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Neal, Dodge Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 8349
Experience:  30 years experience in Dodge Chrysler and Plymouth
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1997 Dodge Grand Caravan: Engine died with a code for camshaft sensor

Resolved Question:

I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.0 engine. Engine died with a code for camshaft sensor, replaced. Was ok for a while but still having car die at different times and the code is still camshaft sensor. Not believing it is the camshaft sensor but something in the wiring or PCM or TCM. Took off wiring connections into PCM and put on dielectric grease thinking better connection. Still happening andseems to be more often. Moved wires by camshaft sensor and wiring harness. car starts. but while car running and start moving wiring cannot get engine to die. Am I on the right track or something else???
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, I'm here to help get your problem resolved. Please feel free to ask follow up questions, it is part of the process.

What is the exact code you are getting?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am using a CEN-TECH code reader for OBD ll. The code is OBDll Generic DTC

P0340 camshaft position sensor A - bank 1 circuit malfunction

Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
These issues can be very hard to pin down. If you continue to be unable to find the issue, consider getting a dealer diagnostic. But first go over the following info on causes and solutions.

A code P0340 could mean one or more of the following has happened:

a wire or connector in the circuit could be grounded/shorted/broken
the camshaft position sensor may have failed
the PCM may have failed
there exists an open circuit
the crankshaft position sensor may have failed

Possible Solutions
With a P0340 OBD-II trouble code, diagnosis can be tricky at times. Here are some things to try:

Visually inspect all the wiring and connectors in the circuit
Check for continuity in the circuit wiring
Check the operation (voltage) of the camshaft position sensor
Replace the camshaft position sensor as required
Check the crankshaft position circuit as well
Replace circuit wiring and/or connectors as required
Diagnose/replace the PCM as required
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This vehicle has 172,000 miles on it and sticking alot of money into it is not worth it. I just recently replaced the camshaft sensor, this worked for a short time, maybe two to three weeks but then the car started dying again with the code for camshft sensor coming up again- Bad sensor???. When you say a short or grounded or broken wire would the wires to look at be just the three coming from the camshaft sensor to the PCM or all wires to and from the PCM and TCM? My first code when the van starting quitting on me was a code for either camshaft sensor or crankshaft sensor, I then replaced the camshaft sensor and now as I have been describing I am only getting a camshaft sensor code, could the crankshaft sensor be bad and still get the camshaft code? With a PCM failure would the vehicle still run? Everytime the vehicle just quits it won't restart until I go under the hood and wiggle the wiring harness coming from the PCM to the TCM. Not much moves here due to the harness being tied down. But like I said I cannot duplicate the quitting of the engine while running the engine and moving the wiring harness and wires to the camshaft sensor.

Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Based on the code you gave me it could be the sensor or the wiring between the sensor and the PCM. If you used a aftermarket sensor I would definately try another one as the aftermarket sensors have a very high failure rate. The sensor should be under warranty.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok I will try a new sensor. But if this does not work and I try to replace the wires, should I just splice befor the plug for the PCM and the camshaft sensor? the plug at the PCM has a round type metal connector, can you even get these to replace?
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
I would not just start replacing wires. You could try continunity tests and see if you can find the problem area. If you can get it to act up. also consider a dealer diagnostic. It would be worth the money to get it on the good computer. You woul have to check with the dealer to see what is available as far as replacement parts and connectors for the harness.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
For checking voltage to the camshaft sensor, how would you do this and which of the three wires? I see two wires go into the PCM right next to each other on the same plug and one wire goes to the other plug into the PCM. How much voltage, 12 volts? Check with vehicle running or not?
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Here is a link to a diagram of the connector.

The output voltage of a properly operating camshaft position sensor or crankshaft position sensor switches from high (5.0 volts) to low (0.3 volts).

The PCM determines fuel injection synchronization and cylinder identification from inputs provided by the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor. From these two inputs, the PCM determines crankshaft position.

This engine is equipped with a camshaft driven mechanical distributor, containing a shaft driven distributor rotor. The distributor is also equipped with an internal camshaft position (fuel sync) sensor (Fig. 1). This sensor provides fuel injection synchronization and cylinder identification to the PCM.

The camshaft position sensor contains a hall effect device called a sync signal generator. This sync signal generator detects a rotating pulse ring (shutter) on the distributor shaft The pulse ring rotates 180° through the sync signal generator. Its signal is used in conjunction with the crankshaft position sensor to differentiate between fuel injection and spark events. It is also used to synchronize the fuel injectors with their respective cylinders.

When the leading edge of the shutter enters the sync signal generator, the interruption of magnetic field causes the voltage to switch high. This causes a sync signal of approximately 5 volts.

When the trailing edge of the shutter leaves the sync signal generator, the change of magnetic field causes the sync signal voltage to switch low to 0 volts.

Since the shutter rotates at half crankshaft speed, it may take 1 engine revolution during cranking for the PCM to determine the position of piston number 6.

Circuit K7 supplies 8 volts from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to the camshaft position sensor. The K7 circuit originates at cavity 44 of the PCM connector.

Circuit K44 from the sensor provides an input signal to the PCM. The K44 circuit connects to cavity 33 of the PCM.

The PCM provides ground for the camshaft position sensor signal (circuit K44) through circuit K4. Circuit K4 connects to cavity 43 of the PCM.

Helpful Information
Circuit K7 also splices to supply 8 volts to the crankshaft position sensor and vehicle speed sensor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am happy with the answers I got and put a new camshaft sensor in and has been working fine for about a week and half now. Not sure if this will continue as I did this the first time I suspected a bad sensor and it worked for about three weeks then started to act up again. I did not put a Dodge brand sensor in since I was able to get a replacement for the first one at no cost. So trying this first. Should be able to accept answer and give comment (maybe you can do this but I did not want to accept answer and lose a chance to reply).




Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
I was off yesterday so I just saw your reply. You are free to accept and I will still be able to work with you if needed at no additional cost. By accepting it does not end any interaction between us.
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