How to Prevent Low-Speed Pre-Ignition Events

In a recent survey of auto repair shop owners and technicians, 58% stated that they were aware that there’s a problem with low-speed pre-ignition events in car models that have turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engines. Makes that use these engines include Volkswagen, Hyundai, Buick, and Kia. What exactly is a low-speed pre-ignition, or LSPI, event? In a nutshell, there’s a premature ignition of the main fuel charge, which can cause all sorts of issues ranging from high-pressure spikes to catastrophic engine damage. This problem is caused by engine oil that’s not treated to prevent these issues, which causes the engine to be more sensitive to them.


A LSPI event can cause internal damage to pistons, connecting rods, or crankshafts, as well as affecting engine performance at low speeds or loss of compression in one or more of the vehicle’s cylinders. You can imagine that this could be a big issue for a car owner who has to deal with a sudden major engine repair that they weren’t expecting and hadn’t budgeted for.


Although 58% of the auto care professionals surveyed mentioned that they were aware of this issue, only 37% could properly identify the engines that are susceptible to these problems. Here at EuroCar, we always make sure to keep up on the latest news in the automotive industry, so our team is prepared to look for and diagnose any LSPI problems that we see. The fix is simple enough — a simple oil replacement with an additive package that prevents LSPI events — but the issue can’t be fixed if your auto repair technician doesn’t know how to diagnose it in the first place. The engine may also need to be reflashed with the latest calibrations, and the oil should meet specific standards set by the manufacturer. All of these issues can be handled by the proper professional team.


Do you own one of the makes or models with a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine? If so, you may be subject to a low-speed pre-ignition event, as any car with this type of engine could have the issue. If you have no idea whether or not this is the type of engine in your car, you can check your user manual or bring it in and have us check it out. Our technicians can easily identify the type of engine in your car and take the proper preventative measures to make sure you’re protected. Although these events are uncommon, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Please don’t be caught unaware — have your car checked out as soon as possible.