The “P” codes are indicators of issues with car powertrain systems. Code P0342 is one issue that some car owners encounter. This generic code relates to the CPS-camshaft position sensor signal. A good understanding of the P0342 code definition is quite helpful. This guide will explain how to fix a P0342 OBD 2 code.
What Does Code P0342 Mean?
Modern vehicles have an on-board diagnostic (OBD) system that keeps track of the car’s performance and regulates all its activities. A notable sensor is the CPS; it is a critical signal that ensures the engine calculates fuel injection and ignition timings.
You would notice the PCM unable to calculate the camshaft position accurately when the CPS is malfunctioning. When the input is incorrect, the PCM cannot provide proper “strategies” for functions like fuel delivery and ignition timings. So, it reveals the diagnostic trouble code-P0730.
What is a P0342 code?
It literarily means “Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Low.” The PCM lay down code P0342 after detecting an uneven reading from the camshaft position sensor circuit on engine bank 1. When this sensor circuit in your car sends readings outside the manufacturer’s settings, the PCM triggers the check engine light.
OBD-II Code P0342: Symptoms, Causes & Fix
Common Symptoms of Code P0342
You should notice various symptoms when your car has a P0342 trouble code. The following are some of the conspicuous signs:
- The check engine light comes on
- The vehicle stalls, especially with low RPMs
- Difficulty in starting the car
- Bad engine performance
Causes of a P0342
While there are various reasons your car can develop code P0342, such indications would often differ based on the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Here is a list of the various causes of this powertrain trouble code.
- Malfunctioning PCM
- A bad or faulty camshaft position sensor
- Poor battery performance
- Poor starting circuit
- Defective starter motor
- Issues with the car’s wiring harness between the PCM and sensor
Kindly note that the P0342 “camshaft position location” trouble code may appear due to one of these issues mentioned above or a combination of any of these factors.
How to Diagnose This Issue
Symptoms are often not enough to make conclusions. It is imperative to conduct a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) check with a scanner. You can follow the steps below to diagnose properly using these technical hints.
- Step 1: Take a glimpse at the battery’s condition using a multimeter to detect if the car’s battery is faulty, as a low battery can set the code. Start with the engine off; you should get at least more than 12.5v. Check again while the engine runs; the figures should appear between 13.7v and 14.7v.
- If the battery voltage values you get from the multimeter are below those mentioned above, you have a faulty battery.
- Step 2: Can you find any battery-related DTC codes? Kindly clean the battery and run the engine afterward to ensure you won’t find such codes. If the battery-related DTC code remains, you have a dead battery that needs replacement.
- Step 3: Inspect the car’s starter, looking out for an excessive draw since it is a significant indicator of a faulty or weak starter.
- Step 4: A visual inspection of the harness, connector and wirings between the cam position sensor and PCM would suffice. Remove dirt, clean if needed, and rub dielectric grease. Don’t forget to check for corrosion, broken wires, loose electrical connections, and bent pins.
- Step 5: Test the cam sensor with a multimeter and employ a manufacturer-specific scanner to help you tell the exact reading values and code description when tested.
Note: If you can’t find the exact problem, you may want to replace the camshaft position sensor.
A Common Mistake You Must Avoid When Diagnosing P0342
As stated earlier, it is improper to conclude without conducting diagnostics; hence, a common mistake that car owners make is linking a P0342 code to the sensor without testing. Aside from this, you should avoid using inferior car parts and ensure you invest in top-quality replacement parts when needed.
You can find original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products that are better and more functional than aftermarkets.
How to Fix a P0342 Trouble Code
Troubleshooting a P0342 is dependent on the vehicle. As such, you may notice varying processes involved in fixing P0342 Mercedes, P0342 mini cooper, and P0342 Chevrolet sparks trouble codes.
This issue requires technical skills since there is no exact code repair. Hence, you might need the services of an expert mechanic. But, the typical correction of fault code P0342 includes:
- Replacing the faulty sensor
- Fixing the connector and wiring of the sensor
- Changing the car’s battery or fixing the cables
- Replacing faulty ignition spark plugs
Tips for Further Avoiding P0342 OBD2 Error
The camshaft position sensor is crucial for the smooth running of cars. Improper care, wear and tear, and rough handling can trigger the malfunctioning of this care part; hence, the need for adequate maintenance.
After diagnosing the P0342 code with an OBD II Scanner, kindly take the vehicle for repairs to a trusted auto shop as soon as you can.
Is P0342 a serious issue?
You may not know how serious it is seeing a P0342 Hyundai accent, P0342 VW, or P0342 Chevy Aveo code. But, you should know that this problem is sufficient to throw an engine into an “emergency mode.” If not fixed, such an issue would result in severe damages, following the myriad of reading problems.
What happens if you overlook a P0342 code?
Ignoring this problem makes the car’s operations and controls of engine parts pretty difficult. This issue is likely to cause further damage, including engine hesitation and engine misfire.
How do I fix a P0342 code?
It is crucial to send your car in for proper repair at any service station with expert mechanics. Please note that a P0342 error requires technical knowledge to fix it.
Whether or not you are just noticing a reduction in your vehicle’s engine performance accompanied by occasional stalling, it could be an indication of a camshaft problem. If you notice the DTC code P0342, it is related to the camshaft position sensor.
A PO342 camshaft position sensor with a circuit low bank 1 error would further cause the PCM to malfunction, causing issues with its operations. Kindly read through this article and learn about this error code and how to fix a P0342 OBD 2 code.