Testing the camshaft position sensor on the 2.0L Dodge Stratus (or Plymouth Breeze) isn't difficult and can be done with a multimeter (no scan tool required). In this tutorial I'll explain how to. With your test results, you'll easily determine if the CMP sensor is good or bad.
In case you're wondering, this CMP sensor is a Hall effect type sensor, so a basic Ohms (resistance) test cannot be done on it.
Contents of this tutorial:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Sensor CMP (1995-2000 2.0L Dodge Stratus, Plymouth Breeze) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 2.0L Dodge Stratus: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
- 2.0L Plymouth Breeze: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
Symptoms Of A Bad CMP Sensor
The most common symptoms of a bad camshaft position sensor (CMP) in a 1995-2000 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) are:
- Engine May Not Start: When the CMP sensor fails, it can prevent the engine from starting.
- Engine Starts And Immediately Stalls: A bad CMP may cause the engine turn off suddenly after it starts.
- Check Engine Light Illuminated: When the CMP sensor goes bad, the Check Engine Light generally illuminates due to a CMP sensor fault code being set in the fuel injection computer's memory.
- P0340: No CMP Signal At PCM.
- Poor Engine Performance: A failing CMP sensor can lead to poor engine performance, characterized by irregular acceleration, misfiring, and hard starting. In some cases, the engine may even surge unexpectedly.
- Hesitation or Loss of Power: The engine may display signs of hesitation under load, or it could feel like it's low on power.
- Limp Mode: When the CMP sensor is not working correctly, it can cause the vehicle to enter a 'limp mode' for safety, which restricts engine performance.
- Slow Acceleration: There might be a noticeable drop in engine power, leading to slow acceleration.
How Does The CMP Sensor Work?
The CMP sensor, on your 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) is a Hall-Effect type sensor. This means that it needs power, in the form of DC voltage and Ground to produce a CMP signal that the PCM can use.
Once the sensor gets power and Ground (from the PCM) and the camshaft is rotating, it starts to produce an ON/OFF DC voltage signal. Specifically:
- ON is when the sensor outputs 5 Volts.
- OFF is when this voltage drops to 0.3 or 0.5 Volts.
Where To Buy The CMP Sensor And Save
There's a good chance that you can buy the CMP sensor online for a whole lot cheaper than somewhere local.
The following links will help you comparison shop for the camshaft position sensor:
Not sure if the above CMP sensor fits your particular Dodge Stratus or Plymouth Breeze? Don't worry, once you get to the site, they'll make sure it fits by asking you the specifics of your vehicle. If the above don't fit, they'll find the right one for you.
Camshaft Position Sensor Connector Pinout
The 1995-1997 models initially came equipped with a CMP sensor that had round male terminals and using a connector with round female terminals as depicted in illustration 2 of 2. However, this original design encountered reliability issues, prompting an update to both the CMP sensor and its electrical connector.
The updated CMP sensor has male spade terminals and its corresponding connector features female terminals that mate with these male spade terminals (see illustration 1 of 2). This design change solved some of the reliability and performance issues of the CMP sensor with round terminals.
As of this writing, most CMP sensor's on the 2.0L Stratus (or Breeze) have been upgraded to the new style of connector. I'm still including the old style connector illustration in this tutorial just in case your vehicle still has the original style CMP sensor with round terminals.
Regardless of the type of CMP sensor and connector on your vehicle, the circuits are the same and their wires share the same color scheme. The table below has a brief description of each:
|CMP Sensor Circuits|
|1||Orange with white stripe (ORG/WHT)||8 Volts DC|
|2||Black with light blue stripe (BLK/LT BLU)||Ground|
|3||Tan with yellow stripe (TAN/YEL)||CMP Sensor Signal|
NOTE: On the 2000 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze), the 8 Volt supply wire is orange (ORG). It does not have a white stripe.
TEST 1: Testing The CMP Signal With A Multimeter
The first thing we'll do is to check that the CMP sensor is producing an ON/OFF voltage signal while manually cranking the engine.
To be a bit more specific, ON means the signal is at 5 Volts and OFF indicates it's at 0 Volts. To be able to see this ON/OFF voltage signal on your multimeter, it's crucial that you turn the engine by hand.
To turn the manually turn the engine, you'll need to use a 1/2 inch wrench and the appropriate socket on the crankshaft pulley. You can't use the starter motor for this test, otherwise you won't see the ON/OFF voltage pulse.
CAUTION: To access the crankshaft pulley bolt (to manually turn the engine), you may need to lift the front of the vehicle. If you do lift the vehicle, place it on jack stands. Don't trust the jack to keep the vehicle lifted! Be careful and take all necessary safety precautions.
NOTE: The CMP sensor signal test is done with the sensor connected to its electrical connector. To access the signal inside the wire, you'll need to use a back probe on the rear of the connector or a wire piercing probe on the wire. You can see an example of this tool and where to buy it here: Wire Piercing Probe.
Disconnect the ignition coil pack from its electrical connector.
IMPORTANT: Do not proceed with the test without first unplugging the ignition coil pack.
Place your multimeter in Volts DC mode.
Connect the black multimeter test lead to the battery negative (-) terminal.
Connect the red multimeter test lead to the tan with yellow stripe (TAN/YEL) wire of the CMP sensor's 3-wire connector.
You can use a back probe on the connector or a wire piercing probe on the wire and then connect the red multimeter test lead to this tool. To see what a what wire piercing probe tool looks like, click here: Wire Piercing Probe.
Turn the crankshaft pulley by hand in a clock-wise direction, using a 1/2 inch ratchet, an extension, and the appropriate socket while you keep your eyes on the multimeter.
IMPORTANT: Do not use the starter motor to crank the engine.
The multimeter should register an ON/OFF voltage of 5 Volts and 0 volts.
ON is when the multimeter displays 5 Volts DC and off is 0.3 to 0.5 Volts DC (which is technically considered 0 Volts).
The key to seeing this voltage change is to turn the crankshaft pulley slowly and steadily.
Let's interpret your test results:
CASE 1: The multimeter registered the ON/OFF voltage signal as you turned the crankshaft pulley. This is the correct and expected test result and it tells you the CMP sensor is functioning correctly.
This result also confirms that the camshaft position sensor is getting power and Ground (since without any of these two, you wouldn't see an ON/OFF voltage signal).
CASE 2: The multimeter DID NOT register the ON/OFF voltage signal as you turned the crankshaft pulley. Recheck all of your multimeter connections.
If your multimeter still does not register the indicated ON/OFF voltage, then the next step is to verify that the camshaft position sensor is getting 8 Volts. Go to: TEST 2: Making Sure The CMP Sensor Is Getting 8 Volts.