P1326 Code: Why Does it Appear and How to Fix It?

P1326 is a commonly found OBD-II trouble code that you may encounter. Like every other OBD-II code, a P1326 must be taken seriously and tended to as soon as possible. 

It’s not as severe as some other OBD-II codes, meaning that it won’t damage your vehicle right away. However, it’s still recommended you get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent any unwanted consequences. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what a P1326 code is, why it appears, and how you can fix it. 

P1326 Code

Definition of P1326 Code

A P1326 code is an OBD-II code, and it refers to a problem regarding the Knock Sensor Detection System of your vehicle. 

What Does P1326 Mean?

There’s a KSDS in every vehicle, which stands for Knock Sensor Detection System. This sensor detects wear on the connecting rod system due to the vibrations, and it notifies the Engine Control Module if the wear is excessive. It’s there to detect connecting rod bearing wear early. Finding out about the uncurved connecting rod bearing wear soon can save you a lot of trouble.

Once the ECM receives a notification from the KSDS, then your vehicle will show the P1326 kia code. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your vehicle is damaged or broken. It means that the connecting rod has excessive wear and must be replaced soon. 

Possible Causes of P1326

There are multiple probable causes behind a P1326 kia code trigger like engine issues, problematic motor, and false reading. It’s important to comprehend what’s triggering the trouble code. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fix the issue. Let’s look at what might be causing the P1326 error in your vehicle.

Engine Malfunction 

One of the major problems that might be triggering the code P1326 is an engine malfunction or engine damage. This is one of the more problematic issues, as fixing the engine malfunction can be expensive and will require professional intervention. 

False Reading by KSDS Sensor

Don’t be disheartened yet, as this isn’t the only issue that might trigger the code. A faulty KSDS sensor can misread the vibration of your vehicle’s connection rod and trigger a false alarm. These sensors are easily found and very affordable to replace.

Reprogrammed ECM

If you reprogram the engine control module, it might flag false P1326 kia code alarms. Although this doesn’t happen often, there have been reports of such incidents. So, it’s considered a probable cause too. 

Damaged Components

The KSDS is often supported by a wiring harness. If the wiring harness is either damaged or shorted, it’ll lead to a P1326 error. Another probable cause behind this issue might be a faulty or poor electrical connection leading to the knock sensor circuit. Though some have cited oil change or cheap gas could be the reasons as well, but that’s plain wrong and has no evidence.

Symptoms of P1326

Knowing the symptoms of the code P1326 will help you diagnose the issue without an OBD-II reader. If you have a reader, then it’ll help you pinpoint the issue. However, these devices are expensive and usually not owned by regular users. 

So, we’ll discuss a few symptoms that you might find if you’re facing a P1326 alarm. If you find every or most of the following symptoms, you can be certain that you’re facing a P1326 error. 

Check Engine Light Flashing

If the check engine light is on, then you’re facing a trouble code. However, this symptom alone doesn’t mean that you’re facing a P1326 code. Rather, you’ll find the lights on in case of most trouble codes. 

Lack of Power

One of the major issues that you may find is a lack of power. However, this is only found when there’s an engine malfunction or if the connection rod has worn out. In these cases, you’ll find the car idling or slowing down occasionally. So, the maximum speed or the RPM will be lower than usual.

Engine Failure

Another problem that a faulty engine leads to is engine failure. You’ll find the engine cranking but not starting in these cases. Even if it starts, it’ll be very hard for you.

Illuminated MIL

One of the definitive symptoms is a lit malfunction indicator lamp or MIL. If this light is illuminated, then there’s a huge chance that you’re facing a P1326 obdii code. 

How to Diagnosis P1326

How to Diagnosis P1326

Diagnosing a P1326 code might be challenging for beginners. If this is the first time you’ll be tinkering with your vehicle, we recommend you rather visit a mechanic or a shop. 

On the other hand, those with a bit of experience can diagnose this problem with relative ease. Here are some steps that’ll aid you in the process. 

  • Firstly, verify if it’s a P1326 code or not. In some cases, your vehicle might show more than one trouble code, and figuring out the problems can get tough without a trouble code reader. Therefore, we recommend getting a reader if you’ll be troubleshooting your vehicle by yourself. 
  • Clear the codes from your engine control module. 
  • Check the connections at the knock sensor. Faulty connections, shorts, or a damaged KSDS harness can cause a P1326 error. 
  • The engine should rotate if you turn the ignition key on without starting the vehicle. If it doesn’t rotate, then you’re looking at an engine malfunction there. 
  • If there’s a faulty connection or short with the knock sensor, then this component must be replaced. To ascertain if anything is wrong with the knock sensor, check the PCM for a misfire. Even if it doesn’t report one, you can determine this by checking the plug wire and coil packs for spark. Also, make sure to check the injector pulse waveform and fuel pressure. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While you’re diagnosing your vehicle for the P1326 code, ensure the following:

  • If your vehicle displays multiple DTCs, focus on one trouble code at a time
  • Follow each step provided above serially to pinpoint the problem accurately
  • Don’t assume that reading devices are 100% accurate
  • Don’t get to fixing before looking for other DTCs
  • Use only the recommended repair procedures if you’re repairing it at home

Is The Code Serious?

Yes, a P1326 trouble code is serious. Its severity might be lower than some other DTCs. However, if you don’t tend to this fast, you might end up damaging the entire engine. Once your engine is damaged, you’ll need to spend a ton to fix or replace it. 

However, some auto models like 2011-2014 Kia Optima come with lifetime warranty for the P1326 code and will offer engine replacement. For this, you may need to contact the dealer or the manufacturer.

So, it’s recommended that you see a mechanic or diagnose this code as soon as possible. 

What’s the Cost to Fix P1326?

The cost to fix a P1326 fault code will vary depending on the type of issue that’s causing the code to appear. Usually, the fixing price will vary anywhere from $250 to $1500, depending on your location, vehicle models, and the type of ECU. The costs might climb even higher than $1500 if the problem is severe. 

For example, a problem with the engine might be very expensive to fix for the driver. If the engine is faulty, then you’ll have to pay somewhere around $1000 to fix the problem. 

However, this isn’t the only probable cause. If the problem is with the knock sensor or ECM, it’ll be considerably cheaper to fix. A knock sensor costs anywhere from $100 to $300. As for the replacement of it, you’ll need to spend around $200, excluding the labor cost. This depends exclusively on the shop you’re getting the vehicle fixed from. 


As you can see, the P1326 code isn’t tough to deal with. If you’ve got the basic tools and understanding, you’ll be able to diagnose this problem at home. Even fixing the problem is relatively simple, if the engine is unharmed. 

We highly encourage you to follow the provided steps for diagnostics. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to pinpoint the problem accurately. Share this with your friends so that they may save some cash by doing this themselves!

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