Error P0342 Code – Definition, Causes, Symptoms and how to Fix it

This article will teach you all you need to know about the P0342 code including its meaning, causes, symptoms, and possible ways to fix it.

P0342 just like its sister P0341 and P0343 codes is a diagnostic trouble code that is shown on the check engine light to depict Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Low Input.

Furthermore, the Power Control Module sets the error P0342 code when the camshaft position sensor isn’t functioning properly.

The PCM uses the signal it gets from the crankshaft sensor to control the ignition and fuel injectors but what happens when the PCM is unable to get the correct position of the camshaft?

The error P342 will come up which is mostly caused by a low or incorrect signal from the crankshaft position sensor to the PCM thereby making it unable to perform these functions.

Continue reading as I’ll guide you through other details you need to know about the error P0342 code.

What is the P0342 Code

The P0342 code is a trouble code that is used to denote “Camshaft Position Sensor ‘A’ Circuit Low” implying that the PCM is not detecting a correct signal from your camshaft position sensor.

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Since the PCM uses the rotational speed of the camshaft to better the fuel injector and ignition timing, reading a low or incorrect signal input will reduce the PCM’s ability to provide proper timing for other functions.

What is the Cause of Error P0342 Code?

Several reasons might be the cause of the error P0342 code on your check engine light of which one or more of the below is involved.

  1. An undercharged or dead battery
  2. A faulty Starter Motor
  3. Defect in the Starting motor circuit
  4. A faulty camshaft position sensor
  5. A problem with the wiring harness between the PCM and the camshaft position sensor.

Symptoms of the error P0342 Code?

You should expect your vehicle to start showing the following symptoms if it runs into an error P0342 code

  • The engine will constantly stop while driving
  • Inconsistent power curve
  • Engine Hard start
  • The check engine light will light up
  • Engine misfiring
  • Capped RPMs

Also, these particular symptoms are related to other power train error codes, so it’s necessary to conduct a visual inspection of all parts of your engine before replacing the sensor.

How to Fix the P0342 Code

Any of the below fixes will help you in resolving the error P0342 error code on your vehicle.

  1. Battery Replacement or recharging
  2. Fixing any faulty wiring or connectors
  3. Replacing or fixing the starter motor
  4. Camshaft Position Sensor replacement

That’s it.

If after you’ve done all of the above-mentioned fixes and the problem still persists then you should contact the help of an auto technician. It might be that it isn’t really an error P0342 code.

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Nonetheless, let’s see other things to watch out for if we encounter the power train OBD-II code.

Common mistakes to look out for

Most auto engineers always attribute the cause of the P0342 code to their sensor without necessarily running a test to confirm the problem.

Also, installing inferior spare parts on a vehicle without considering the longevity of the product used. It’s recommended to use OEM parts, rather than low-quality parts.

How Dangerous is the P0342 Code?

An error code that is capable of stalling your engine can cause further issues to your vehicle if not looked into on time.

The P0342 code is capable of frying your spark plugs and rendering your PCM useless and could even go further as to making your vehicle not respond when ignited.

To make the matter worst, it could damage other parts of the engine incurring additional expenses to the owner. So, it’s advised you take the error P0342 code seriously.

FAQs

Where is the camshaft and crankshaft sensor located?

The camshaft position sensor is located at the cylinder head of the engine and has a cylindrical space where it’s been attached meanwhile the crankshaft position sensor is usually located at the timing cover or by the side with an attachment portion.

Will a car Work without a camshaft sensor?

No, the unavailability of the camshaft position sensor will make it unable for the PCM to create proper timing for the fuel injectors and ignitions.

Can I Bypass the Camshaft Position Sensor?

Without the camshaft position sensor on your vehicle, the ECU will not detect any spark therefore your vehicle will not respond. It’s not possible to bypass the camshaft position sensor but initiating a replacement is easy.

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Conclusion

The camshaft position sensor is an essential component of your vehicle that allows it to run without complications. Any default in its functioning power will result in a P0343 code or other related codes.

Nevertheless, with the above guide, you should be able to know the causes, symptoms, and possible ways to fix the error P0342 code.