Several dynamic parameters for the diagnosis of reciprocating combustion engines are investigated. Emphasis is made on the effect of sampling. The dynamic parameters include the frequency analysis, autocorrelation function, the frequency analysis of the autocorrelation function, variation of the angular velocity peaks, variation of the angular velocity depressions, variation of the angular velocity from before to after top dead center, velocity index and acceleration index. Two sampling techniques are used to measure the instantaneous angular velocity of a six cylinder, four-stroke-cycle diesel engine, under healthy and faulty conditions. The most effective dynamic parameters for engine diagnostics are determined.