There are thousands of components in a car engine, and thus many different things that can go wrong with it. However, with advancements in technology, cars are becoming ‘intelligent’ and capable of detecting issues with various components.

Your car uses various sensors to detect such issues and prevent any further damage from occurring- and an engine knock sensor is an example of one such sensor. Having the best knock sensor in your car can help you prevent a variety of issues. Just like an exhaust gasket, there is a lot to look at before you buy the best knock sensor for your car.

What is a knock sensor and why is it important?

What is a knock sensor and why is it important

Understanding what is a knock sensor is the first step to buying the best one for your car. As the name suggests, a knock sensor is like a ‘listening device’ that looks for engine knock- which refers to sounds or vibrations that come from the engine. This sensor detects any irregular knocks or vibrations, transforms them into electronic signals, and sends those signals to your car’s Engine Control Unit or ECU.

This ECU is like a computer that analyzes the signals and decides if the car’s ignition time should be increased or if any particular component should be shut down to prevent any damage to the engine.

The ECU can also cause the check engine light to appear- signaling you to check the car’s engine. A faulty engine knock sensor is just one of the many problems that the ECU can detect.

Ensuring that your car has the best knock sensor is more important than you may think. Knock sensors protect your engine from damage due to increased air pressure- something that can be quite expensive and troublesome to fix. Faulty knock sensors can also decrease the fuel economy of your car and cause vibrations at higher speeds.

Now that you know the importance of your car’s knock sensor, the next step is knowing what knock sensor to buy. Just like finding the best car radiator fan, finding the right knock sensor can be quite the task. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled a list of the best knock sensors in the market along with detailed reviews of what each of them has to offer.

Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Knock Sensor

ACDelco 213-1576 GM Engine Knock Sensor

ACDelco 213-1576 GM Engine Knock Sensor

213-1576 AcDelco Knock Sensor is a replacement knock sensor GM also recommends for its cars. This is easily the best knock sensor for GM cars. It is made to provide the same level of durability and quality as GM original parts. The fact that it is recommended by your car’s manufacturer is all the assurance that you need for the best form, fit, and function.

This ACDelco knock sensor meets the specifications of original GM sensors. It is also competitively priced to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Do note that this knock sensor does not include the harness, so if you have a problem with that as well, it would be a separate purchase.

You only get 1 sensor as part of the package. It has a pin-type terminal and a 0.39-inch diameter of the threaded end. If you are planning to replace the knock sensors on your GM car, then ACDelco is among the best choices that you can make to get the same level of performance and reliability as the original GM sensor.

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Pros:

  • Designed specifically for GM cars, makes them more reliable and durable
  • Easy to install, no additional configuration required
  • Value for money
  • 2-year replacement warranty in case of any manufacturing defects

Cons:

  • Works only with GM cars, not compatible or tested with other manufacturer cars

Orion Motor Tech Knock Sensor with Harness Kit, compatible with GMC, Suburban, Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Sierra

Orion Motor Tech Knock Sensor with Harness Kit, compatible with GMC, Suburban, Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Sierra

This Knock Sensor along with Harness Kit from Orion Motor is an all-in-one kit that has all the required parts for an effective sensor replacement. This knock sensor is made with a composition of iron and copper, while the wire harness comprises plastic with nylon, iron, and copper.

These aftermarket kits are made as per OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) standards, which means their performance will be as good as the best knock sensor installed by the manufacturer.

The range of vehicles that it is compatible with makes it one of the biggest pros of this knock sensor. Installation of the sensor is also simple. All you have to do is pull the intake manifold and follow the simple steps to install and configure the sensors.

It is tested to provide the right function and fit with all compatible vehicles. This is also why it is backed by a lifetime replacement and return warranty against any defects- something that not every manufacturer offers. It is an all-in-one kit that includes a pair of knock sensors, an operation manual, and 2 harness kits.

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Pros: All-in-one kit, includes all parts required for installation

  • Made as per Original Equipment Manufacturer for a variety of car brands
  • Compatible with a large range of car manufacturers and models
  • Lifetime warranty against any defects

Cons:

  • Certain customers reported receiving sensors that were damaged in transit, packaging by a company not adequate.

Bosch Original Equipment Knock Sensor 0261231200

Bosch Original Equipment Knock Sensor 0261231200

Bosch OE Knock Sensors are known for providing the highest of precisions even in extreme conditions. These knock sensors have a large operating temperature range that goes from -40 to 150 degrees celsius. These sensors are among the most expensive ones on our list, but make up for that with all the features that they offer. One of the unique aspects of Bosch sensors is that they do not have any audible knocking sounds that you may find with a few other lower-priced sensors.

Bosch Engine Knock Sensors also provide around 5% higher engine torque as compared to other sensors, which translates to better performance overall. These sensors have been tested to provide up to a 9% increase in fuel efficiency- though the exact figure varies on the car type and a few other factors.

If you are looking for a high-quality knock sensor and the budget is not a concern, then Bosch OE Knock Sensors may be the right choice for you. You get a single knock sensor in the package that can fit either right or left. Installation can be a hassle since it requires removing one of the coolant tubes to connect the socket.

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Pros:

  • High-quality and tested for improved performance
  • Provides better fuel efficiency and torque
  • Does not have any audible knocking sounds
  • Single sensor compatible with either left or right

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other sensors

Uxcell 22060-AA070 Knock Sensor for Subaru

Uxcell 22060-AA070 Knock Sensor for Subaru

The 22060-AA070 from Uxcell is the best knock sensor made specifically for Subaru Outback 1999-2001 models and the Subaru Impreza Forester 1999-2002 models. This knock sensor goes through extensive testing for use with those specific Subaru models and works as the perfect replacement for factory knock sensors. The feedback sent by this sensor is in range with the ECU, so you can count on it to provide the best protection to your engine.

Another reason as to why it is our top pick for those Subaru models is the price tag. This knock sensor surpasses many other sensors priced 4-5 times offering better reliability and accuracy. It has a cable length of 5.7 inches/ 14.5 cm.

The only con with this knock sensor is that you only get a single piece without any harness, which has to be purchased separately if needed. Also, you get a single piece in the package and need to purchase 2 if both sensors need replacement.

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Pros:

  • Compatible with specific Subaru models without any issues
  • Tuned to provide feedback within the ECU range for your car
  • Available in white and black colors
  • Affordable, value for money as compared to other expensive alternatives

Cons:

  • Made of ABS plastic, could have used higher-quality steel or metal

Amrxuts 89615-12090 Ignition Knock Sensor

Amrxuts 89615-12090 Ignition Knock Sensor

The Amrxuts Knock Detonation Sensor is compatible with a range of cars from Toyota and Lexus. This aftermarket knock sensor comes with a direct fit and simple installation, which make it one of our top 7 choices. What makes this the best knock sensor in terms of accuracy is its design to respond to high frequencies and provide greater flexibility. Amrxuts also tests it for high heat resistance and rapid-fire pulse- which simply translates to more durability and longevity.

The sensor has a core-chip that helps to enhance the life and performance of the engine. The pack includes a pair of knock sensors and 1 harness, thus saving you the hassle of buying the harness separately. These sensors go through testing for a range of cars including various Lexus models, Toyota Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and many others.

Overall, if you are on the lookout for an affordable and quality replacement knock sensor for your Toyota or Lexus, then these from Amrxuts may be worth considering. You also get a 2-year manufacturer warranty with these sensors.

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Pros:

  • Tested for Toyota and Lexus cars
  • Harness included with a pair of sensors
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • Simplified installation and direct fit

Cons:

  • Not compatible with other cars apart from Toyota and Lexus

Delphi Knock Sensor, AS10017

Delphi Knock Sensor, AS10017

If you need the best knock sensor that is made with the same strict quality standards as original car parts, then Delphi Knock Sensors may just be it. Delphi is among the most trusted names in the aftermarket auto-market. These knock sensors comply with the latest emission standards. The AS10017 design optimizes the timing of the car’s ignition and protects it from knocking.

The knock sensor from Delphi helps the control unit to accurately delay or advance the ignition timing as required to boost engine performance. The sealing on the control unit offers protection from salt-spraying, humidity, and automotive fluids. Delphi has been behind some of the most advanced and reliable parts for over 100 years, and this knock sensor will definitely live up to your expectations.

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Pros:

  • High-quality sensor with excellent accuracy
  • Easy to replace
  • Backed by a manufacturer warranty in case of any defects
  • Ideal for a range of vehicle brands and models

Cons:

  • Priced higher as compared to other knock sensors

Holstein Parts Knock Sensor, 2KNC0006

Holstein Parts Knock Sensor, 2KNC0006

This is the best knock sensor from Holstein Parts and acts as a direct replacement for the Original Equipment part on your car. It provides optimal fit and function for one of the most crucial components of your car. The sensor comes with precision engineering for accurate signals to the ECU (Engine Control Unit). Thus performance adjustment is seamless. The package includes exact OE attachments and connectors for a hassle-free installation.

Holstein knock sensors help to protect your car’s engine from mechanical stress. This knock sensor works with different fuel grades as well to provide the right adjustment and performance. Holstein Parts backs this sensor with a warranty of 36,000 miles or 3 years, whichever is earlier.

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Pros:

  • Designed with original connectors as well as attachments for the right fit
  • Simplified installation with the right attachment points
  • Precision engineering allows the sensor to duplicate the original components’ function
  • 3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Cons:

  • Harness kit is a separate purchase, not part of the package

Key Takaway

Having the best knock sensor is not just about reducing engine noise and vibrations. It is among the car’s most important components that protect it from damage and also boost performance. Along with the best engine cradle, the knock sensor is among those components that protect your car’s engine from damage. With our review of the top 7 knock sensors in the market, you will have a good idea of what to look for as you go shopping for knock-sensors. We have covered a variety of car types, manufacturers, and models. This will help you learn about the best option for each type.