How to Repair a P0320 Engine Code

by Lee Sallings

The diagnostic trouble code "P0320" that is turning your check engine light on is related to the crankshaft position sensor signal that your on-board computer uses to determine crankshaft speed and position. This sensor, along with the camshaft position sensor, is used to calculate ignition and fuel requirements for the engine. Hard starting, long cranking times to start, loss of power and poor fuel economy are the most common symptoms of a faulty crankshaft position sensor.

Step 1

Locate the crank sensor on your car or light truck. In most cases, it is on or in the timing cover at the front of the engine. One exception to this rule is Dodge V-6 and V-8 pickup trucks. In these, the crankshaft position sensor is located at the rear of the engine and is bolted to the top of the transmission bell housing. Refer to your service manual for the exact location of the sensor in your vehicle.

Step 2

Use a small screwdriver to pry up the small locking device on the electrical connector, if so equipped, and press the release tab on the connector to disconnect it from the sensor. Pull the connector out of the sensor.

Step 3

Remove the old sensor by unscrewing the 8 or 10 mm bolt that attaches it to the engine or transmission with a socket and ratchet or a wrench. Pull the sensor from its mounting position. The sensor is sealed to prevent oil leaks by a small rubber O-ring seal. If the seal is stuck to the mounting position, gently pry it up, while twisting it, to separate it from its mounting position.

Step 4

Coat the new sensor's O-ring seal with a light coat of silicone grease and push it into place. Avoid using regular petroleum-based grease on the seal. Petroleum grease will cause the seal to swell. Insert the electrical connector into the sensor and push the locking device into place to prevent the connector from vibrating loose.

Clear any diagnostic trouble codes with a code reader. Test-drive the vehicle for a few minutes on residential streets, city streets and highways. Repeat the trip twice. This will allow the on-board computer to run through its self-test routine and relearn procedures to verify the repair is complete.

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