P0332 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

If your OBD2 sensor is giving you a diagnostic trouble code P0332, this means the knock sensor 2 circuit has low input. Why does this happen? This can occur for a number of reasons, but if you are having this sensor warning you should take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic immediately. They will be able to adequately diagnose the exact nature of the problem and fix it.

Meaning

The knock sensor’s primary function is to send signals to the car’s powertrain control module (PCM). It will send a message to the PCM when the engine is pinging. If the PCM receives a message from the knock sensor that it is too low, that means it is not capable of accurately sending the right signal for what is causing the ping.

If the source of the ping is unknown, the PCM won’t have the information it needs to solve the problem correctly. Overall, this can result in higher emissions and other problems engine problems as well.

Causes

A P0332 code indicates an issue with the knock sensor 2 circuit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t directly and specifically point to the exact source of the problem. This issue or error code can be caused by a variety of issues including

  • That you have a faulty or flawed knock sensor
  • That there is a problem with the knock sensor circuit itself
  • That there is an issue with the knock sensor circuit’s connectors
  • That your car is running on an air/fuel ratio that is too lean or close
  • There is an issue with the cooling system in your vehicle
  • That the exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR) is having a problem

Since the problem can vary from a faulty knock sensor to an issue with the cooling system or a defective EGR, this is something that a qualified technician or mechanic should see immediately. They should be able to perform a visual and technical inspection to look further into the source of this error code.

Symptoms

What are some of the key systems that would indicate a vehicle is having knock sensor circuit issue? Some of the most common vehicle symptoms include

  • That you hear a pinging in the engine when you’re accelerating.
  • That your engine is experiencing unusually high heat when you are operating it as you normally would.
  • That you notice a lack of control or power in your vehicle.

If you notice any of these issues with your vehicle, you should contact a mechanic immediately. This could be indicative of a knock sensor 2 issue and greater problems with your vehicle.

Diagnosis

How do you properly diagnose a knock sensor 2 circuit malfunction?

  • First, you need to confirm that this is the issue using an OBD-II scanner.
  • After you are able to confirm the code with an OBD-II scanner, the mechanic will need to closely examine the knock sensor and its circuit.
  • The mechanic will probably need to use an ohmmeter and several other diagnostic tools to test the integrity and function of the circuit, its connectors, and other components that are related to or connected to the sensor.
  • They will systematically test and/or repair each component as they go.
  • As they do this, the mechanic will clear the code from the PCM. They will then retest the system by turning the vehicle on.
  • In some instances, they will test drive the vehicle to ensure there is not an intermittent problem occurring, which should be addressed separately.

This systematic process should help the mechanic identify the source or sources of the sensor malfunction.

Common mistakes

Mistakes that can cause this code typically involve the failure to properly inspect and diagnose the core of the problem. A common example of this mistake would be when a knock sensor is replaced when it is working correctly.

This is a mistake when the problem may actually be caused by the wiring or connectors on the sensor. In some circumstances, the core issue could be with the cooling or EGR system. In this case, replacing the knock sensor would not do anything toward resolving this issue.

How serious is this?

A pinging engine can be a serious issue. It can impact an engine’s ability to run cleanly and efficiently. If the knock sensor is having problems functioning, the PCM won’t be able to get the proper information it needs to adequately predict and correct for the problem. This can result in the engine running rough, overheating, decreasing fuel efficiency, and other issues with the vehicle and the engine as well.

What repairs can fix the code?

After a mechanic is able to inspect the problem further, there are a few solutions they can use to fix a knock sensor 2 circuit code:

  • You can replace the broken or frayed wires.
  • Repair or replace the connectors in the sensor circuit.
  • Test to make sure the sensor and circuit are grounded properly
  • Replace the knock sensor
  • Fix the root of the problem with the EGR
  • Fix the root problem in the cooling system
  • Replacing or reprogramming the PCM (rare)

Related codes

None listed.

Conclusion

If you are having a knock sensor 2 circuit problem, this is something that needs to be assessed and fixed as soon as possible. This can cause serious problems with your vehicle and your engine if the sensor information isn’t being sent correctly.