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Amedee
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 26417
Experience:  ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Stratus: I have a 2003 dodge stratus 2.4l DOHC. Changed the

Customer Question

I have a 2003 dodge stratus 2.4l DOHC. Changed the water pump and Timing belt with all new tensioners. Checking engine light came on after running the car for a bit and through a code for intermetant cam sensor. I changed the cam sensor, magnet and crank sensor. Car ran great about 100 miles then the light tripped again and car cuts out and jerks when pressing the gas. The wiring harnesses for the sensor has plastic and tape all over it and does not rub on the engine anywhere. I can not figure out what's wrong with this car. When I hook it up to my scanner the timing advance is at 8 degrees steady. The marks were lined up when I put it back together. I don't think they are off as the car runs great until the light trips. I'm going to pull everything apart again tomorrow just to make sure the marks are set correctly. What other things would cause this issue? I'm really getting tired of this car. I just bought the car and it needed a water pump as it was leaking. I don't know if this was a problem before but it ran fine when I drove it home when I bought it. Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome!
My name isCustomerand I can assist you with your question.
If the check engine light was not on and there was no codes related to the cam/crank sensor before the timing belt was replaced, this problem is caused by incorrect valve timing. I would be willing to bet that the timing belt is off a tooth or two causing this code. I see this all of the time as it is not easy to line up or time the engine correctly.
If you send me the code number I can do some further research for you.
Customer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The code is P0344. The cams are lined up perfect but the crank could be off a tooth. I'll pull it apart tomorrow and check it. This thing is a nightmare for setting timing belt. Just bought the car and got it fairly cheep fixing it up for a friend so I have no idea if it did this before I got it. I have not tested the wire to the sensor itself yet but I will if the marks are linked up tomorrow. The wires are well insulated and no where near the head to rub on so that shouldn't be an issue.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information. Yes I suspect the timing is off. If not, the next step would be to check the cam and crank sensors and wiring back to the PCM.Let me know how it goes. Customeredited>42133.8937282639
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok I will thank you.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Your welcome
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the timing marks are lined up perfectly so that was not the problem. The crankshaft positioning sensor has been replaced along with the camshaft positioning sensor and its magnet before this problem occurred again the last time. I'm going to start checking wires for current flow to see if there's an issue there. I don't know what else to do.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Upon testing the wires I found that even with the key OFF I have 5v to the cam sensor, moving wires around did not cause fluctuations in voltage for all test and all wires apear to be in excellent condition upon visual inspection. The positive wire for the crank sensor is at 5v constant until the key is turned off. Both the cam and the crank sensor have on/off function while rotating the engine 5v on ~0.2v off. Both grounds for the cam and crank sensor test good reading battery voltage at 12.49v. As far as I can tell not knowing what the specific voltage should be everything is functioning properly and there is NO wiring or harness issue. What now? None of this makes any sense at all.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Richard,
Did you remove the camshaft sprockets when you did the timing belt replacement?
What is the engine vacuum at idle?
Can you upload pictures of the timing marks for me?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No the top gears were not removed. I have to go get a vacuum gauge from the parts store. I'm going to change the plugs so I'll do a compression test as well. I have years of experience as a mechanic and worked in a shop for years. Just want you to know so you know you're not dealing with a layman. I haven't worked in a shop for a while and I've never seen anything like this so I wanted to run it buy someone who might have seen this before and is active in a shop.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Also the crank was top dead center checked it through the number 1 plug hole.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Richard,
Many thanks for the good pictures!
You are correct! It sure looks like the timing marks are lined up correctly!
Are you able to check engine vacuum tonight and reply back with the readings?
Customer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Vacuum is at 18lb per in at idle and increases to 20 when engine is reved. The compression check showed 180 on cylinders 1,2 and 4 cylinder 3 showed a lttile lower at 176. Pulled plugs they were gasped .15 over. Replaced pluges gasped at .50 to speck accrounding to the book. What do you think. I'm going to put everything together and drive it again. Wait for your reply. At this point if it didn't correct I'll probably take it to the dealer.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Richard,
EVERY SINGLE TIME I have come across this code it is due to either a bad cam or crank sensor (or signal issue for some reason.. magnet/pickup), wiring issue between sensors and PCM or the valve timing was incorrect. I truly believe it is going to be one of these issues. I would be willing to bet that something is just be overlooked.
As long as the dowel pins or crankshaft keyway did not sheer causing the valve timing to be out of time, you could just have a bad sensor (unless you have already replaced them). If so, I would suspect a wiring issue between the sensors and PCM. Maybe a connector issue??
Customer
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Have replaced the cam and crank senseors 2 times. Checked all connections and they are good. Checked all wires for breaks and interruptions and there are non. Crack key was good because I could see it. Cams I couldn't see but compression checks good where it is supposed to so cams should lined up properly. I don't know this is why I got on here to see if you guys had anything different. I'm taking it to the dealer if it trips again thanks.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Your welcome! Please keep me posted.
Customer