-ignition events? If not, you’re hardly alone. These are uncommon car issues that can affect any car with a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine. Some of the makes that use this engine in their cars include Kia, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Buick. The issue itself occurs when there’s an early ignition of the main fuel charge, which can cause anything from high-pressure spikes to catastrophic engine damage. If that sounds scary, it’s because it can be. Some of the issues caused by low-speed pre-ignition events, or LSPI events, include loss of compression in one or both cylinders, poor engine performance at low speeds, and internal damage that can affect connection rods, pistons, or the crankshaft.

As you can imagine, this sort of damage can cause big problems for car owners, resulting in major repairs or even the need for a new car. The fix is simple enough, but in order to perform the fix, the engines that could have this issue need to be identified and diagnosed. In a survey of auto repair technicians and shop owners, 58% stated that they were aware of this issue, but only 37% could identify the engines that have LSPI problems. When it comes to your safety and taking care of your vehicle, you really want to work with an auto shop that is not only aware of this issue, but also aware that it’s an issue that can occur in any turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine. They should also know how to address the situation.

At Signal Garage, we always make sure to stay up to date on the latest developments in the automotive industry, and that includes keeping tabs on issues like this one that we may need to diagnose and treat in our customers’ cars. In order to prevent LSPI issues, the fix is very simple – simply install oil with an additive package designed to prevent low-speed pre-ignition events. We may also need to reflash the engine with the latest calibrations according to manufacturer recommendations, and there are certain standards that the oil should meet depending on the make and model of car, but any of our technicians is skilled enough to make the right choices for your car.

Do you know whether or not your car has a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine? If not, you can check your user manual or bring it to us so we can take a look. We’ll quickly be able to tell what type of engine you have and take the appropriate steps to prevent any LSPI events with your car. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and your safety is our top priority!