Pre-ignition can burn valves and hole pistons, so it's an important thing to fix.>
Pinking, pinging(US) or knocking is the result of detonation, which is not the same as, or caused by: "pre-ignition". Detonation occurs after the fuel/air mixture has been ignited by the spark from the plug.
Detonation is the spontaneous combustion of the end-gas (remaining fuel/air mixture) in the chamber. It always occurs after normal combustion is initiated by the spark plug. The initial combustion at the spark plug is followed by a normal combustion burn. For some reason, likely heat and pressure, the end gas in the chamber spontaneously combusts. The key point here is that detonation occurs after you have initiated the normal combustion with the spark plug.
Pre-ignition is defined as the ignition of the mixture prior to the spark plug firing. Anytime something causes the mixture in the chamber to ignite prior to the spark plug event it is classified as pre-ignition. The two are completely different and abnormal phenomenon."
The best indication of detonation is the pinging sound that cars, particularly old models, make at low speeds and under load."
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