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Dear Click and Clack,

I own a 1995 Mercury Village van. It currently has about 71,000 miles. Recently the "check engine" light had begun appearing only when the engine gets hot on longer trips (over about 25 miles on hotter days). The light was intermittent, but it became more frequent and a mechanic said the code indicated an O2 sensor. After replacing the sensor, he also thought that would correct the knocking problem. I adjusted the grade of gas back down to 87 (had been running 93 to alleviate the knocking) and everything was fine for a few days. Now the "check engine" light recurs intermittently--again on hot days with more extended trips. The knocking is very mild with the 87 octane, so I have not increased the octane. The mechanic indicated the code can sometimes be misleading in that it will point to a system but not necessarily the specific fix.

I would greatly appreciate some sound advice before I pursue this issue again.


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