Sunday, June 29, 2008
2004 Suzuki Forenza check engine light code P0342
This car had the symptoms of an intermittent check engine light illumination. I was also hard to start in the morning. Fuel economy was decreased and it had a rough idle. I hooked it up to a CAN (computer area network- 0r network of computers) compatible scanner and got code P0342. This indicates low imput from the camshaft position sensor. I did a little checking to verify this and went to work replacing the faulty sensor. I found that AutoZone had it available to order three days out, no one else had it either and they wanted almost $90 for it. The local dealer had it in stock for about $45. The new sensor is slightly different than the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This is likely to be that the new one is updated and therefore less likely to fail. The car only had 45,000 miles on it and Suzuki wouldn't cover it under the valid power train warranty.
Here's how to replace the cam sensor. To replace the sensor you remove the top engine cover by two allen screws on top. Next remove the air filter box. After that raise or otherwise support the engine slightly to take the weight off the passenger side engine mount. Now remove the fasteners from the top of the mount. The mount may be siezed and require an orange rubber mallet. = P Now you can access the M6 10mm head bolt that secures the timing cover in place. Take it and the plate out. Now you have access to the sensor. Note the whole timing cover doesn't need to be removed. Inside you'll see the bottom brassy metal half of the sensor. There's a special "E" socket required to remove the bolt on the sensor. I say "E" because that's what the sockets say like "E8" it's basically a female torx bit. Torx are like "T55" etc. You can buy a set at your local auto parts house. They look like a star as apposed to a hexagon. BE CAREFUL! While you remove the bolt have a magnet wand right there to catch it. If you don't you could drop it into the timing cover to eat your timing belt. No big deal, just hours of extra labor you don't have to do. (Suzuki engineers actually designed similar traps featured in the Indiana Jones movies = ) Just kidding) OK now you can pull out the sensor from the top and unplug it! You now just need to wiggle the new one in and Indiana Jones that Freaky Deaky "E" bolt back into it. Good luck!