I recently had trouble with the Camshaft Position Sensor on my 2003 Dodge 2.0 SX (same as a Neon) The on board engine code (P340) kept coming up stating that this was a problem. After researching a bit on the net at different sites, I quickly realized two things could be the problem.
1) These engines have a history of oil seepage from the camshaft seal. If enough oil builds up, it breaks up the signal between the magnet embedded in the camshaft and the receiving camshaft sensor. This momentarily broken signal causes the MIL(or check engine light) to come on by triggering the P340 code.
2) The camshaft sensor fails completely and must be replaced, though this is not likely, as the sensor is an encased coil with no moving parts.
Either way the following directions will help you access and remove this sensor for either cleaning or replacement.
1) Disconnect the battery and remove (this is required for working space to remove the camshaft position sensor, as it is located on that side of the engine next to the battery)
2) A vacuum hose that ran in this vicinity was removed at the air filter box and pulled back out of the way, and some of the other wires were moved slightly to gain access to the squarish sensor located on the engine. The sensor is black and measures approx 3"x3" square with four 8 mm metric bolts holding it in place on the engine.
3) An 8 mm socket with an extension was used to access the bolts and loosen them. Be careful not to drop them down into no mans land. Bright lighting is a must to see what you are doing. A flashlight just doesn't give off enough light in my view.
4) Once all four bolts were removed, the sensor pulled off the end of the engine with a slight tug. NOTE: It is a good idea to have a cloth or paper towel under this area, as a small amount of engine oil is present between the camshaft and the sensor, and thus leaks out when the sensor is removed. This amounts to about a tablespoon of oil, but who wants the mess?
5) Once the sensor is removed, it is easier then to pull off the electrical connector from the sensor, than before it's removal. This is accomplished by first pulling out the red locking tab to the unlocked position, a firm tug should do it, but a small blade screwdriver was required to pry it out of it's locked position. Then squeeze and pull the black part of the connector, to disconnect the wiring harness from the sensor.
Voila! One camshaft position sensor removed.
To reinstall the new sensor, I check that the faces that will come in contact with each other, when sensor is reinstalled, are clean and free of grime and excess oil.
Put a light coating of engine oil on the new sensor seal (green O ring) using your finger and clean engine oil. This will help the seal when the sensor is bolted back together.
Install the electrical connector by pushing the wiring connector into the sensor and locking it into place by squeezing the red locking tab into it's locked position.
Re-install the sensor onto the engine with the four bolts. Thread the bolts in, then tighten them gently with a little extra force, in an x pattern when tightening the bolts. This distributes the force evenly across the sensor. BE CAREFUL TO NOT USE TOO MUCH FORCE, SO THAT YOU DON'T STRIP THE BOLT THREADS. ALUMINUM IS A SOFT METAL.
After installation of the sensor, just follow the directions in reverse and you should be all set to go. Don't forget to reconnect any disconnected vacuum hoses or wires.
Hope this is helpful to you. GummibearAnsweri had the same issue and it took less than two weeks before it started to severely affect the way my car was running. it was skipping to almost nearly shutting off. the sensor isn't pricey, at around $30 at any auto parts store, so i suggest changing it asap. AnswerThank you for the great advice Gummibear it really helped me alot. AnswerIf the seal bonded on the sensor and disintegrated, I would apply an alcohol-based solvent such as a brake cleaner just along the seal and wipe it clean with a piece of cloth. If that still can't get it off, use a scraper or putty knife but be careful not to scratch over the sensor. In order to have the new O-ring hold steady on the sensor, I apply a special adhesive such as Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker specially for O-Ring replacement. I don't know whether any kind of adhesive would work or be sensor-safe. Not sure if I could layer a coating of engine oil and adhesive on the O-Ring.
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