Troubleshooting and testing the camshaft position sensor and diagnostic trouble code (DTC): P0341 CMP Sensor Circuit Performance, ( or DTC 17 if OBD I equipped) is one of the easiest tests on the planet! All you need is a multimeter and this article will take you step by step thru' the whole process. Although a scan tool is a great tool to have (and you should have one), it's not needed for the test in this article.
The test that I'm going to show you is a dynamic test done by hand cranking the engine. The camshaft position sensor can not be tested by doing a simple resistance test in Ohm's mode on your multimeter. The only way to test it and be sure of the result... a result that says: ‘YES, it's good or NO, it's bad’... is to test it dynamically, and I'll show you just how to do it.
To see if this cam sensor diagnostic tutorial applies to your specific vehicle, check out the ‘Applies To:’ box (on the right column).
The way this article is presented, is that you jump right into the test... but I recommend that you first take a look at the section entitled: How the CMP sensor Works.
Here are the contents of this article at a quick glance:
You don't need any expensive tools to test the cam sensor on your 3.1L or 3.4L V6 engine.
Tools You'll Need:
IMPORTANT: To test the cam sensor with the info in this tutorial, you'll need to jack up and place your vehicle on jack stands. Think safety and use common sense. Never trust the jack alone to hold up the vehicle!
The most obvious symptom of a BAD cam position sensor is the check engine light, on your 3.1L/3.4L car or mini-van, will be shining nice and bright (with a cam sensor fail trouble code stored in the PCM's memory).
Below is a simple list of more specific symptoms that accompany a BAD cam sensor:
When the camshaft position sensor fails, it usually doesn't keep the car from starting. In other words... in the majority of the cases the car starts and runs (although it won't run like a champ).
The three wire camshaft position sensor, on your 3.1L or 3.4L equipped car or mini-van, is a Hall-Effect sensor.
Which in plain English means that it produces an On/Off DC voltage signal that can be measured with a multimeter, an oscilloscope, and even an LED Light.
In this article, I'm gonna' show you how to test the cam sensor (and thus code P0341) with a multimeter.
Now, in case you're wondering how the cam sensor works, in a nutshell this is what happens:
The most important thing to know, is that the CMP will not keep the car or mini-van from starting if it goes BAD, although once started, it won't run right and will set a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0341.
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more
intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much —the wheel,
New York, wars and so on —whilst all the dolphins had ever done was
muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely,
the dolphins had always believed that they were far more
intelligent than man —for precisely the same reasons!”
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy