P1330 – Spark Timing Adjust Signal (HYUNDAI, KIA)

By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2022-03-30
Automobile Repair Shop Owner
CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P1330 P1330 – Spark Timing Adjust Signal (HYUNDAI, KIA)
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Manufacturer Specific Definitions for P1330

MakeFault Location
AudiKnock control, cylinder 6 - control limit reached
BmwEvaporative Emissions System Leak Detected
DaewooSpark Timing Adjust Signal
DodgeStarter control -malfunction
FordInjector Control Pressure
FreightlinerStarter control -malfunction
HyundaiSpark Timing Adjust Signal
KiaIgnition adjustment connector – short to ground
LexusIgnition control – cylinder No.7 – circuit malfunction
ToyotaIgnition control - cylinder No. 7 - circuit malfunction
VolvoCamshaft position (CMP) actuator, inlet camshaft – valve timing advanced for too long
VolkswagenKnock control, cylinder 6 - control limit reached

Table of Contents

  1. What Does Code P1330 Mean?
  2. Where is the P1330 sensor located?
  3. What are the common causes of code P1330?
  4. What are the symptoms of code P1330?
  5. Get Help with P1330

What Does Code P1330 Mean?

OBD II fault code P1330 is a manufacturer-specific trouble code that is defined by carmakers Hyundai, Kia, and Daewoo as “Spark Timing Adjust Signal Malfunction”, or sometimes as “ Spark Timing Adjust Signal”, and is set on the listed applications when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects an open circuit or abnormal electrical signal in the ignition timing adjustment system.

Since ignition timing control systems on modern engines are exceedingly complex, we cannot provide a detailed technical description of the ignition timing control system in the listed applications here, beyond saying that the “signal” referred to in the code definition is not a simple electrical signal that emanates from a single source.

In practice, the ignition timing control system on listed applications uses input data from multiple engine sensors, and all signals from all sources are combined in an open-loop* control system/configuration that is designed to accommodate variable environmental factors such as the ambient temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure, among others.

* In its simplest form, an open-loop control system uses feedback from one or more sources/sensors to exert control over the functioning of that system. An example of an open-loop system on cars is the feedback a PCM (Powertrain Control Module) obtains from heated oxygen sensors to control the air/fuel mixture.

However, a spark timing control system is vastly more complex than the above example, since it has to strike an appropriate balance between conflicting demands such as the need to maintain fuel efficiency while ensuring a high power delivery, as well as ensuring engine longevity while limiting exhaust emissions to below maximum allowable levels, at the same time.

Moreover, ignition spark control systems must also be stable, in the sense that fuel efficiency, power delivery, and emission levels (among others) must remain within acceptable levels even if environmental factors such as those mentioned above change. This is a tall order, so to accomplish this, all engine management systems are programmed with look-up tables that represent basic ignition timing strategies.

In practice, these strategies are based on factors like the engine design, engine displacement, the engine’s compression ratio, the size and mass of the vehicle, and the intended use of the vehicle. Nonetheless, the basic parameters include the following, but note that all are references to the need to maximize the engine’s power output per engine cycle-

Basic timing

On most 4-cylinder engines that conform to Euro 6 emissions standards, this setting is typically between 15 degrees and 18 degrees after TDC (Top Dead Center). In simple terms, this means that the ignition spark occurs when the piston is between 14 degrees and 18 degrees past its highest point in the cylinder, which is when-

  • the highest possible combustion pressure can be achieved during the compression stroke
  • the most torque is produced, and
  • when the least amount of harmful exhaust emissions are created

Other important parameters include the point relative to TDC in the pistons’ travel (in the cylinder) when 50 percent of the air/fuel charge is combusted, as well as the point in the pistons’ travel at which the compression pressure in the cylinder is the highest, which is usually about three to five degrees after TDC- depending on the engine. Note that this should not be confused with the maximum combustion pressure, which occurs much later in the engine cycle.


For the purposes of this article, we can ignore the cycle-to-cycle variations in the ignition timing that occur as the result of normal engine operation, since these variations depend on many variables that in their turn, vary greatly even between identical engines.

Nonetheless, in a fully functional spark ignition control system, the single biggest determiner of current ignition timing settings is the current operating conditions. For instance, if the engine runs at say, 2000 RPM at a light load, the PCM will set the ignition timing to a value( relative to TDC) that produces the most power, while using the least amount of fuel and creating the least amount of exhaust emissions, at the same time.

If, however, the engine speed increases to say, 4000 RPM, the engine cylinders suck in vastly more air and fuel, which raises the peak compression pressure considerably. Thus, unless the timing control system advances the ignition timing to ignite the increased air/fuel charge earlier, the higher energy content of the increased volume of fuel cannot be utilized, since the higher engine speed reduces the time that is available for the combustion process to complete by a significant amount.

However, since higher compression pressures can, and do initiate the premature ignition of the air/fuel charge, modern engines are equipped with knock sensors that detect the sound of premature combustion.

When premature combustion is detected, the PCM retards the ignition timing just enough to eliminate the premature ignition, meaning that in practice, the ignition timing is always advanced to just below the point where premature combustion of the fuel occurs. Nevertheless, any adjustments that the PCM makes to the ignition timing are always made with reference to pre-programmed look-up tables to ensure that all changes/adaptations are always within allowable limits or ranges to ensure that the engine always performs at its peak throughout its operating range.

So if we had to reduce an ignition timing control system to its simplest form, we could say that the primary input signal is the trigger signal the PCM receives from the crankshaft position sensor. This signal is then added to, and processed along with inputs from multiple engine sensors. This partially processed signal is then passed along to the PCM to compare it to several look-up tables, and only after these circuits are satisfied that an adaptation to the ignition is required (based on the current operating conditions) will the signal be passed to each cylinder’s ignition driver circuit, which will make the actual change to the ignition timing.

As a final step, each ignition driver circuit will then deliver a trigger signal to its associated ignition coil, which will then generate an ignition spark.

Although the above is a generic overview of the spark ignition control systems on the listed applications, it should obvious that there are not only many signals in this system that can suffer malfunctions and failures; there are also a great many points in these systems at which failures and malfunctions can occur.

Nonetheless, when a PCM detects any failure, malfunction, or defect anywhere in the ignition timing control system that affects the proper operation of the system, it will recognize that it cannot manage the ignition timing control system effectively. When this happens, the PCM will set code P1330, and illuminate a warning light, but note that in some cases, and depending on the nature of the problem, the PCM may also initiate a fail-safe or limp mode as a safety precaution.

Where is the P1330 sensor located?

This image shows the location (circled) of the crankshaft position sensor on a Hyundai I20 engine. Note that crankshaft position sensors are common failure points on listed applications, and while the sensor is relatively easy to access in this example, on other applications it may be necessary to remove and/or disassemble some unrelated engine components to gain access to the sensor. Therefore, it is recommended that reliable service information for the affected application be consulted to locate and identify the crankshaft position sensor correctly.

What are the common causes of code P1330?

Common causes of code P1330 on listed applications are largely similar and could include one or more of the following, but note that since the definition of this code contains no useful diagnostic information, investigating other codes that may be present along with P1330 first often yields valuable diagnostic clues about the root causes of P1330-

  • Damaged, burnt, shorted, disconnected, or corroded wiring and/or connectors almost anywhere in the ignition control system
  • One or more failed, failing, or malfunctioning engine sensors, with crankshaft position sensors being the most common
  • Failed or failing knock sensors
  • Defective or corrupted ignition driver circuits
  • Poorly executed PCM programming procedures
  • The use of unsuitable or incompatible software versions in replacement PCMs and other control modules
  • Failed or failing PCM, which is a fairly common cause of code P1330

What are the symptoms of code P1330?

Common symptoms of code P1330 on listed applications could include one or more of the following-

  • Stored trouble code and illuminated warning light
  • In many cases, multiple additional codes will be present along with P1330, with misfire codes being the most common additional codes
  • A crank-no-start condition may be present
  • Fuel consumption may increase dramatically
  • The engine may run roughly, or the engine may misfire severely at some engine speeds
  • The idling quality may be poor, or the engine may not idle at all
  • The engine may stall repeatedly at low engine speeds
  • Varying degrees of power loss may be present at some, or all engine speeds
  • The engine may overheat, and sometimes, fatally
  • Gearshifts may be harsh or unpredictable
  • Depending on the nature of the problem, the vehicle may be locked into a fail-safe or limp mode that will persist until the fault is corrected

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