Fault code P0346 – camshaft position sensor “A” circuit range/performance (Bank 2)

Fault code P0346 is called “Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 2)” 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 P0346

This Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is a generic powertrain code. Error P0346 is considered a general code because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles. Although the specific repair steps may vary slightly from model to model.

Fault code P0346 – camshaft position sensor

The camshaft position sensor (CPS) sends a special signal to the ECU engine control module for the upper dead center on the compression stroke. It also sends signals indicating the position of the camshaft sensor.

This is accomplished by a relay carrier wheel attached to the camshaft that goes past the cam sensor. Whenever the signal in the ECU does not match the desired operating range, this error code appears.

Fault code P0346 may also be set due to long cranking periods.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P0346 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. Poor fuel economy (if engine is running).
  2. Possible lack of or problems with starting.

The car is likely to run with fault code P0346 because it is often intermittent (flickering). And also because the ECU can often run the car in “sluggish” or emergency mode. Even when there is a problem with the cam sensor signal.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P0346 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Camshaft sensor wiring is too close to spark plug wiring (interference may occur).
  • Loose connection of camshaft sensor wires.
  • Poor connection of wires in ECU.
  • Defective sensor itself.
  • Damaged relay carrier wheel from which the data is coming.

In some cases, this engine error code is generated on vehicles that do not actually have a camshaft position sensor. In these cases, it basically means that the engine is not running correctly due to faulty spark plugs, wires and often coils.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P0346

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P0346:

  1. Check that the wiring is not routed too close to secondary ignition components (coils, spark plug wires, etc.).
  2. Visually inspect the sensor wiring for signs of burning, discoloration indicating melting or wear.
  3. Inspect camshaft sensor for damage.
  4. Carefully inspect the relay wheel through the camshaft sensor hole (if possible) for missing teeth or damage.
  5. If the gearbox is not visible from outside the engine, a visual inspection can only be made by removing the camshaft or intake manifold (depending on engine design).
  6. When all the items are done and the error has not gone away, replace the sensor. In most cases this will solve the problem.

Often replacing the sensor will fix the P0346 error code, but not necessarily. Therefore, it is important to do a check of all items.

Diagnose and repair of problems

The camshaft position sensor is an electronic device used in the engine to record the speed of the camshaft. This information is used by the engine control module (ECM) to control ignition and fuel injection.

The position sensor detects the position of the camshaft to identify the specific cylinder and piston position. The sensor system consists of a rotating part, usually a disc, and a static part, the actual sensor.

When the engine is running, the high and low parts of the cogs change the gap with the sensor. The change in the gap causes a change in the magnetic field near the sensor. The change in magnetic field causes the voltage on the sensor to change, if they do not match the reference, code P0346 will be set.

When the crankshaft position sensor (POS) system stops working. The camshaft position sensor provides different control of engine parts using cylinder identification clock signals.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P0346 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 (A6, A8)
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford (F-150)
  • Hyundai (Santa Fe)
  • Isuzu (Rodeo)
  • Jaguar
  • Kia (Sorento)
  • Lexus (RX330)
  • Mazda (6)
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche (Cayenne)
  • Scion
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen (Passat, Touareg)

Fault code P0346 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P0340, P0341, P0342, P0343, P0345, P0347, P0348, P0349, P0365, P0366, P0367, P0368, P0369, P0390, P0391, P0392, P0393, P0394.


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