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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new to the forum and looking for any help available. I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (hope this is okay on the Chrysler forum?) with a 3.3L engine and 226K miles. I installed a new air filter over the weekend and took out the battery to clean the terminals. Went for a drive after this maintenance. CEL was lit and engine hesitated/misfired upon acceleration. Checked the OBD code: P0340. Read up on the internet on this code. Tested the cam position sensor plug to the wiring harness with a multimeter and the key in the on position. Negative lead on multimeter on battery - positive lead on plug: one outside lead showed 5.00V, middle lead showed 0, other outside lead showed 4.95V. Assumed middle lead was ground and found continuity to the battery. Checked wiring diagrams and found which one was signal and which one was supply. Things seemed good from a harness perspective so I purchased an O'Reilly cam shaft position sensor. Installed with battery negative lead disconnected. Put everything back together and went to start. Hard starting now (new symptom), maybe 5 secs to start AND hesitation/misfire with CEL still lit. Put the old oem cam position sensor, (used .030 paper spacer on end). Found hard starting with CEL and misfire. Getting a little frustrated at this stage. Thought I was doing good with some maintenance. I have read a lot of posts of oem vs aftermarket and I am “sensitive” to the quality levels of both. I was beginning to think the pcm was a bit forgetful particularly after leaving it disconnected from the battery for over an hour. A data point to keep in the back of my mind. Another item which was confusing me was that the “key dance” did not work; no codes, only cel blinked 10 times. More reading and it occurred to me my old battery may be causing the issue. Monday night it read 12.33 V. Tues morning it was 12.41. I had purchased a new battery several months ago but had not gotten around to putting it in. I put the new battery in yesterday (Tues) and several things changed. Hard starting (cranking for more seconds than normal) is now intermittent and key dance works intermittently, still have misfire around 2500 rpm. Thinking along the lines of pcm with forgetfulness I drove it a bit several times yesterday. Still had P0340 code, intermittent hard starting and misfire at around 2500 rpm. Read some more last night. This morning went out and did the key dance got P0340 AND P0344! Hmmmmm!?!? Thought I should do some more diagnostics. Ran the car with the cam position sensor disconnected. Hard starting, and misfire at 2500 rpm, P0340 and P0344 key dance codes. Tested the signals (multimeter) coming out of the cam position sensor with it plugged in and engine running. Supply voltage was constant at 5.00 volts even when wiggling the wire plug. Signal wire gave me a .50v to.51v to .52 volts very consistently with an occasional .44. These numbers were not affected by wire wiggling. I’ve read that this cam position sensor is a hall affect and puts out a digital square wave form (don’t have a scope or meter to read this) but these signal voltage values are “reasonable”. (I think?) So…. it appears the cam sensor is “ok” and this is leading me back to the pcm. At first I had a P0340 code (Cam angle sensor CIRCUIT) now I have this and a P0344 (Cam angle sensor intermittent Circuit) Perhaps my old, forgetful PCM (all due respect to those of us on this forum over 60 who go in the basement and forget what they went down there for!) is relearning slowly and now we have gone from no signal (P0340) to (P0340) with an intermittent signal (It’s learning)? Perhaps I should drive it more and “maybe” the pcm will continue to learn? Sorry about the saga but figured I’d give all the data points. Any thoughts?
 

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As long as the battery was out, it would have been a good time to remove/clean the crucial ground point/stud underneath the battery tray on inside of frame rail. Is this in a corrosive (salty, in winter) environment? Wires under the power distribution center get corroded too, along with the PCM connections at the outside of the front frame rail.

2005 and up will run with a cam or crank sensor bad, but not BOTH. Earlier than that, if either sensor was bad the engine will not start. Sometimes I've read that the crank sensor can be bad, but computer says cam sensor? You could unplug the crank sensor and if it doesn't run at all, you'd know that's good at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Road Ripper
Thank-you for the input. I was unaware of the ground point/stud under the battery tray. It is a good point but I am leery of disconnecting the battery again. Yes, the van lives in the north with a lot of salt on the roads. I will see if I can inspect that connection as well as the PDC and the PCM connections. I REALLY appreciate the comments! Ran an errand with it yesterday and started twice with no hard starting. Drove it 20 miles at 60mph and very careful not exceed 2000 rpm at all. Ran great. Key dance still shows p0340, p0344. Noted that the cruse light does not come on and no cruise control. This worked before the battery terminal cleaning. Hope you all have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!
 

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Hi Tom, I suppose I stand corrected, I guess we do support Dodge...\

You should certainly not be afraid of disconnecting the battery or turning revolution above 2000 rpm. If either of those two conditions could or would cause you to be stuck then you are not out of the woods.

I'd advise further investigation until she is trustworthy. Better to be inoperable in your driveway than roadside or grocery parking lot with melting ice cream.

EDIT
All this started with changing the engine air filter... ?
So, certainly, inspect in that area and try and remember if you were horsing around the wiring harness or disconnecting a vacuum hose or inlet air temp sensor... something changed.\ it certainly may just be coincidental to your passive maintenance BUT...

Perhaps open up that airbox again and remove, inspect and reinstall the air filter element while carefully watching and remember anything that may be related to the cam position sensor.

Please, please, please... if you find a silly little plug or hose or something that fixes your problem, please don't be embarrassed and certainly return and let the world know what you found to fix your minivan.
 

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I'm new to the forum and looking for any help available. I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (hope this is okay on the Chrysler forum?) with a 3.3L engine and 226K miles.

I installed a new air filter over the weekend and took out the battery to clean the terminals. Went for a drive after this maintenance. CEL was lit and engine hesitated/misfired upon acceleration.

Checked the OBD code: P0340. Read up on the internet on this code. Tested the cam position sensor plug to the wiring harness with a multimeter and the key in the on position. Negative lead on multimeter on battery - positive lead on plug: one outside lead showed 5.00V, middle lead showed 0, other outside lead showed 4.95V. Assumed middle lead was ground and found continuity to the battery.

Checked wiring diagrams and found which one was signal and which one was supply. Things seemed good from a harness perspective so I purchased an O'Reilly cam shaft position sensor. Installed with battery negative lead disconnected. Put everything back together and went to start. Hard starting now (new symptom), maybe 5 secs to start AND hesitation/misfire with CEL still lit. Put the old oem cam position sensor, (used .030 paper spacer on end). Found hard starting with CEL and misfire.

Getting a little frustrated at this stage. Thought I was doing good with some maintenance. I have read a lot of posts of oem vs aftermarket and I am “sensitive” to the quality levels of both. I was beginning to think the pcm was a bit forgetful particularly after leaving it disconnected from the battery for over an hour. A data point to keep in the back of my mind.

Another item which was confusing me was that the “key dance” did not work; no codes, only cel blinked 10 times. More reading and it occurred to me my old battery may be causing the issue. Monday night it read 12.33 V. Tues morning it was 12.41. I had purchased a new battery several months ago but had not gotten around to putting it in. I put the new battery in yesterday (Tues) and several things changed. Hard starting (cranking for more seconds than normal) is now intermittent and key dance works intermittently, still have misfire around 2500 rpm.

Thinking along the lines of pcm with forgetfulness I drove it a bit several times yesterday. Still had P0340 code, intermittent hard starting and misfire at around 2500 rpm. Read some more last night. This morning went out and did the key dance got P0340 AND P0344!

Hmmmmm!?!? Thought I should do some more diagnostics. Ran the car with the cam position sensor disconnected. Hard starting, and misfire at 2500 rpm, P0340 and P0344 key dance codes. Tested the signals (multimeter) coming out of the cam position sensor with it plugged in and engine running. Supply voltage was constant at 5.00 volts even when wiggling the wire plug. Signal wire gave me a .50v to.51v to .52 volts very consistently with an occasional .44. These numbers were not affected by wire wiggling. I’ve read that this cam position sensor is a hall affect and puts out a digital square wave form (don’t have a scope or meter to read this) but these signal voltage values are “reasonable”. (I think?) So…. it appears the cam sensor is “ok” anAd this is leading me back to the pcm. At first I had a P0340 code (Cam angle sensor CIRCUIT) now I have this and a P0344 (Cam angle sensor intermittent Circuit)

Perhaps my old, forgetful PCM (all due respect to those of us on this forum over 60 who go in the basement and forget what they went down there for!) is relearning slowly and now we have gone from no signal (P0340) to (P0340) with an intermittent signal (It’s learning)? Perhaps I should drive it more and “maybe” the pcm will continue to learn?

Sorry about the saga but figured I’d give all the data points. Any thoughts?
 

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Start by rebooting the PCM (the computer) but I really don't think this is it, but lets have a solid starting point.

Disconnect the negative battery lead and (or both battery leads, but just the neg(-) will suffice and then touch the negative and positive battery leads together. (if they don't reach each other easily, use a length of wire or even a wrench or screwdriver/ Just a second or two, but for good measure, I do a five Mississippi count

When we do this, we are draining any capacitors or transient voltages that may store a memory in the computer. This also resets the check engine light.

QUESTION: did you do anything to the spark plugs or ignition wires?

If you want, and it is probably a good idea to at least look, go ahead and remove the battery, battery tray, and look at the condition of that grounding spider that RoadRipper advised about. Again, when that bugger gets high resistance to ground all sorts of gremlins can start mischief. If it looks good, I may be inclined to not mess with it (we need to control the variables) Try to test between each step as if we do fifteen things at once and then we get a change... which of the fifteen things was it that caused a change?

All of the folks here are dedicated to assisting and most are very knowledgeable (do not listen to JeepMan, he means well... : ) Being the weekend, if you author a post, there may likely be someone to answer within a short time.
LOL, I am of course just kidding about JeepMan, he is one of the most dedicate and knowledgeable...

Cheers and best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi FabricGator:
Sorry for the slow response. We were out of town for the long weekend. Thank-you for the excellent suggestions. Tomorrow I'll follow yours and RoadRipper's advice and report back. Yes, this all started with changing the air filter and taking out the battery to clean corrosion off of the positive terminal. That was all, nothing to the spark plugs or wires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Guys, today I did the following:
1) Took out battery and held + and - together for 5 missippi count
2) Reinstalled battery, started up easy, cel on immediately, misses at approx 2400 rpm
3) Key dance showed only P0340; P0344 did not show
———-
1) Took out battery and battery tray
2) Ground post looks okay, nut is a little rusty.
3) Started easy, test drove good except missing at 2400 rpm
4) Still no cruise control working, no light, nothing. Worked great B4 all this
5) Key dance no work after test drive, cel only blinks 10 times.
———-
1) Took off air cleaner and removed air filter
2) Checked the wiring. Looked good
3) Hard start but ran well except missing at 2400 rpm
4) Key dance gave no codes only blinked 10 times.
5) 2nd key dance gave P0340 code

My knee jerk reaction would be an OEM cam sensor replacement. BUT the tests results last week indicating good voltage to and from the sensor as well as good continuity on the ground wire to the sensor. The dead cruise control is an anomaly that seems to point away from the cam sensor. Any ideas?
 

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There is the factory info. I think you’re going to have trouble diagnosing this without a scope. You can’t tell if the signal is good without one. It’d probably be really obvious if you could put a scope on the signal wire at the PCM. If the signal is there (and good) it’s the PCM (or maybe its grounds), and if not there’s more testing to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is very good information LPete, thank-you! I just wanted to see if I was getting any signal off the cam shaft sensor. I know that I am but unfortunately I do not know the quality of it as you mention.. If I only had a scope:)
 
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