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P0320 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Malfunction". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.
Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Malfunction
When the P0320 diagnostic trouble code is stored by the Engine Control Module (ECM), it is an indication that there is a malfunction in the ignition/distributor engine speed input circuit
A quick background into this system:
The purpose of the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor is to provide information to the ECM regarding the rotational speed and position of the crankshaft.
With this information, the ECM is able to regulate the timing of ignition spark and the distribution of fuel. If the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor is not working properly, the ECM is not able to receive the signal from the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor.
As a result, the ECM will be unable to regulate the ignition spark timing and fuel distribution, which will cause a disruption in the operation of the vehicle.
Related diagnostic trouble codes:
P0321 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Range/ Performance
P0322 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit No Signal
P0323 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Intermittent
It is common for there to be no symptoms at all.
Uses an OBD-II scanner to get the trouble codes that have been stored by the ECM
Views OBD-II scanner data to see if the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor, the crankshaft sensor, and the camshaft sensor are operating with the proper voltage
Visually inspects ignition/distributor sensor wiring and connectors for damage and/or corrosion
Visually inspects crankshaft sensor wiring and connectors for damage and/or corrosion
Visually inspects camshaft sensor wiring and connectors for damage and/or corrosion
Repairs wires and/or connectors as necessary
Repairs misfiring condition if a misfire code has been stored by the ECM
Completes a test drive of the vehicle to see if the code comes back
If theses diagnostic steps do not resolve the P0320 code, it is possible that the ECM needs to be replaced or reprogrammed. In this case, it will be necessary to follow the manufacturer’s diagnostic procedure.
Quite often, the mistake that is made when diagnosing the P0320 code is replacing the wrong sensor. Sometimes, the crankshaft sensor is replaced when the problem is really the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor.
Other times, the crankshaft is replaced when the problem is really the camshaft sensor. Since these sensors work closely together to achieve the same thing, it is important to make sure the right component is being replaced.
It is also important to keep in mind that misfire codes may be stored in addition to the P0320 diagnostic trouble code, and misfire conditions need to be diagnosed and repaired in order to successfully resolve the problem. Another common mistake is neglecting to inspect the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor wiring and connector.
The P0320 diagnostic trouble code is considered moderately serious. If the code is present and the Check Engine Light is on, but there are no other symptoms, the driver may not experience any driveability issues that would render the vehicle unreliable.
However, allowing an extended period of time pass without addressing this problem will allow the condition to worsen in addition to possibly damaging other engine components.
Replacing crankshaft position sensor wiring or connector that is broken, shorted, or corroded
Replacing camshaft position sensor wiring or connector that is broken, shorted or corroded
Replacing an ignition/engine distributor engine speed sensor
Replacing an ignition/distributor engine speed sensor wiring or connector that is broken, shorted, or corroded
Diagnosing and repairing any misfiring codes that are stored in the ECM
Replacing or reprogramming the ECM, if necessary
Before replacing the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor, be sure to rule out the possibility that the crankshaft position sensor or camshaft position sensor is defective. Also, remember to diagnose and repair any misfire diagnostic trouble codes that have been stored by the ECM.
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