Abnormal ignition, especially preignition, in gasoline engines has been a phenomenon that has been reported for many decades, going back to at least the 1920s in the literature. In the last 10 years, another abnormal combustion issue that has been deemed as preignition has been observed and documented. It is not clear if these issues from the early years are related or similar in nature to the present ones. Was the issue solved and now back again? Did changes occur in engine designs that caused this abnormal combustion phenomena to reappear? This paper serves as a review of literature from the 1920s through the 2000s on instances of abnormal ignition by fuel and lubricant derivatives, and what has been observed and learned. The different terms used to describe these phenomena are defined and clarified. Trends observed with the mechanisms and causes are discussed. Similarities between historical and more modern observations are highlighted, and areas of possible future work are suggested. Quick resolution of the current fuel/lubricant derivative ignition issue is required to minimize risk of engine hardware damage and enable utilization of advanced technologies to significantly improve vehicle fuel economy.