Fault code P0322 – ignition/distributor engine speed input (RPM) circuit no signal

Fault code P0322 is called “Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input (RPM) Circuit No Signal” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.

Technical description and explained code P0322

Diagnostic Code P0322 indicates a signal problem in the ignition distributor input circuit. This code is also referred to as a crankshaft position sensor (CKP) and camshaft position sensor (CMP) error.

Fault code P0322 – ignition/distributor engine speed input (RPM) circuit no signal

The crankshaft position sensor (CKP) transmits its position or timing information to the transmission control module (PCM). This information is normally used for engine RPM. The camshaft position sensor (CMP) also tells the PCM its exact position and timing.

The input signals are used by the transmission control module to monitor the speed and position of the crankshaft and camshaft. Also, this information is used to adjust the ignition advance angle and fuel settings. This is done to adapt to changes in engine load and improve performance.

If an electrical problem occurs due to a lack of signal in either of these two circuits, the PCM will set error code P0322. This code is considered an electrical problem only.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P0322 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. The “Check engine” control lamp on the control panel will light up (the code will be memorized as a fault).
  2. Other related trouble codes may also be present.
  3. The speedometer or tachometer is not working, or is malfunctioning.
  4. The engine does not accelerate well.
  5. Jerking/missing ignition at idle or under load.
  6. The engine stalls or starts poorly.
  7. Reduced power output of the engine.
  8. Increased fuel consumption.

Error P0322 is quite serious, because the conditions that led to its persistence may lead to engine damage.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P0322 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Crankshaft position sensor is defective.
  • Failed camshaft position sensor.
  • Faulty ignition distributor.
  • Faulty engine speed sensor.
  • Open or short circuit in wiring or connectors on listed sensors.
  • Low battery charge level.
  • Sometimes faulty PCM is the cause.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P0322

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P0322:

  1. Read all saved errors with an OBD-II scanner.
  2. Clear the errors and do a test drive to see if error P0322 appears again.
  3. If the code appears again, inspect the wires and connectors for damage.
  4. Test the input circuits of the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors; if there is a problem, replace the faulty sensor.
  5. Check the engine speed sensor.
  6. Inspect the ignition distributor.
  7. If necessary, flash or replace PCM.

Diagnose and repair of problems

When troubleshooting an OBD-II error code P0322, it is necessary to find the components related to the ignition distributor input circuit. There are typically four main components depending on the year of manufacture, make and model of the vehicle.

These components are the engine control module (ECM), crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. Also, on some vehicles, the ignition distributor sensor.

Once found, visually inspect the connectors and wiring. Look for scratches, scuffs, exposed wires, burn spots, or melted plastic. Disconnect the connectors and carefully inspect the terminals inside the connectors.

Notice if they look burnt or have a green tint indicating oxidation. If you need to clean the terminals, use an electrical contact cleaner and a plastic-bristle brush. Allow to dry and apply electrical grease to the contact areas of the terminals.

Sensor inspection

Perform a visual inspection of the crankshaft position sensor. Look for obvious defects such as a broken wire or a loose, damaged or corroded electrical connector. You may need to remove the sensor to inspect the housing for cracks and other obvious defects to assess overall condition.

Visually inspect the camshaft position sensor for obvious defects. Check for broken wires, loose electrical connections and corrosion. The camshaft position sensor may also need to be removed to assess overall condition.

Some engines may be equipped with an ignition distributor sensor, which also requires visual inspection. If it has failed, it may need to be calibrated with the PCM for proper operation after it is replaced.

If after a complete check, you still continue to get a P0322 code, the PCM may be faulty. But keep in mind that the PCM must be programmed or calibrated for the specific vehicle to work correctly.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P0322 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Audi (A4, A6, A8, Q7, TT)
  • Chery (Tiggo, Very)
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • Geely
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Skoda (Fabia, Octavia, Rapid)
  • Volkswagen (Beetle, Caddy, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Polo, Sharan, Tiguan, Touareg, Transporter)

Fault code P0322 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0321, P0688, P1128, P161A, P161D.

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