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Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3385
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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2005 chrysler: The engine light came..crankshaft..acceleration

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i have a 2005 chrysler town and country. The engine light came on and gave a code for a faulty crankshaft or camshaft postion sensor. When driving the car it has no acceleration. it will kick down into the passing gear and just jerk around. I replaced both sensors and the engine light came back on and it still runs the same and the code is the same. Whats wrong with my mini?

T&C, welcome to Just Answer!.

If your engine seems weak even without the bucking that you see under hard acceleration, it might be a broken transmission flexplate. Your ignition timing reference signal (crank) comes off the tone ring that is attached to the plate.

The flexplates tend to break right outside the bolt pattern that fixes the unit to the crankshaft. Oddly, the break allows a small amount of slip, then the break catches and practically re-welds itself. No clunking or noise will be heard from the transmission bellhousing area as you might expect with a broken part. Instead, your ignition timing will be retarded by the number of degrees it took to stick the flexplate again.

If it's bad enough, the cam/ crank relationship may become bad enough that an intermittent loss of signal code may be set. Another code I would expect would be P0016 (cam/ crank misalignment) if the disparity is over 12 degrees (usually closer to 16 or more).

it's a difficult condition to diagnose accurately without a teardown or a factory scan tool. If you're familiar with the amount of engine vacuum your engine creates in your area (altitude makes a difference) you could compare that number to what your engine makes now. It's typically 2" Hg less than normal with a broken plate.

A better indicator is the real-time cam/ crank relationship comparison offered on the DRB III scan tool. Normal differences between the sensors are less than 2 degrees, so anything above this will likely be far above this amount and will signal the need to pull the transmission.

While there are no extended warranties or TSBs published for this problem, it does happen often enough that I offer it as my first choice. You may have residual powertrain warranty with Dodge, something that may cover the flexplate with just a $100 deductible.

Write back if you have any questions.



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