If the Check Engine Light has come on and you are getting a P0344 code from your scanner, you might wonder how to fix the fault. This generic powertrain code can lead to symptoms that interfere with normal engine operation.
I look closer at what the P0344 code means. This guide also covers the symptoms of the P0344, and I will also show you what causes it and how to fix it.
Code P0344 Definition
P0344 – Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Intermittent (Bank 1)
What Does the P0344 Code Mean?
The P0344 code indicates that there’s an issue with the signal coming from the Bank 1 camshaft position sensor. The PCM has lost the signal in Bank 1, the engine bank that holds the first cylinder. While this is a generic powertrain code for most makes/models, there are some that use it to indicate something else.
This code can be present with a single camshaft design, along with the single (SOHC) and dual (DOHC) overhead camshafts. This code deals solely with the signal that’s coming from the camshaft position sensor located in Bank 1.
Because it is an electrical fault, it can be an intermittent issue. The crankshaft position sensor is used to time cylinder #1. It’s also needed to control the beginning of injection and for fuel synchronization.
P0344 Trouble Code Symptoms
Most commonly, the P0344 causes the Check Engine Light to come on your dash. There are also some performance symptoms you might notice.
Here are a few to watch for:
- Illuminated Check Engine Light
- Hard starting engine
- Engine cranks but doesn’t start
- Rough engine performance
Causes of the P0344 Code
It’s clear that the cause of the P0344 code has to do with the camshaft position sensor, but the root of the problem isn’t always obvious.
Here are a few of the top causes:
- Defective camshaft position sensor
- Electrical short or damaged wiring
- Malfunctioning camshaft position sensor tone ring
- PCM issues, either defective or lack of updates
How Serious is the P0344 Code?
High – With an intermittent signal coming from the camshaft position sensor, several dangerous issues can follow. The vehicle can run roughly and deal with surging issues. If a repair isn’t made promptly, the vehicle might stall, and you could have trouble getting it started again.
If you don’t want the vehicle left on the side of the road, you should take this trouble code seriously. By repairing it promptly, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.
What Repairs Can Fix the P0344 Code?
There are many repairs that might fix this issue, so you want to perform a proper diagnosis before replacing any parts. However, here are a few potential fixes that could resolve the P0344 code:
- Replace damaged wiring
- Re-establish electrical connections
- Replace camshaft position sensor
- Update PCM
Common P0344 Diagnosis Mistakes
If there is an electrical problem that doesn’t make sense, the battery is often overlooked, even though it can cause a lot of problems. With a weak battery in place, various systems might not receive the voltage needed to run correctly. If you can’t seem to figure out what’s going on, try testing the battery voltage.
If P0344 goes away and comes back, the original problem was misdiagnosed. You will need to look at the situation again to see what’s wrong.
Recommended Tools for Diagnosis
How to Diagnose the P0344 Trouble Code
Here are the steps that a professional mechanic would take to diagnose the P0344 code.
- Double-check the battery voltage to ensure the signal isn’t weak.
- Inspect the wiring to the camshaft position sensor. Look for signs of wear or damage, such as melted parts, burnt spots, rubbing or chaffing.
- Inspect the camshaft position sensor connectors. There should be no sign of wear or corrosion.
- Update the PCM if there are any available.
Estimated Cost of Repair
Depending on the cause, you may be able to repair the fault yourself. However, here are some of the most common fixes with the average repair cost, including both parts and labor.
- New Wiring – $50-$1,000
- Camshaft Position Sensor – $150-$300
- Battery – $40-$300
- PCM – $500-$2,500
Mechanics Tips about the P0344 Code
It’s possible to also see P0340 (Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit) and P0341 (Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Range/Performance) trouble codes at the same time. While these codes are related to the same parts, they show the length of time the problem has persisted and what electrical issues exist.
When diagnosing the P0344 code, it’s important that you take all factors into consideration. If you are seeing other electrical problems, it might be more obvious that there’s a battery issue. However, if the issues only seem to deal with the camshaft position sensor, you can count on this or the PCM to be the problem.
How do I fix code P0344?
The first step in fixing the P0344 trouble code is finding out what causes the camshaft sensor signal to occasionally cut out. Possible causes include a faulty cam sensor, damaged wiring, or a broken PCM, among other things. To narrow down the problem, you’ll need a diagnostic tool, a multimeter, and a wiring diagram.
Can you drive with code P0344?
Strictly technically speaking, while you could drive your car with code P0344, this is not advisable. This code is set when there’s an issue with the camshaft position sensor’s signal. Without this vital information, the PCM won’t be able to correctly adjust the fuel injection and ignition timing, which will cause various running issues. You can expect anything from rough idle and hesitation to misfire or stalling when the P0344 code is present.
What causes a camshaft position sensor code?
The generic description for the P0344 code is Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Intermittent, Bank 1. In simple words, this means the PCM is occasionally not getting a signal from the camshaft sensor. There are several possible causes of this, with the sensor itself being one of them. It may have an internal electrical fault caused by age or mechanical damage. Next, there’s the wire connector and the wiring, which may be broken or shortcircuited. Lastly, there’s a remote possibility the vehicle’s PCM is malfunctioning.
How do you reset a camshaft position sensor?
Before replacing the camshaft position sensor, you can always try to reset it. To do this, you’ll first have to locate and remove it from the engine. With that done, inspect its connector for any corrosion or dirt buildups. If any are present, clean them off using an electric cleaner spray. Do the same with the sensor’s surface facing the camshaft, as metal shavings and other debris may’ve accumulated here. Lastly, reinstall and reconnect the sensor, clear trouble codes, and start the engine to see if everything works fine.
Can you drive with a faulty cam sensor?
Although driving a car with a faulty cam sensor might be possible, this certainly won’t be a pleasant experience. Without information about the camshaft’s position, the ECU won’t be able to correctly adjust the fuel and injection timing. This will cause various running issues, including rough idle, hesitation, or misfires. And if severe enough, the car may stall while driving, with its engine not being to restart afterward. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if it happens in fast-moving traffic.
Most modern engines have a Camshaft Position Sensor, which, predictably, tells the PCM about the camshaft’s speed and position. This is especially important when the engine has variable valve timing, or VVT, where the correlation between the crankshaft and camshafts is not fixed.
If the signal from this sensor is not coming through, the PCM will set the P0344 trouble code. With this on, the engine might experience various running issues, such as hesitation, misfire, or stalling. The P0344 is usually caused by a faulty cam sensor, damaged wiring, or a broken PCM.