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Got a 2010 Soul 2U with 202,000km on it.

Car is in good shape, and is well-maintained - regular oil changes, plugs were done about a year ago with NGK Iridiums, fuel injector/system cleaner is used 3-4 times per year, lots of high-ish speed highway driving, no CEL's on, always use good-quality gas.

Since I got the car, it has pinged a lot on 87-octane gas, especially when accelerating. In fact it pings so bad that when getting up to highway speed you can feel the car is loosing power from the pinging.

Tried mid-grade, made it a little less noticeable, but still there.

A couple of months ago finally bit the bullet and put premium 91 in. Gas has been expensive, and didn't want to pay the premium, but I get extra Esso points with it, so decided to try it.

Problem solved. Pinging is gone, and car has definetly picked up power and smoothness. Don't like having to put premium in an 'econo' car, but it is working, so i will stick with it.

Anyone else found they have to do this on their Soul?
 

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You can hear the ping?

I've had check engine lights pop on occasionally, probably once every 3-4 months, saying that there was a knock. I don't hear the knock/ping, but when it happens I'm usually going fast uphill, A/C maxed, fans maxed, and I'm really gunning it to get up the hill. Austin TX is hot and hilly, and definitely not friendly to the base 1.6L.

The problem resolves itself however, after 60 miles of driving or so the light disappears. Part of me wonders if it's just a sensitive knock sensor, or if it's actually knocking.

I'm not sure what Octane levels are like in Canada, but there are three tiers in the US. We have regular, mid/plus, and premium. If you're hearing pinging/knocking and you're getting engine codes regularly, I'd use mid-tier/plus or premium fuel, just for the slightly higher octane to prevent the predetonation
 

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Take it in to be looked at. The car was made for 87 octane. So if you're getting pinging at 87 then something is wrong with the engine.
 

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Have you tried switching up your normal fill up place?
I know I filled up at a Esso one time and I got pinging... burnt through that tank, filled up at a Husky (same octane #) and no pinging. (this was in our 2012 RIO with a 1.6L GDI)
I would try a different station before resorting to an engine issue or the fact that you use 91.

Could be moisture or something else in the tank where you normally fill up.
 

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Is it possible that the car was tuned for higher octane? Did you put in the spark plugs yourself? I use 93 Octane Shell exclusively in mine, but I use it for Uber duty, so I am hoping that it provides a bigger deduction on my taxes. That, and I think 93 Octane helps the 1.6t as was outlined in a Car&Driver test of the 1.6t. If your car runs smoother with it, it depends on how much you value a smoother running engine over a few pennies saved.
 

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I live in Vermont and a local gas station has 91 octane with no ethanol. I noticed a substantial performance difference and about a 15% increase in fuel economy over using standard 89 octane fuel that we can that is mixed with 10 to 15% ethanol. There's a really big difference between finding that a particular gas may result in a loss of power versus actual pinging which is detonation. You're having detonation then you're going to have a knock code.

Either way it's not good. Sounds like you know your spark plugs so you probably put them in yourself. I would double check the gap settings on those- you may find that you have too wide of a gap. NGK are great plugs but I often find that I have to take the time to double check and change the gaps which are often a little wide from the factory.

Check it with a scan tool make sure you don't have any knock codes, and once you verify that you haven't had any of those I'd recommendation would be to pull your plugs and double check your Gap.

I also find that 87 with ethanol runs like garbage in all of my cars - my turbo cars particularly run terribly on it but that is because I don't have a flex fuel sensor which can accommodate and move my fuel and spark advance maps for me.

Once you figure out what's going on with you ride definitely report back here I'll be up really interested to hear what you find!
 

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Got a 2010 Soul 2U with 202,000km on it.

Car is in good shape, and is well-maintained - regular oil changes, plugs were done about a year ago with NGK Iridiums, fuel injector/system cleaner is used 3-4 times per year, lots of high-ish speed highway driving, no CEL's on, always use good-quality gas.

Since I got the car, it has pinged a lot on 87-octane gas, especially when accelerating. In fact it pings so bad that when getting up to highway speed you can feel the car is loosing power from the pinging.

Tried mid-grade, made it a little less noticeable, but still there.

A couple of months ago finally bit the bullet and put premium 91 in. Gas has been expensive, and didn't want to pay the premium, but I get extra Esso points with it, so decided to try it.

Problem solved. Pinging is gone, and car has definetly picked up power and smoothness. Don't like having to put premium in an 'econo' car, but it is working, so i will stick with it.

Anyone else found they have to do this on their Soul?
Assuming you have tried different as stations for the 87, this sounds like carbon deposits inside the cylinders heads. This reduces the volume at compression, increases the compression/pressure and hence pinging.
You can check that with a boroscope trough the spark plug hole, or directly by measuring the compression on the cylinders and comparing it with the manual (or another car).

Also, this can be because of engine running lean (excess O2), but that situation should trow a code.
 

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Canada has very similar fuel tiers as the U.S.

99% of the time of use common branded 87 octane dino with the usual up to 10% ethanol crap.

Otherwise, if the heat is on (hot profuse humid summers) and I am doing alotta stop and go travelling, and more so if the price "feels right", I do the Shell V-Power 91 zero ethanol dino. I find the 2011 2.0 L loves it and ping is drastically minimized. If my trips under this same condition are strictly A-to-B only journeys, then 87 octane is the choice.
 

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Got a 2010 Soul 2U with 202,000km on it.

Car is in good shape, and is well-maintained - regular oil changes, plugs were done about a year ago with NGK Iridiums, fuel injector/system cleaner is used 3-4 times per year, lots of high-ish speed highway driving, no CEL's on, always use good-quality gas.

Since I got the car, it has pinged a lot on 87-octane gas, especially when accelerating. In fact it pings so bad that when getting up to highway speed you can feel the car is loosing power from the pinging.

Tried mid-grade, made it a little less noticeable, but still there.

A couple of months ago finally bit the bullet and put premium 91 in. Gas has been expensive, and didn't want to pay the premium, but I get extra Esso points with it, so decided to try it.

Problem solved. Pinging is gone, and car has definetly picked up power and smoothness. Don't like having to put premium in an 'econo' car, but it is working, so i will stick with it.

Anyone else found they have to do this on their Soul?
What may your thoughts be on this thread?

https://www.kiasoulforums.com/10-soul-problems-gen-1/113013-engine-ping-reproducer-situation.html#post1252649
 

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If the car is tuned for 87 AKI and the car is audibly knocking and blatantly pulling timing under load, IMHO it may be worth investigating further even if the audible knock is eliminated with a higher octane gasoline.

  • How much ethanol content does the gas ran have and have you observed any association here?
  • The engine you have, IIRC, is MPFI and NOT GDI, correct?
  • I assume the car is stock, without an aftermarket intake?
  • How many knock correction methods does this platform use?
  • Does the ECU in this car log the various forms of knock correction? (I assume there are at least two - one that is based on immediate feedback and one that is based on longer-term trends?) If so, have you grabbed any of this data?
  • Is there any easy way for someone to check air-fuel ratios on this platform?
  • Have you ruled out issues with the intake sensors?
  • If you did not do the spark plug install yourself, have you verified the correct temp and gaps? (this seems unlikely if this was happening before)
 

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If the car is tuned for 87 AKI and the car is audibly knocking and blatantly pulling timing under load, IMHO it may be worth investigating further even if the audible knock is eliminated with a higher octane gasoline.

  • How much ethanol content does the gas ran have and have you observed any association here?
  • The engine you have, IIRC, is MPFI and NOT GDI, correct?
  • I assume the car is stock, without an aftermarket intake?
  • How many knock correction methods does this platform use?
  • Does the ECU in this car log the various forms of knock correction? (I assume there are at least two - one that is based on immediate feedback and one that is based on longer-term trends?) If so, have you grabbed any of this data?
  • Is there any easy way for someone to check air-fuel ratios on this platform?
  • Have you ruled out issues with the intake sensors?
  • If you did not do the spark plug install yourself, have you verified the correct temp and gaps? (this seems unlikely if this was happening before)
Hey Get:

Based on your questions, I have to ask, "Did you review the said thread URL?" ...

https://www.kiasoulforums.com/10-soul-problems-gen-1/113013-engine-ping-reproducer-situation.html#post1252649

I will add that the vehicle is stock.

In addition, the 2011 Kia Soul 2.0 L is not GDI, so you are correct.

I have not found any logged information regarding knock correction. In any case, it appears correction is not being applied correctly - if that is the case.

So, how do any of these points change after reading the details in the thread URL?

- - -

I would think most of them are moot. However, you seem to show a breathe of knowledge and would like to tap into that:

Have you ever experienced intake sensors (or similar relevant devices) "cooking" after the first journey leg that would cause ping in the second journey leg?
 

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i use 91 octane 99% of the time. it's part voodoo, part assuring a better fuel is being pumped into my car most of the time. there's endless discussion on whether it makes a difference but in general you'll get slightly higher horsepower out of your engine. will you notice? probably not though the OP had substantially different results. FWIW, according to the manual, 87 is the minimum recommended fuel so adding premium won't hurt and just might be better in the long run.
Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 22.06.28.jpg
 

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Got a 2010 Soul 2U with 202,000km on it.

Car is in good shape, and is well-maintained - regular oil changes, plugs were done about a year ago with NGK Iridiums, fuel injector/system cleaner is used 3-4 times per year, lots of high-ish speed highway driving, no CEL's on, always use good-quality gas.

Since I got the car, it has pinged a lot on 87-octane gas, especially when accelerating. In fact it pings so bad that when getting up to highway speed you can feel the car is loosing power from the pinging.

Tried mid-grade, made it a little less noticeable, but still there.

A couple of months ago finally bit the bullet and put premium 91 in. Gas has been expensive, and didn't want to pay the premium, but I get extra Esso points with it, so decided to try it.

Problem solved. Pinging is gone, and car has definetly picked up power and smoothness. Don't like having to put premium in an 'econo' car, but it is working, so i will stick with it.

Anyone else found they have to do this on their Soul?
I have been looking for comments regarding the octane level of gas for a Kia Soul. My car is a 2016 model, great body and interior, which had 32K miles when I bought it this year. But driving it every day between multiple jobs, I noticed that it seemed slow, especially when climbing a hill or just trying to pick up speed again when on the expressway. My Kia is a stick shift, which is what I prefer. Anyone who drives a stick knows that you can feel and hear the gears shifting, changing enough to sort of sense when something may be wrong, or interfering with the speed. About 2 weeks ago I switched to a higher octane and went to a more "reputable" gas station-- (such as Phillips 66), and I certainly noticed the difference in its "get up and go" and a smoother ride.
 

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I have been looking for comments regarding the octane level of gas for a Kia Soul. My car is a 2016 model, great body and interior, which had 32K miles when I bought it this year. But driving it every day between multiple jobs, I noticed that it seemed slow, especially when climbing a hill or just trying to pick up speed again when on the expressway. My Kia is a stick shift, which is what I prefer. Anyone who drives a stick knows that you can feel and hear the gears shifting, changing enough to sort of sense when something may be wrong, or interfering with the speed. About 2 weeks ago I switched to a higher octane and went to a more "reputable" gas station-- (such as Phillips 66), and I certainly noticed the difference in its "get up and go" and a smoother ride.
Have you run a bottle of Techron through the tank?

Octane does not offer any better fuel mileage, increase engine horsepower, or make the engine start quicker. Higher octane only reduces the likelihood of engine knock or ping. ... Because higher octane gas burns slower, it is more resistant to knock when subjected to higher RPM and cylinder pressures.
 
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