What does the P0344 code mean?
Error code P0344 indicates that the engine control unit has received, or is receiving, an incorrect signal from the camshaft position sensor. The code indicates that the problem was intermittent and may no longer exist. An error code can be stored in the engine control unit for a long time. The p0344 is a generic OBD2 fault code that applies to all vehicle models and makes from the year 2000 onwards.
You may find other camshaft related error codes with code P0344. Some examples are P0341, P0342, P0343. The codes are very similar; the difference is what type of faulty signal the engine control unit has detected.
Some engines have several camshaft sensors, but usually, there’s only one. Sometimes you will get bank information from your error code if you have a V-engine. If you get this information, the bank 1 sensor is located at cylinders 1-3-5-7-9, and the bank 2 sensor is located at cylinder 2-4-6-8-10 and so on.
In 4-stroke engines, the crankshaft rotates two revolutions per cycle and the camshaft sensor rotates one revolution per cycle. Many older cars have only one crankshaft sensor. For this reason, the engine control module does not know which of the rotations the engine is in. Therefore, the engine control module ignites the ignition coils twice per revolution, which is called a “wasted spark”. If a camshaft sensor is used, the engine control module only ignites the injectors and ignition once per revolution.
|Code||Description||Common Causes||Possible Solutions|
|P0344||Camshaft Position Sensor – Intermittent||Faulty Camshaft position sensor ( Most common ) |
Faulty Wirings to camshaft position sensor
Corrosion / Bad connection in the camshaft position sensor connector plug
Low battery voltage
Faulty Engine control unit (Rare)
| Replace Camshaft position sensor |
Clean the camshaft position sensor connector plug
Charge your car battery
Replace engine control unit (Rare)
Because code P0344 tells us that the problem is intermittent, you’ll most likely just have a check engine light as a symptom. But there could be other symptoms if the problem is permanent.
- Hard starting condition / Long cranking time
- Check Engine Light / Service Engine Soon light
- Loss of power in the engine
- Rough idle
- Engine dies suddenly
The most common cause is a defective camshaft position sensor, but you should always check the wiring and the connector before replacing the sensor. In some cases, the problem may also occur with a low battery voltage. A common misdiagnosis is to start by checking the camshaft position sensor. This code indicates that it is an electrical circuit problem and not a camshaft timing problem.
- Faulty camshaft position sensor (most common)
- Missing or incomplete wirings to camshaft position sensor
- Corrosion or poor connection in the camshaft position sensor connector plug
- Low battery voltage
- Faulty ECU (Rare)
If you have noticed that your car has had low voltage at some point, recharge your battery and clear the error code of the P0344 to see if it comes back. Sometimes it can be that simple.
- Replace camshaft position sensor
- Repair wirings
- Clean the camshaft position sensor connector plug
- Charge your car battery
- Replace ECU (Rare)
How to diagnose the P0344 code
This is a guide on how an experienced automotive technician would diagnose this fault code. It may require some automotive electrical knowledge and some tools. Since the error code is intermittent, the error may not occur during diagnosis. But it is always good to check it.
Connect a car battery charger
Always connect a battery charger to your vehicle before you start troubleshooting. I recommend getting a charger that charges over 4 amps. If you do a lot of troubleshooting with the ignition on, the battery may be discharged if it is not powerful enough.
Connect an OBD2 scanner
Connect an OBD2 scanner to your vehicle. Check the code P0344. At this point, you have two options: either you clear the error code and recharge your battery, hoping it does not come back; or you make a proper diagnosis to see if you can find any problems.
Locate your camshaft sensor
Locate your camshaft sensor. It’s located somewhere near one of the camshafts. You can see a sample image of a camshaft sensor at the top of the article. You need to determine if you have a Hall sensor or VR sensor for the next tasks. Hall sensors have 3 pins/wires and VR sensors have 2 pins/wires.
Check for damages/corrosion
Check the connector plug of the camshaft position sensor to see if you can detect damage or bad connections. If you find green-colored metal, it is likely that water has entered and caused a bad connection at the pins. You can use an electric cleaner for cleaning. Check for oil leakage around the camshaft sensor and clean it if there is a lot of oil around it.
Diagnose of Hall sensor
The hall sensor uses three wires. One 5 volt power supply, one ground, and one signal wire.
To diagnose the hall sensor:
Check if you get 5-volt power with a digital multimeter.
Check if you get 5-volt on the signal wire with the ignition on and the connector unplugged.
Check if you have ground on the ground wire.
If you have all these, your camshaft position sensor may be damaged.
Diagnose of VR sensor
The VR sensor uses two wires. One signal wire and one return wire.
The easiest way to check this sensor is to measure the ohms between the two pins on the sensor with the connector unplugged.
You should get a value of around 500-2000 ohms. If you are getting a value of 0 or nothing, there may be an open circuit in the sensor and the sensor should be replaced.
Unplug the engine control connector and find out which two pins lead to the sensor. Proceed in the same way with the connector plugged in. You should get the same ohms here, maybe a bit higher because of the length of the wires. If you get 0 or nothing here, there could be a problem with your wiring.
Recommended Tools to Fix P0344
- Read the DTC code memory: FOXWELL NT301 Scan Tool. For advanced troubleshooting, you may need a more advanced code reader.
- Car Battery Charger: NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V Smart Battery Charger
- To measure the wirings: Digital multimeter
- Contact cleaner to clean connector plugs: Electric Cleaner
- Advanced diagnosing: Oscilloscope
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