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P1361 – What Does It Mean and 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

P1361 is an OBD-II Code that refers to Top Dead Center Sensor 1 Intermittent Interruption (Honda, Acura)

Meaning

A P1361 code is a manufacturer specific diagnostic trouble code related to Honda n Acura vehicles that occurs when the PCM/ECM detects failure of the TDC sensor, specifically that the TDC sensor is exhibiting intermittent interruptions. Because the engine’s internal components must work together for efficient operation, there must be a starting point. This is called the Top Dead Center (TDC), and in newer vehicle engines, it is maintained by the Top Dead Center Sensor.

The OBDII fault code P1361 will be set and store for Acura and Honda vehicles when it detects a failure of the TDC sensor

Causes

Common causes for this code include:

  • Bad Top Dead Center Sensor 1 
  • Top Dead Center Sensor 1 circuit has poor electrical connection
  • Top Dead Center Sensor 1 harness is shorted or open

Symptoms

The symptoms of a P1361 code are:

  • Illuminated Check Engine Light
  • Strange motor operation
  • Engine troubles when attempting to start

Diagnosis

To diagnose a P1361 DTC code, a technician would:

  1. Scan for codes in the ECM and look at the freeze frame data for failure.
  2. Visually inspect the Top Dead Center Sensor 1 and its wiring for damage, shorting, or other signs of problems.
  3. Check the signal from the Top Dead Center Sensor 1 to the PCM/ECM for interruption.
  4. If all of these tests are inconclusive, a diagnostic scanner can be used to check the signal at the TDC sensor.

Common mistakes

The following are some of the most common mistakes that a technician may make when diagnosing a P1361 code:

  • Not thoroughly inspecting all the wiring and connectors for damage.
  • Not checking the signal at the TDC sensor.
  • Not properly diagnosing the root cause of the code.

How serious is this?

A P1361 code is a moderate to severe code, and should be addressed as soon as possible. If the problem is not fixed, it may lead to the vehicle not starting, or even engine damage.

What repairs can fix the code?

The following are solutions that may fix this problem:

  • Repair or replace any wiring that is damaged
  • Replace the Top Dead Center Sensor 1 
  • Clear the code and test drive the vehicle to see if it returns
  • Check the PCM/ECM for signs of water damage and replace if necessary

Related codes

A P1361 is related to and may be accompanied by the following codes:

P0335 – Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction (Honda, Acura)

P1354 – Camshaft Position Sensor 1 Intermittent Interruption (Honda, Acura)

P0340 – Camshaft Position Sensor No Signal (Honda, Acura)

Conclusion

In conclusion, the P1361 code is a diagnostic trouble code that refers to a problem with the Top Dead Center Sensor 1 on Honda and Acura vehicles. The code may be caused by a bad sensor, a poor electrical connection, or a shorted or open wire. The code should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the engine.