How To Test The Cam Sensor (1996-2000 3.0L V6 Chrysler)

Testing the camshaft position sensor (which is located inside the distributor), on the 1996 through 2000 3.0L V6 equipped Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth minivans is a piece of cake.

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to do it using a multimeter and in a step by step manner. With the results of this test, you'll be able to find out if it's defective or not.

Contents of this tutorial at a quick glance:

  1. Symptoms Of A Bad Camshaft Position Sensor.
  2. Circuit Descriptions Of The Camshaft Position Sensor.
  3. TEST 1: Making Sure The Distributor Rotor Is Turning.
  4. TEST 2: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Has Power.
  5. TEST 3: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Has Ground.
  6. TEST 4: Testing The Camshaft Position Signal.
  7. Where To Buy The Distributor.

Symptoms Of A Bad Camshaft Position Sensor

The camshaft position sensor is located inside the distributor. What sucks about this setup is that the cam sensor isn't sold separately. So when the cam sensor goes bad you have to replace the entire distributor assembly.

  1. Trouble code P0340 No Camshaft Position Signal stored in the PCM's memory.
  2. Engine cranks but does not start.
  3. Engine starts but stalls.

Circuit Descriptions Of The Camshaft Position Sensor

How To Test The Cam Sensor (1996-2000 3.0L V6 Chrysler)

Cam sensor is a hall effect sensor. This means that it'll have 3 wires sticking out of its connector. Two of those three wires supply the cam sensor with power and ground. The third wire is the one that transmits the cam position signal to the fuel injection computer.

Below is a brief description of the three wires that connect to the camshaft position sensor.

Camshaft Position Sensor Connector
Pin Wire Color Description
1 Black with light blue stripe Sensor ground
2 Orange Power (5 or 8 Volts DC)
3 Tan with yellow stripe Cam Position Signal
4 Empty

TEST 1: Making Sure The Distributor Rotor Is Turning

Making Sure The Distributor Rotor Is Turning. How To Test The Cam Sensor (1996-2000 3.0L V6 Chrysler)

The very first thing that we're going to do is make sure that the distributor rotor is turning when the engine is being cranked with the starter motor.

Alright, let's get started:

  1. 1

    Disconnect the ignition coil from its electrical connector. This is a very important safety precaution!

  2. 2

    Remove the distributor cap to expose the distributor rotor.

  3. 3

    Have a helper crank the engine while you observe the distributor rotor. The distributor rotor should turn as the engine is being cranked.

Let's take a look at what your test results mean:


CASE 1: The distributor rotor turned as the engine was cranked. This is the correct and expected test result. The next step is to make sure the cam sensor is getting power. For this test step, go to: TEST 2: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Has Power

CASE 2: The distributor rotor DID NOT turn as the engine was cranked. This test result tells you that the timing belt is busted and is the reason behind the P0340 trouble code and the engine not starting.