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Chrysler Repair/Cam Sensor: '03 Sebring


QUESTION: Hello Roland,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.  I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this one, but it has baffled my mechanic.  I have a 2003 Chrysler Sebring.  My problem is a little hard to explain but I will do my best.  My Check-Engine light usually comes on about once or twice a week...and then goes away.  When it comes on however, my car revs forward like it's trying to go into gear but it can't.  The RPM dial will go up and then come down several times and the car will physically lurch forward.  This will go on until I physically remove my foot from the gas.  When I do this the car will then shift into gear.  This will happen again when I reach the next gear and I'll have to again release the gas pedal and let the car shift.  This goes on for a few days and then it goes away.  
I took my car to my mechanic, who I trust, and he had my car for about 3 days.  The code came up as Cam Sensor, so he replaced the cam sensor.  That made the problem worse, so he got a different cam sensor and installed that one.  No dice.  He had to put the original one back in and give my car back to me cause they couldn't figure it out.  So I didn't have my car for 3 days AND they didn't fix it AND I was charged.  They told me I'd have to take it to a dealership which I am dreading.  They have the worst reputation in the world for ripping people off and then trying to get you into a new and better car.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you very much.

I haven't heard of that sort of behavior. I wonder whether the issue is the engine or rather the transmission. I don't understand exactly what is happening: Does this happen when you are in 1st gear and not moving, and then you step on the gas, and it does this lurching/rpm jumping before even moving OR are you underway already moving and this happens when you reach the speed where you would anticipate that it would shift up into the next higher gear? Let me know please.
I would also suggest that you get another code readout. Try for a free readout at a nationwide auto parts store such as Autozone. If you can't get it for free try a different independent shop than the one yuu used. Get the readout as soon as you can after the check engine light/rpm/lurch event. Ask for the code number as well. Also tell me which engine you have (L).
Please 'rate' my answer (see below),

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QUESTION: That was about the fastest response in history!  Are we texting?  Okay, so how do I check what engine I have?  Also, this lurching forward happens when I'm driving and the car approaches the gear to be shifted to.  I will go to Autozone and get the free code readouts and relay those to you.  The check engine light usually goes away, but this time it has stayed on for weeks and I'm afraid this is the end unless I get this fixed.  I am going to school right now and can't afford to lose my car, nor can I afford a new one, nor can I afford repairs.  Kind of in a bind right now.  thanks for the quick response and I look forward to getting this fixed!

Hi Reg,
The size of the engine is usually shown on one of the valve covers. If it were 4 cylinder it would either be a 2.0 or a 2.4L and if it were a 6 cyl it would be a 2.7L. This sounds more like an issue with the transmission, not the cam sensor. If we get trans fault code I would go back to the shop that did the cam ssnsor and try to get your money back. Let me know what the code number is after the next malfunstion event.
I said that it appears to be more like a transmission issue: Have you check the level of fluid in the transmission via its separate dip stick? If that is low, add only ATF+4 type of fluid to it vid the dipstick tube and don't overfill it.
Please 'rate' my answer.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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