How to fix P0342 Obd2 Code (Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis)

Once the camshaft position sensor becomes malfunctioning, the Power Control Module will record an error P0342. When this sensor sends a weak or erroneous signal to the PCM, the latter is unable to engage in some functions, triggering the P342 error. These include regulating fuel injections and ignition. 

If you use a Bluetooth Obd2 App For ios & Android and currently have this particular code, you’re already in the correct place. Let’s learn more about the P0342 code including the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and possible troubleshooting solutions below.

P0342 meaning

Once the Powertrain Control Module(PCM) recognizes that bank 1 the electronic circuit of the camshaft position sensor is delivering a reading that is inconsistent with the factory calibration, it stores the code P0342 in memory. The PCM will then turn on MIL on your dashboard to notify you as the driver. 

When functioning properly, this particular sensor relays information to the PCM about the camshaft’s position by measuring the degree to which the electromagnetic field is disrupted by the camshaft’s teeth or notches.  

With this data, the PCM can devise effective approaches for ignition and supply of the fuel. If the input is too weak or otherwise flawed, the PCM won’t have enough data to time these operations correctly.

Error code P0342: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

Causes

P0342 code in the screen of your OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter can be triggered by one or more factors from battery-related issues to sensors of the corresponding components. That could one or a combination of these issues:

  • A faulty battery is one that is either dead or critically low on charge.
  • It’s likely that there’s a problem with the sensor’s wiring or the PCM’s electric circuit. Because of this, the overall circuit impedance might rise, which would muddle the signal.
  • Any difficulties with the ignition system
  • An issue with the starter motor
  • Caused by a faulty camshaft position sensor

Keep in mind that the most obvious explanation was listed as a last resort. In an effort to increase their billable hours,  some people will rush to replace high-priced parts that may not be the source of the problem. Changing the sensor may be the last resort if you’ve exhausted all other options while working on your own car.

Symptoms

The most noticeable signs that your car has a P0342 include:

  • MIL is illuminating
  • limited rotational speeds(manufacture-specific issues)
  • Deviating power output (unless you’re in emergency mode).
  • Stalling engine, especially when going on low RPMs

Keep in mind that there are a plethora of other problems that might cause similar symptoms; in most cases, you’ll get a powertrain-related error code with an Obd2 Scanner With Live Data from the PCM. 

Diagnosis

A technician would need thoroughly inspect all corresponding circuits and wiring after utilizing an OBD-II scanner like Autel Ap200 to locate all error codes. In order to clear the error codes and retest the system, they will do any necessary repairs. 

If they find nothing wrong with those electrical connections or wiring and these fixes don’t work, they’ll check the battery’s charge and try testing the starter. Until the issue is fixed, they will clear the codes as they proceed through diagnostics and repairs.

You can try these diagnosis attempts in sequences:

  1. Use a multimeter to assess the battery’s health. Starting with the engine turned off, you should have above 12.5v. Then, with the motor running, the voltage reading should be higher by 1-2 volts. Indicative of a bad battery is readings below that threshold.
  2. Make sure there are no DTC codes connected to the battery as well. If you do, wipe them clean and start the car up again. In the event that they return, power must be cut off.
  3. Make sure the sensor’s PCM connection, harness, and all of the wires between them are in good working order. Verify that there are no rusty or dirty parts, bent pins, or corrosion. When necessary, clean and then apply dielectric grease.
  4. You can test the sensor’s accuracy using a multimeter to make sure it’s working properly, but you might already know what numbers it should show if the scanner you’re using is capable of reading manufacture-specific codes or having the instructions on hand. Get it out and give it a try.
  5. As a part of the diagnosis, replacing the camshaft position sensor may solve the problem.

A common mistake in diagnosing P0342 obd2 code

Instead of doing a comprehensive investigation, most mechanics will just blame the sensor in question when faced with the P0342 error code. That’s the most common mistake in diagnosing the actual problems of the code.

It’s just as bad to replace worn auto parts with low-quality aftermarket replacements without considering their durability. Choose OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components above generic alternatives.

How to fix P0342 obd2 code

P0342 code typically requires simpler troubleshooting solutions, provided they are attended to quickly and are rather easy and basic. Those things are:

  • Battery maintenance (recharging or replacing)
  • The Starter Motor servicing or replacement
  • Fixing or replacing damaged wires and plugs(after diagnosis)
  • Camshaft position sensor replacement

You should only apply those troubleshoots only after you’ve figured out the actual problems. Only by that, you can solve the actual problems of the P0342 code. That’s why the proper diagnosis is the most crucial step before troubleshooting.

Tips to avoid in future

Auto technicians typically blame their sensor for the P0342 error code rather than conduct a thorough investigation. Proper maintenance is the key to avoiding issues related to this particular code.

Equally bad is replacing a vehicle’s worn components with cheap aftermarket ones without thinking about how long they’ll last. Use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts instead of aftermarket or worst, fake ones.

In order to prevent P0342-related problems, you’re highly recommended to properly maintain the corresponding components. You don’t have to wait for any obvious symptoms and you can perform scanning with an OBD II scanner like Innova 5110,5210,5310 on a regular basis.

Verdict

If you have plugged in your code reader and seen the p0342 error code, along with the symptoms described earlier, you should immediately begin diagnosing the issue and apply the proper troubleshooting. Being responsive to any symptom related to the P0342 code would save you from spending thousands of dollars for major replacements.