P0322 code definition
If the PCM (powertrain control module) detects an erratic, interrupted, or otherwise unexpected input signal from the distributor or the crankshaft position sensor, it will store the P0322 code, and the Check Engine Light will be turned on.
What the P0322 code means
When the PCM detects a P0322 code, it will assume that the distributor and crankshaft are misaligned. Depending on the model of the vehicle, this may be assumed and the code may be stored after a single failure cycle, or manufacturer specifications may require multiple failure cycles to occur before throwing the code.
When the distributor and crankshaft are misaligned and/or the input signal is intermittent or incorrect, the PCM cannot get the proper information to control fuel delivery and ignition timing, which can cause a number of problems with the performance of the vehicle.
What causes the P0322 code?
In most cases, the crankshaft and distributor will not actually be misaligned, but another problem will cause the code to be stored. The most common causes are:
- Corroded or damaged wiring or connections for the crankshaft position sensor
- A faulty crankshaft position sensor
- A faulty camshaft position sensor
- A faulty distributor position sensor
- A damaged or faulty distributor
- Low charge on the battery
- A faulty PCM (rare)
What are the symptoms of the P0322 code?
In addition to the Check Engine Light coming on, other symptoms of a P0322 code may include:
- The engine stalls on startup or at idle.
- The vehicle is hard to start or will not start.
- The engine hesitates under acceleration.
- The engine dies and cannot be restarted.
In some cases, no symptoms will appear other than the Check Engine Light going on. If the underlying issue isn’t addressed and the code isn’t resolved, though, these symptoms are likely to occur and worsen over time.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0322 code?
Diagnosing a P0322 code involves using an OBD-II scanner to identify the code causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. After the mechanic sees the code, they will then conduct a visual examination of the affected system(s), searching for corroded or faulty wiring or connectors.
Upon determining that the wiring is intact and that all connectors are good, the mechanic will test and/or replace the crankshaft position sensor, distributor position sensor, and/or camshaft position sensor.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0322 code
If the engine is misfiring when a code P0322 is stored, the cause of the misfires must be diagnosed before proceeding to resolve the code. If it is not, the mechanic may unnecessarily replace sensors or perform other repairs that will not actually resolve the code or solve the problem of the misfires.
What repairs can fix the P0322 code?
Depending on whether or not the engine is misfiring, and what is causing the P0322 to be detected, a number of repairs can solve the problem, including:
- Repairing or replacing corroded or otherwise damaged wiring or connectors to the crankshaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor, and/or distributor position sensor.
- Repairing or replacing the camshaft position sensor, crankshaft position sensor, and/or distributor position sensor.
- Getting a full charge on the battery, or replacing it.
- Replacing the PCM (rare).
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0322 code
Whether or not the engine is misfiring and/or showing other symptoms of a P0322 code, if the code is stored by the PCM, the Check Engine Light will illuminate, meaning that the vehicle cannot pass an OBD-II emissions inspection until the problem is solved. So, even if you have noticed no other issues with how your vehicle drives, it’s important to have all codes resolved and cleared so that you can drive safely and legally in your state.
Need help with a P0322 code?
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