The premature combustion of the fuel-air mixture in an internal combustion engine.
- Early ignition or runaway pre-ignition causes higher combustion chamber temperatures that can wreck the engine.
- High-octane fuel simply allows the higher pressures and temperatures in these high-output engines by preventing pre-ignition.
- To run an engine on unleaded fuel it may be necessary to retard the initial timing to prevent detonation and/or pre-ignition.
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