What Does Code P0320 Mean?
- P0320 definition: Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed input circuit has a malfunction
- Issue Severity: MODERATE – Extended driving with this code may cause internal engine damage.
- Repair Urgency: Get this code fixed as soon as possible to avoid being stuck with an engine that won’t start.
- Diagnosis: This trouble code can have no effect on vehicle performance one day and cause the vehicle not to start the other. Repairing quickly is recommended so you’re not stranded anywhere with a vehicle that won’t start.
The Engine Control Module (ECM) needs to know the position of the crankshaft and camshaft(s) in order to determine when to distribute fuel and when to fire the spark plugs. When this code is triggered, the ECM has lost the engine speed signal, this can be a loss of signal from the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor, camshaft position sensor, or crankshaft position sensor. (your vehicle may not be equipped with all of these sensors; check the service manual to determine which sensors your vehicle is equipped with) When this happens, it can cause the engine to stall, to not start, have a lack of power, or misfire. It may also have no noticeable effect on the running of the vehicle.
There are many potential causes of code P0320.
- Ignition/distributor engine speed sensor
- Camshaft position sensor
- Crankshaft position sensor
- Weak battery
- Dirty or damaged reluctor ring
- Check Engine Light
- Engine cranks but doesn’t start
- Lack of power
- No noticeable adverse conditions in some cases
How Do I Fix Code P0320?
With an engine speed sensor problem, the first step is to get it diagnosed to figure out what is causing the problem.
If your vehicle has this fault and you’re not comfortable diagnosing this issue at home, we recommend finding a RepairPal certified shop nearby to pinpoint the problem and give an accurate estimate for repairs.
These shops can not only help you figure out what’s going wrong before you waste time and money on the wrong parts, but they also offer a minimum 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and stand behind all their estimates with guaranteed fair pricing.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Code P0320?
P0320 can be caused by anything from a bad engine speed sensor to faulty wiring to a dirty or damaged reluctor ring. It’s impossible to give an accurate estimate without properly diagnosing the issue first.
If you take your car to a shop for diagnosis, most shops will start with an hour of “diag time” (the time spent in labor diagnosing your specific issue). Depending on the shop’s labor rate, this typically costs somewhere between $75-$150. Many, if not most, shops will apply this diagnosis fee to any required repairs if you have them perform the repairs for you. From there, a shop will be able to give you an accurate estimate for repairs to fix your P0320 code.
Possible Repair Costs for P0320
For error code P0320, one or more of the below repairs may be needed to solve the underlying issue. For each possible repair, the estimated cost of repair includes the cost of the relevant parts and the cost of labor required to make the repair.
- Ignition/distributor engine speed sensor $100-$500
- Camshaft position sensor $120-$300
- Crankshaft position sensor $190-$250
- Battery $118-$216
- Wiring repair/replacement $100-$1000
DIY Steps to Diagnose Code P0320
Engine code P0320 could be caused by a number of things, including a bad engine speed sensor, faulty wiring, or a dirty or damaged reluctor ring. If you’d like to try to fix code P0320 at home without throwing money at parts, you’ll want to follow the steps below for proper diagnosis. Keep in mind this is an intermediate-level diagnosis and repair and not recommended for beginners. Diagnosis requires more specialized equipment beyond what the FIXD Sensor can provide and it can be a time and labor-intensive process for inexperienced DIYers.
DIY difficulty level: Intermediate
This repair requires mechanical knowledge and is not recommended for beginners.
Tools/parts needed (our top picks from Amazon):
- Basic Hand Tools
- Vehicle Specific Service Manual
STEP 1: USE FIXD TO ENSURE NO OTHER ENGINE CODES ARE PRESENT.
Use FIXD to check if there are any other codes along with P0320.
STEP 2: CHECK FOR TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS.
Check for any Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for your particular vehicle that refer to code P0320. Follow their advice before proceeding further.
STEP 3: CHECK BATTERY VOLTAGE AND CONDITION.
A weak battery may supply inadequate power and lead to erratic operation of all of your vehicle’s electrical systems. Have the battery checked to see if it is weak or has a bad cell, and replace if necessary.
STEP 4: CHECK ENGINE SPEED SENSOR CONNECTIONS AND WIRING.
Visually check the connector and wiring of the ignition/distributor engine speed sensor for any corrosion in the connections or for any physical damage that might be present. Repair as needed.
STEP 5: CHECK CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR, WIRING, AND RELUCTOR RING.
If your vehicle is equipped with one (or more), visually check the camshaft position sensor for any corrosion in the connections or for any physical damage that might be present. Check for good power and ground connections. Remove the camshaft position sensor and check for a loose, damaged, or dirty reluctor ring. Repair as needed.
STEP 6: CHECK CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR, WIRING, AND RELUCTOR RING.
If your vehicle is equipped with one, visually check the crankshaft position sensor for any corrosion in the connections or for any physical damage that might be present. Check for good power and ground connections. Remove the crankshaft position sensor and check for a loose, damaged, or dirty reluctor ring. Repair as needed.
If at this point everything checks good, you will need to take the vehicle to a shop to have an oscilloscope test performed. This will be able to read the signal coming from the sensor to find out which one is not producing a signal.
Common P0320 diagnosis mistakes
Replacing sensors without checking the wiring to sensors or not checking for proper battery voltage.
Still Need Help Fixing Code P0320?
If you’ve followed the steps above and are still experiencing check engine code P0320, please contact the FIXD Mechanic Hotline if you’re a FIXD Premium subscriber or find a RepairPal certified shop near you to get the right repairs at a fair price.
Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.