Mechanics

CEL CODE 1362 IS ON - WHAT TO DO

1999 Honda CRV • 78,000 miles

Hello, I own a 1999 Honda CRV-EX with 1260,000 km. Always been great. Last May 2011, Honda dealer changed timing belt and water pump - this May 2012, CEL came on, code 1362-TDC Sensor, no signal. Honda dealer checked distributor cap and rotor for corrosion and said was ok, checked resistance at TDC sensor and supposed to be max 800 ohms, mine is 12,000 ohms. Mechanic said thinks I need a new distributor, but not sure since CEL didn't come back on. From this response, I didn't feel confident enough to spend 750.00 plus on new OEM distributor for a 1999 vehicle. One month later, CEL comes back on, but car drives fine, starts fine, no hesitation, no misfiring, I'm stumped. Suggestions? Should I just get a new distributor? Or maybe just the distributor sub-assembly with the sensors, and keep my other parts? Could something have been done wrong with the timing belt change? Thanks
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Sere
July 10, 2012.



There's a couple of things to clear up. First of all, the engine has been running fine for a year after the timing belt repair so why would you suspect that of being related to the current problem? The things that can cause that code to set typically cause stalling and / or a no-start condition.

Second, there are hundreds of codes that will cause the Check Engine light to turn on. You could have an entirely different problem and code. Many of the causes are due to the vapor recovery system and emissions not related to the exhaust system. Those codes are required to turn the light on but the causes will have no affect on engine performance. The first thing to do is have the code(s) read to see which circuit or system has the problem.

Caradiodoc
Jul 10, 2012.
Hello, thank you for the response. I guess I thought that because although I say fine, it may be slightly different, that is un-noticeable. I did have the code checked twice, I put the code in my question - it is P1362-TDC Sensor, no signal. That is the only code showing. Not sure whether it is related, but when the CEL first came on in May 2012, when I brought it in to have the code pulled, the mechanic found that I needed a new radiator and replaced that, but I don't think that is related. Thanks.

Tiny
Sere
Jul 10, 2012.
Intermittent codes can be time-consuming and frustrating to track down. Sometimes a sensor can fail while driving, typically from heat buildup, and the computer can still run the engine on a second sensor. What you see as the "Top Dead Center" sensor is commonly referred to as the crankshaft position sensor. The other one the computer uses is the camshaft position sensor. Some cars require good signals from both sensors for the engine to run. Some cars only require good signals from both to start, then it can stay running if one fails but it won't restart after turning the engine off. Some engines can always start and run on just one sensor but in a reduced power mode.

Those are three possibilities of why you could be getting that code but the engine still runs. Think of it as having a flat tire but there's no need to get it fixed because you have the spare tire to drive on. You might get by okay, ... Until another tire goes flat.

If your mechanic's test results are to be believed, 12,000 ohms is way too high for the TDC sensor but it's rare for the value to go up without being completely open, as in a broken wire, because there is nothing that can cause that to happen. The reason I sound like I don't trust your mechanic is because after repairing tvs and vcrs for 35 years, and cars for 25 years, as a professional, I have gotten incorrect results WAY too many times to count and they have sent me down the wrong diagnostic path. That happens to all of us many times. It's not the mechanic I don't trust; it's the readings. When I DO finally find the cause of a problem by the meter reading, I find it so hard to believe that I scratch the probes to make better contact multiple times, and poke and wiggle to be sure my reading is correct.

What it boils down to is I hate to see you spend money needlessly on a part that isn't needed, but it would be worse to have a second sensor fail and leave you stranded on the side of the road. If the light doesn't come on for another month each time that sensor is tested, you might look closer at the connector itself to see if there's a light film of corrosion on the terminals. If there is, the scratching action of reconnecting the plug can scratch through that corrosion and make a good connection for a little while. Cleaning the terminals is the solution for that.

Caradiodoc
Jul 10, 2012.
If the fault code is still P1362, most probably you need to replace the distributor. You need not get the OEM one. A Dorman distributor would be much cheaper. So would one from the scrapyard.

KHLow2008
Jul 10, 2012.
Hello, yes the P1362 code is still on. Ok, I will probably seek out a distributor then, and hope that will resolve the light issue. Thank you!

Tiny
Sere
Jul 11, 2012.