The P0320 code is an ignition-related fault code, and is relatively common. P0320 It indicates that your car’s distributor/ignition engine speed circuit is not working properly.
This fault is probably caused by the engine speed sensor or a wiring problem. A good diagnosis will give you the information necessary to make the correction.
Ignition Timing Control Operation
Manufacturers make practical use of the electromagnetic crankshaft position sensor in two divergent ways.
Each of these designs uses a reluctor ring or teeth that are attached to the crankshaft to disrupt the stationary electromagnetic CSP sensor area. In turn, this produces what the PCM explains is a square wave pattern.
Such interruptions tell the PCM the exact location of the crankshaft.
The first designed approach is when the PCM only uses the crankshaft position to check for misfires and does not perform a critical check for spark or ignition timing.
Engine control systems may allow the engine to start and run when this type of system is used, even though a crankshaft position circuit may fail, but engine performance and fuel economy are susceptible to suffer.
A malfunction indicator light may not come on until many failed attempts are recorded with this type of system.
The second system is designed This is when the PCM uses the crankshaft position to measure spark timing and ignition control.
A crankshaft position sensor that is failing within this system design will typically face a no-start configuration, where a trouble code is stored instantly and a service engine light illuminates when the first failure occurs.
Many specialized tools will be needed to successfully diagnose this code. These tools can be a scanner, a digital volt/ohmmeter, and even an oscilloscope.
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What Is Code P0320
Almost all modern vehicles use individual coil packs which are controlled by the PCM powertrain control module and not a distributor.
Your car’s PCM uses data from the engine speed sensor to determine when to fire each cylinder individually.
Depending on the year and type of engine, the engine speed sensor may be a camshaft position sensor, crankshaft position sensor, pick-up coil sensor, or even a dedicated sensor to check when the throttle has fired. coil.
If any of these sensors that control ignition timing are not working properly, it can cause the PCM to have trouble firing the spark plugs at the right time, and P0320 will be stored in your car’s memory.
Causes of Code P0320
These are the most common causes that exist in the code P0320:
- Engine malfunction.
- Ignition failure status.
- Low-power battery.
- Faulty crankshaft position sensor.
- Poor or corroded crankshaft position sensor cables and/or corroded connectors.
- Defective camshaft position sensor.
- Defective or corroded camshaft position sensor cable and/or connector.
- Poor distributor/ignition engine speed sensor.
- Corroded or shorted distributor/ignition engine speed sensor wire or connector.
Symptoms of Code P0320
We show you some symptoms of the P0320 code below:
- The Check Engine light on your dashboard activates.
- Difficult cold starting.
- Engine delayed or stalled.
- The engine fails and does not start again.
Diagnostic Code P0320
Let’s see the detailed steps to make a good diagnosis
Perform a visual inspection
- Begin your diagnosis with a visual inspection of all cables and connectors.
- Tighten or restore any damaged, disconnected, shorted, or corroded wiring, connectors, and automotive parts as necessary.
- After all repairs are completed, inspect the system to make sure everything is working properly.
- If all system wiring, connectors, and car parts, including fuses, appear to be in normal performance sequence, it is time to connect the scanner.
Connect the scanner to your car
- Connect the scanner or code reader to the diagnostic connector document all codes and freeze frame data that are stored.
- This data can be extremely useful in diagnosing irregular configurations that could have provided this exact stored code.
- Continue the operation by erasing the code and running the vehicle to determine if the code returns.
- This process will help determine if the malfunction is intermittent or permanent.
- If the code fails to return instantly, the setup may be intermittent.
- Intermittent settings have proven to be very difficult when making a diagnosis and in radical situations, the process can be allowed to worsen before a proper diagnosis can be made.
Perform electrical tests on the system
- When an irregular configuration occurs, you can make effective use of the oscilloscope to examine waveforms produced by the distributor, camshaft, and/or crankshaft sensors, while looking for errors or discrepancies.
- A practical starting point for making a feasible crankshaft position sensor diagnosis is to detect an engine RPM signal when starting or running the engine.
- It accomplishes this by using a scanner or by looking at the vehicle’s tachometer while cranking the engine, using the starter or running motor, which is based on the design of the CPS system.
- If you have not detected an RPM signal, visually inspect the crankshaft gear, crankshaft position sensor, and sensor connector for corrosion, and damage, and adjust as necessary.
- If you have not found any evidence of damage, examine the CPS system to generate a voltage signal, which is usually 5 volts, but detects the manufacturer’s identifications.
- If you can use an oscilloscope, you can examine the CPS signal cable for the occurrence of a 5-volt square wave pattern.
- If you have not found a pattern, examine the disconnected CSP sensor for resistance and compare the values with the manufacturer’s standards.
- The CSP sensor may fail, so inspect the system circuitry to determine the correct voltage and resistance.
- Adjust open or shorted wiring as necessary.
Check the PCM and sensors
- PCM failure is definitely likely, but it is rare so you should exhaust every other probability before disavowing the PCM.
- It is used equivalently to the crankshaft position sensor by the camshaft position sensor and the distributor hall effect sensor.
- Data contributions are placed between the three sensors to help monitor ignition timing and fuel delivery.
- If the signals from the three sensors involved are correct and arrive in an orderly manner to the PCM, and even so the P0320 code remains, it is a clear indicator that the PCM has some fault.
- Generally, if this component fails, it is replaced with an OEM part from the manufacturer. It is very rarely repairable, although don’t rule it out.
- The PCM can also be reprogrammed, in case there are problems with the program.
How to Fix Code P0320
These are the main replacements that we recommend you make so that you can correctly correct the code P0320:
When it is cold, the battery charge will decrease, while the car will need to be boosted to start.
To avoid this situation, you should replace a battery before its capacity drops to a critical level. On average, a car battery can last between 5 to 7 years.
If not working properly, the distributor can cause serious engine damage. Intermittent idling can also be caused by clogged filters.
It’s difficult to tell if a filter is clogged, so it’s best to replace it every time you perform routine maintenance.
3. Crankshaft position sensor
If the crankshaft position sensor or its wiring has any problems, it can cause the crankshaft signal to be discharged while the engine is running, causing the engine to stop instantly.
If you are sure that the crankshaft position sensor has a problem, call a professional mechanic to inspect your car.
4. Camshaft position sensor
As the camshaft position sensor weakens, the signal it transmits to the vehicle’s ECM also decays.
Eventually, the signal will become so weak that the signal will shut down, as will the motor. This can happen while the vehicle is parked or while driving, so replace the sensor immediately.
5. Engine control module
Your car may not start even after making sure the battery and starter motor are explicitly working.
If your car problems are due to a faulty engine control module, you should replace it immediately to avoid future critical risks to your car.
- Diagnoses and repairs any existing low battery voltage settings.
- Replace the crankshaft position sensor.
- Replace any broken, shorted, or corroded crankshaft position sensor wiring or connectors.
- Replace the camshaft position sensor.
- Replace any broken, shorted, or corroded camshaft position sensor wiring or connectors.
- Replace the ignition distributor/engine speed sensor.
- Replace any broken, shorted, or corroded ignition/distributor engine speed sensor wiring or connectors.
- Diagnose and repair any misfire codes stored in the ECM.
- Replace or reprogram the ECM, if necessary.
Common errors when diagnosing the P0320 code
It is often the wrong thing to do to rule out the possibility of a faulty cylinder, fuel injector or PCM. Furthermore, it is often the case that diagnosis and repair of other associated trouble codes is not achieved.
All other associated trouble codes, a bad cylinder, a bad fuel injector(s), and/or a bad PCM can cause misfire problems.
Is Code P0320 Serious?
Yeah, the code P0320 it’s bad. In many cases, you will not even be able to drive the car. If you can drive, we recommend that you take it immediately to a service shop or to your garage if you have the ability to do the diagnosis yourself.
If the failure becomes serious, it can leave you on the road.
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Ultimately, upon seeing a code P0320 on the list of trouble codes on your OBDII scanner, take it to an auto repair shop as quickly as possible.
Chances are, you can still handle it for a while, but putting it off too long can turn a minor repair into a major one.
Make an appointment as soon as you verify your codes and don’t let a small component that’s not working properly cause extensive damage.
If you want to know other articles similar to Code P0320. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Solution you can visit the category Fault Codes.