2012 Kia Soul 1.6L engine, automatic transmission.

In very hot weather my engine tends to ping. The only thing I have found to alleviate it is to use Premium (91 octane) fuel. I have no error codes and this issue has developed over time. The car has 108,00 miles on it. Most of my driving is on the interstate at 55 MPH.
any ideas of what I should look at to resolve this issue?


3 thoughts on “2012 Kia Soul 1.6L engine, automatic transmission.”

  1. An engine ping is caused by per-detonation of the fuel. This is why using higher octane fuel takes care of the issue. It is completely fuel related and has nothing to do with the functionality of your vehicles engine. The low octane fuel you have been trying is either contaminated or not as high of octane as advertised. Try a different fueling station or continue to use the higher octane fuel. Engine ping over time will cause permanent internal engine damage.

  2. Thanks. I use service stations of different brands all over the state of Alabama. This issue developed over time. It may be due to the 10% ethanol requirement or it may also be due to carbon build up or it may be due to the summer formulation.
    I am going to try using Berryman B12 for awhile to see if it helps. Funny how a car that started on regular unleaded working perfectly fine now has to have Premium. If the Berryman 12 helps I will post it.

  3. I have done further research and found that this “Ping” issue is fairly common for KIA and Hyundia owners who have a GDI engine. It is my opinion that these engines are tuned so tightly that any deviation in the sensors, operating temperature or other unknown cases will cause them to advance the timing too much. It seems that the resolution boils down to a couple of fixes/patches to help alleviate the ping.

    1.) Use premium gas (92 octane) (even though the engine is supposed to run on 87 octane). PRO: reduced or eliminated ping depending on your vehicle and driving conditions and possibly better mileage. CON: Cost you more at the pump.
    2.) have the ECU flashed ( See KIA TSB: ENG 131). I tried to get the TSB but you have to pay to get it. PRO: remap should eliminate the ping. CON: your MPG may be reduced substantially.
    3.) Use an octane booster and engine additive. PRO: cleans fuel/intake system and reduces ping. CON: You have to pay for those additives and remember to add them regularly.

    For myself, I plan on sticking with premium gas for now while I experiment with different additives. I have seen an almost un-perceptible improvement in gas mileage. I will most likely switch back to mid-grade or regular when the temperatures go down (fall/winter).

    If I learn of anything else that would benefit the audience regarding this issue I will post it.

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