Heat release analysis by using a pressure sensor signal is a well recognized technique for evaluation of the combustion event, and also for combustion diagnostics. The analysis includes tuning of several parameters in order to accurately explain measured data. This work presents and investigates a systematic method for estimating parameters in heat release models and minimizing the arbitrary choices. In order for the procedure to be systematic there are also the requirements on the model, that it includes no inherent ambiguities, like over-parameterization with respect to the parameters and to the information contained in the measurements.The fundamental question is which parameters, in the heat release model, that can be identified by using only cylinder pressure data. The parameter estimation is based on established techniques, that constructs a predictor for the model and then minimizes a least-squares objective function of the prediction error. The study is performed on data measured on a SAAB 2.3 liter, four stroke four cylinder, normally aspirated, gasoline engine.