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P1326 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

P1326 is an OBD-II Code that refers to KIA Code - Knock Sensor Detection System

Meaning

A P1326 code is caused by an ECM (Engine Control Module) receiving a signal from the KSDS (Knock Sensor Detection System) that monitors vibrations that indicate excessive connecting rod bearing wear.

Causes

Common causes for this code include:

  • An engine mechanical problem
  • There may be a faulty knock sensor
  • A reprogramming of the Engine Control Module (ECM)
  • The electrical connection for the knock sensor circuit is poor 
  • The harness for the knock sensor is open or shorted

Symptoms

The symptoms of a P1326 code are:

  • Engine light on
  • Check engine light
  • Lack of power
  • Poor idle or stalling
  • MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) Illuminated 
  • Vehicle hard to start 
  • Engine cranks but won't start 
  • Intermittent rough idle or stalling  or other drivability issues

Diagnosis

To diagnose a P1326 DTC code, a technician would:

1. Verify a P1326 DTC code first 

2. Clear all codes from the ECM

3. Verify that no other DTCs are set

4. Check for poor connections at the knock sensor, wiring harness and ECM 

5. Test to see if the engine rotates as it should when you turn the ignition key to ON position without starting it, then release it back to OFF once completed 

6. Replace the knock sensor if an open or short circuit is detected during this test- If a misfire has been reported by the PCM check for spark at each plug wire and coil pack- Also check fuel pressure and injector pulse waveform during cranking over of the engine

Common mistakes

The following are common mistakes when diagnosing the trouble code P1326:

  • Using information from multiple trouble codes to make assumptions about the problem
  • Incorrectly pinpointing the cause of a symptom
  • Assuming that scanning tools are always 100% accurate
  • Not verifying if there are any other DTCs that could be causing the P1326 issue before diagnosing it 
  • Failing to replace parts that have failed due to overuse or exposure to contaminants 
  • Not following proper repair procedures- Use only recommended fluids, cleaners and lubricants when working with vehicle components

How serious is this?

A P1326 code is serious in that if not resolved soon enough this code could lead to a complete engine replacement.

What repairs can fix the code?

The following are solutions that may fix this problem:

If an open or short circuit is detected at the knock sensor, repair as necessary- If there is no misfire and spark is present, replace the knock sensor- Afterwards re-test for DTCs again as a false KOEO (Key On Engine Off) detection can set multiple codes during this test; clear them after performing repairs. 

Check that all connections and sensors associated with the KSDS (Knock Sensor Detection System) are in good condition and properly connected - Ensure that only recommended cleaners and lubricants are applied during repairs or that the correct fluid and proper volume is used for refilling as recommended by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

If a misfire has been reported, first replace the spark plugs and determine if there is spark at each plug wire before replacing any other engine components- Failing to do so could create unnecessary replacement parts cost.

Related codes

A P1326 is related to and may be accompanied by the following codes:

P1120, P1505, P1166, P1300, B1913, B2500, B1706, P1131, P1122, P145, P1111

How much does it cost to fix the P1326 code?

The repair cost of a P1326 code will vary from as little as $225 to over $1500 or more depending on the type and quantity of parts replaced and labor time involved. Because this code is considered a manufacturer specific code, there are some vehicles that may not be able to use alternative replacement components despite having similar symptoms. This is dependent on the type and quantity of parts replaced and the time it takes to diagnose and repair the problem.

The average cost for a replacement knock sensor is between $100-$300 depending on where you buy it from- Installing the new knock sensor can vary from $45-$200 depending on your location or service provider.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the P1326 code is considered a manufacturer specific code- This means that it is strictly related to the engine control module needing replacement. When this trouble code appears, it is usually accompanied by other codes so checking for all of them will help you pinpoint which component(s) are causing the problem. At times, there may be no other DTCs set when this one appears but it can still be serious if not resolved soon enough. You should always remember that even if the P1326 code isn't considered severe, misfires can cause damage to internal components- So replacing any failed parts immediately is always recommended even if they don't set off existing trouble codes or generate new ones.

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