We present techniques of symbolic time-series analysis which are useful for analyzing temporal patterns in dynamic measurements of engine combustion variables. We focus primarily on techniques that characterize predictability and the occurrence of repeating temporal patterns. These methods can be applied to standard, cycle-resolved engine combustion measurements, such as IMEP and heat release. The techniques are especially useful in cases with high levels of measurement and/or dynamic noise. We illustrate their application to experimental data from a production V8 engine and a laboratory single-cylinder engine.