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1996 Dodge Grand Carvan ES P0340 and 54 Intermittent Stalling


darlenestar
06-14-2008, 02:18 AM
Hello,

I have a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan ES, 3.8L V6, 4 speed a/t, 90,800 miles. Some background information. Replaced the starter about four years ago. Approximately 5 times per year (weather doesn't seem to be a factor) the van won't start with the first key crank. Turn it off/on and it starts up. About 4 months ago, the van stalled once while driving down the road doing low to moderate speed 15-25. Checked fluids - oil and atf was low and topped off. Van started and drove fine. Discounted the stall to fluid levels. Couple of weeks ago the solenoid pack was bad and has been changed out.

Since then the van has stalled about 5 times. All stalls have been at very low to almost stop speed. The service engine soon light has come on displaying a 54 code. What is code 54? The OBD II code reader was able to retrieve a DTC P0340 Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit (Bank 1 or single sensor). The freeze frame data is:

Fuel System
Open Loop

Calculate Load
0.0%

Engine Coolant Temperature
201 F

STFT Bank 1
0.0%

LTFT Bank 1
0.0%

Intake Manifold Pressure
21.8 in.hg

Engine RPM
000 RPM

Vehicle Speed
1 MPH

Several posts on this forum had a P0340 but with a no start condition. Mine is intermittent stalling along with a 54 code. Are these codes one in the same? Can other things malfunction and make the CPS trouble code to display instead?

Any replies and insight would be appreicated. Thanks.

Darlene

RIP
06-14-2008, 03:01 PM
Yes, MIL code 54 and scanner code P0340 mean the same and I'll have to say you are a lucky man. Many times the camshaft sensor will fail without generating a code. I'll also have to say your codes don't automatically mean the sensor is bad. It could be just a loose connection or a sensor harness wire shorting. To add to the confusion, you can get a code for a bad cam sensor but, it's really a bad crankshaft sensor, or it's connection or harness. If you go this route, I would suggest taking a little time to inspect both sensors and their harnesses. I've read of people having luck just removing the sensor and cleaning the sensor's tip. If all looks good consider changing both. Luckily they can be had for as little as $20. Some spend as much as $50 each.

When starting, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) looks for a good signal from the cam and crank sensors to establish engine timing and fuel injection intervals. If one is missing, the engine will continue to crank, it just won't start. If a sensor signal is lost while the engine is running, the engine will stall because the PCM can't establish correct timing without the sensor signals. If all looks good, plan on changing both sensors.

darlenestar
06-15-2008, 12:17 AM
Yes, MIL code 54 and scanner code P0340 mean the same and I'll have to say you are a lucky man. Many times the camshaft sensor will fail without generating a code. I'll also have to say your codes don't automatically mean the sensor is bad. It could be just a loose connection or a sensor harness wire shorting. To add to the confusion, you can get a code for a bad cam sensor but, it's really a bad crankshaft sensor, or it's connection or harness. If you go this route, I would suggest taking a little time to inspect both sensors and their harnesses. I've read of people having luck just removing the sensor and cleaning the sensor's tip. If all looks good consider changing both. Luckily they can be had for as little as $20. Some spend as much as $50 each.

When starting, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) looks for a good signal from the cam and crank sensors to establish engine timing and fuel injection intervals. If one is missing, the engine will continue to crank, it just won't start. If a sensor signal is lost while the engine is running, the engine will stall because the PCM can't establish correct timing without the sensor signals. If all looks good, plan on changing both sensors. Luckily they can be had for as little as $20. Some have paid $50.

Thank you Rip for your reply. I see where the camshaft sensor is located, but having trouble finding the crankshaft position sensor. I think it is supposed to be on the top of the transmission near the input speed sensor. I can't see the sensor. Is it hidden and to the left or do you access it from underneath. Is this a replacement by feel and not sight?

Also, would it be okay to purchase the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors from a local auto store such as Kragen, Autozone or do they need to be dealer mopar parts? If local stores, are some sensor brands more reliable than others?

tempfixit
06-15-2008, 08:32 AM
According to the Free Online Service Manual the crankshaft sensor is mounted on the transaxle housing above the vehicle speed sensor. It has a picture that may help you.

Aftermarket sensor should be just fine, as for brand I don't know.

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