Your Guide to Purchasing an Ignition Failure Sensor
A code that you might not know about is the P0320 Ignition Failure Sensor (IFS) Circuit Malfunction or Ignition/Distributor Speed Circuit Fault. It indicates that your IFS has malfunctioned and requires immediate repair or replacement (sometimes even a bypass). As long as the P0320 code is on your car computer, you'll get issues on emissions and compromised vehicular performance. By replacing this sensor with the correct part, you can avoid a stalling car when you're traveling at highway speeds.
Tips to Remember about IFS Replacement
- Get a Technician to Check Your Car Prior to Fitting: Before buying or fitting your new IFS, get a qualified diagnostics technician to check out your car first. Find out the cause of IFS or tachometer failure before fitting your new IFS. This will prevent premature failure of your new IFS (by faulty wiring or actual coil failure) and it can even avoid invalidating its warranty if there's one available for the new part.
- Search for IFS with Premium Tachometer Amplification: A good and perfect fit of an IFS should provide your car with better tachometer function (in fact, when your KIA or Hyundai tachometer stops working, one way to cure it is to install a good IFS). With your IFS and your tachometer supporting each other, you can now wring out the ultimate performance from your car without absolutely destroying your engine. You can test the limits of your engine while keeping it from redlining, especially when going highway speeds.
- Verify, Verify, and Verify: It's better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to online shopping for your IFS. Although your search is practically narrowed down since not all cars have an IFS, you should still call the dealership or trusted mechanic to confirm that the specific part number you have or the part you're eyeing online is the right one. Any grief that ensues with buying a part without confirmation of the part number is mostly self-inflicted.
- Know a Good Sensor from a Bad One: A good IFS detects ignition failure by serving as a relay wherein the fused power of the coils has to pass through it first. The P0320 appears when the ECU doesn't see an ignition signal from the IFS. Therefore, you should search for an IFS that could replace your faulty IFS by being its virtual duplicate or OE-standard equivalent, has external testing certification (ISO9000, for example), and can keep your tachometer from malfunctioning.
- Avoid Doing an IFS Bypass: As a matter of full disclosure, many motorists with faulty ignition failure sensors scour the Internet mostly for a way to bypass the sensor and connect wires directly to their tachometer rather than replacing this part. This is not a recommended practice because your IFS is integral as a safety component. It ensures that your coil performance and emission rate are at optimum levels.
The IFS is responsible for keeping tabs on the voltage drop on the coils' positive side so that your Engine Control Unit (ECU) can better monitor coil operation. It also serves as an amplifier of the tachometer (the part of your car that measures the rotation speed of your motor's disk or shaft by RPM or revolutions per minute on a calibrated analog dial or digital display). Once it fails, you should get a replacement ASAP because it causes no battery power or no spark to go to the coil.