Last night, middle of driving in a trip, the VSA indicator began blinking, check engine light came on and the "D" (drive" was blinking as well. I stopped the car to restart it. VSA went off, check engine remained on and "D" still flashing. This morning, check engine is on but no flashing "D". I notice the last 3 days the engine has been making louder noises, and ECO does not come on any more. AutoZone provided me code P0344 - Camshaft Position (CMP) Sensor Intermittent Interruption, which indicates a faulty sensor, but the paperwork says replace Camshaft and Lifters. Not convinced that needs to be replaced. Also talk about potentially replacing distributor cap and rotor. Replacing a sensor doesn't seem to be the answer, in terms of engine noises.
My car has 167000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
Your vehicle does not use a distributor cap or rotor to provide spark. Instead the ignition system is based on an individual "coil over plug" arrangement. Engine noise, of a rattling or metallic character, is a known accompaniment to Diagnostic Trouble Code P0344. Code P0344 sets primarily due to electrical problems, although there is one potential mechanical cause, and that is a physically damaged camshaft position sensor tone ring. Before physical damage is considered, though, all potential electrical faults should be ruled out simply because electrical issues are the most common cause of the Code setting. The possibilities are numerous but include an open or shorted camshaft position sensor, poor electrical connection to the camshaft position sensor, intermittent open in the power supply circuit to the camshaft position sensor, and intermittent short to ground in the power supply circuit to the camshaft position sensor. Unless the diagnostic that you have received included a comprehensive check of electrical faults, you should not proceed with any "recommended" repair. If you desire a diagnostic through YourMechanic, the service to request is camshaft position sensor diagnostic/replacement and if requested a certified Mechanic will be dispatched and get this resolved conclusively for you. Please let us know if you have additional concerns.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing