P1326 – Knock Sensor Detection System (Kia/Hyundai)

P1326 code

Some engine problems are simple to repair and don’t need to be stressed about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case if you see the P1326 code in your scanner when running diagnostics on your Hyundai or Kia vehicle.

In this guide, we illustrate what’s so serious about the P1326 trouble code and the symptoms you can expect from it. Additionally, we investigate the potential causes so you can get it fixed. 

Code P1326 Definition

P1326 – Knock Sensor Detection System (Kia/Hyundai)

What Does the P1326 Code Mean?

The P1325 code is set by the Engine Control Module when the signal coming out of the KSDS (Knock Sensor Detection System) determines that the vibrations occurring are abnormal. The P1326 is a manufacturer-specific code and only shows up in Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

The KSDS is responsible for monitoring the vibrations to ensure there’s no excessive wear to the connecting rod bearings. This is a preventative system that’s designed to head off engine wear before it occurs. 

What Are The Symptoms Of P1326?

At first, you may only notice that the check engine light comes on when the P1326 DTC is set. You may also notice that your car is in limp mode and the engine speed will be limited, and you will not be able to accelerate as fast as usual.

Here are some of the top P1326 code symptoms:

What Are The Causes Of P1326?

The most common cause of the P1326 code is a bad knock sensor or bad wiring to it. However, in many Kia and Hyundai vehicles, it can often be caused by a software error in the KSDS system, which needs to be updated.

The problems causing the P1326 trouble code can vary from major to minor. That’s why it’s important to have the issue diagnosed immediately.

Here are a few of the possible P1326 trouble code causes:

How Serious is the P1326 Code?

Serious – Considering the purpose of the P1326 trouble code is to let you know before engine damage occurs, it’s important to take this problem seriously. If caught early enough, you could avert permanent engine failure. 

If the Check Engine Light is on solid, you may be able to drive the car back to your home for diagnostics. However, once that light starts flashing, you should turn the vehicle off and have it towed to the shop. 

How do I fix the P1326 code?

To fix the P1326 code, you need to inspect and diagnose the knock sensor and its wiring and repair it if faulty. However, in many cases, simply updating the engine control module software will fix the P1326 code.

With the right diagnostic steps, you’ll know exactly what needs to happen to repair the problem. Some of the top fixes for the P1326 include the following:

  • Repair connection to knock sensor circuit 
  • Replace knock sensor
  • Update Engine Control Module (ECM) 
  • Replace/rebuild the failed engine 

Common P1326 Diagnosis Mistakes

When you are dealing with the P1326 trouble code, the last you want to do is make a mistake. It could be the difference between a low-cost repair and an engine replacement. For this reason, it’s important to complete a full diagnostics before determining what the cause is. 

If other DTCs are present, use this information to figure out the cause. It’s also important that you check all of the wiring and connectors. One bad connection can cause a lot of trouble, making you think something larger is going on. 

You also want to ensure that the engine control module’s software is up to date before you start replacing any engine parts.

How to Diagnose the P1326 Trouble Code?

Not every vehicle is going to use the same diagnostic procedures for the P1326 trouble code. For that reason, it’s important that you follow all of the guidelines set out in the service manual for your vehicle. If you need general steps to follow, here are a few to consider.

  1. Erase the codes from the computer with a scan tool.
  2. Start the engine until the Check Engine Light comes back on. Run the code scanner once again. If you see other DTCs present, make sure you use this information in the diagnostics steps. If something indicates a problem with the same system, you may be able to figure out what’s going on easier. 
  3. Check the software version for the engine control module. If it’s not the newest version, you need to update the software or take the vehicle to a Kia or Hyundai dealership to update it.
  4. Check all of the connections and wiring to the knock sensor. You want to fully inspect the wiring harness and the connections to the ECM. If you notice anything loose or damaged, fix it now. 
  5. Inspect and measure the knock sensor’s resistance. It is usually found on the engine block beneath the intake manifold. To find the correct values, you need to check a repair manual.

If these steps haven’t helped you figure out the problem, it’s best to get some further guidance from a professional mechanic. There’s the possibility that something bad has happened to your engine, although this problem would normally come with other trouble codes and symptoms added on. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Code P1326?

If the P1326 code is caused by a bad KIA or Hyundai ECM software, you can have it upgraded for free at the dealer. If it’s caused by a faulty knock sensor, expect it to cost $150 to $450. However, a seized engine can cost over $10,000.

If you’ve done the diagnostics and you know what’s wrong, you are ready to proceed with the fix. However, you might also be wondering what it could cost you. In general, here are a few average prices with the labor and parts rates included. 

  • Repair connection to knock sensor circuit – $50-$550
  • Replace knock sensor – $150-$450
  • Update Engine Control Module (ECM) – $0-$450
  • Replace/rebuilt failed engine – $1,500-$10,000

Mechanics Tips about the P1326 Code

Several Kia and Hyundai vehicles were known for having a software error in the engine control module directly from the assembly line. For this reason, there are several models that are involved in a recall, allowing for a free software upgrade or replacement of recall parts.

Some Kia and Hyundai vehicles do also have a recall for a complete engine failure. You can find Kia’s P1326 technical service bulletin here. Here is a technical service bulletin for Hyundai vehicles regarding the P1326 code and the engine bearings.

It’s best to speak with a local dealership about whether the work would be warranted with your vehicle or not. You especially want to inquire about the lifetime warranty if you drive a 2011-2014 Kia Optima, a 2012-2014 Kia Sorento or a 2011-2013 Kia Sportage. After all, if you can get the repair done for free, there’s no reason for you to stress about it.

How To Clear The P1326 Code?

To clear the P1326 code, you must first find out what is causing it and then repair it. Then you can clear the codes with a diagnostic scanner compatible with your vehicle. In most cases, there is no reason to clear the codes without fixing the problem first.

Can you drive with code P1326?

No. You should not drive with the P1326 code without investigating what is causing the code. In some cases, ignoring the code and continuing to drive can result in total engine failure. Therefore, you want to get the diagnosis as soon as possible.

Will P1326 clear itself?

In most car models, the P1326 code will clear itself after a while if you fix the problem that caused it in the first place. Don’t expect it to go away without fixing the problem first, though. Ignoring the P1326 code can result in total engine failure.

Is P1326 a recall?

Yes. The P1326 code is in many cases a recall for both Kia and Hyundai vehicles. On Kia models, it’s often just a software update, while on some Hyundai vehicles, a harness will be replaced under warranty. Sometimes, it could be because of a complete engine bearing failure. Call your dealer for more information.

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