It is considered generic because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles, although specific repair steps may be different depending on your car model.
Possible Causes :
Look for missing ground strap or a rusty ground where the fuel tank is grounded to the frame. Check for damage to the wiring harness connector. If the scan tool has that capability, and the scan tool can operate the IMRC valves, then the problem is either resolved and a simple code clearing is all that's left or a new PCM would be called for. If the engine displays a miss and there wasn't a code, determine which cylinder is misfiring. If the exhaust manifold is visible, spay or pour a small amount of water on each cylinder exhaust port. Water will evaporate immediately on good cylinders and slowly on the missing cylinder. If this can't be accomplished pull the plugs and check the condition.
Diagnostic trouble code C0042 is not difficult to diagnose and repair. Thus, it always pays to have a qualified technician to look after your vehicle should this error code arise.
Diagnosing this code requires the engine to be in good running shape, without unmetered air entering the engine. If other codes that relates to misfiring condition, lean running or air entering the engine is present, then you must first fix those error codes before C0042.
Fortunately, C0042 is a fairly common OBD code, meaning that it applies to all makes and models of vehicles made after 1996.