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Chrysler Repair/2005 Sebring intermittent problem: code 0340

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Hi Roland!

You've been so helpful to me in the past - I always appreciate your help!

This time I have a 2005 Sebring Convertible "Touring" model with the 2.7l engine. I'm not sure of the year of the engine - I bought the car with a blown engine and paid to have a junkyard motor with <75k miles installed.

It had a weak battery - I knew this. One night a few weeks ago I was driving home and it suddenly started bucking like a rodeo bull every time I pressed the accelerator too hard, but I was able to limp it home by accelerating very slowly even go from stop to highway speed.

Codes were:
P0340
P0562 and
P0700

I can't recall which is which, but they amounted (per my research) to: (1) Low voltage condition (2) cam position sensor voltage out of range and (3) bad TCM -- BUT troubleshooting info indicated latter 2 both could be caused by low voltage - so I replaced the battery.

It was fine for a couple of days, then it did the same thing again. Now I'm thinking "Alternator" - so I stopped at auto-zone and had it tested in the car while the MIL was lit. They told me the voltage-regulator failed and sold me an alternator.

I installed it, once again fine for an hour-plus test-ride while I pounded it pretty hard... Went in the house, took a shower, headed out for the evening... as soon as I got a mile up the road then same thing happened, same codes.

Removed alternator, took new and old back to AZ - they tested OFF vehicle told me BOTH were good. I raised a bit of cain and was given a new alternator...

I then went to an Advanced Auto store - they informed me that the voltage regulator was in the PCM, not in the Alternator. My own research indicates this is true. I then had them test my old alternator, and they also told me it was good.

I reinstalled my original alternator, was fine for a couple of days - I stopped at AZ while it was running fine and was again told VR was bad. On a hunch I went across street to A-A & their much more detailed tester said my VR was **FINE**(!!) just minutes after A-Z said it was bad...

I decided to drive the car until something new happened that would help me narrow it down.  I figured if it kept doing same thing I'd follow a procedure I found online and install a separate VR, bypassing the one in the PCM.

I'm able to drive the car with all lights, AC, radio, rear-defrost... all I can think of to turn on, all on and it will be fine.

I've finally noticed a pattern now though... If I leave the door open or the key on and partially drain the battery, now it is throwing a new code -- P0344 -- so far ONLY this code now.

BUT...

If I let it sit and run long enough to fully charge the battery - or hook up my 2A trickle-charger, then it will be fine.

In other words it SEEMS to only be acting up when I try to drive it while the battery is partially drained.

For this reason I really don't think it's truly a camshaft sensor error, but rather one caused by low voltage as the VR isn't exciting the alternator enough to charge the battery AND handle the extra demands of driving.

My thought is to try the "bypass/external VR" install to see if this eliminates the problem.

If it does, then I'd send my PCM off to one of these online Cos that says they'll repair and return my PCM rather than have to go buy a new one and have it flashed/programmed by the dealer.

OTOH I may have been driven completely insane by all this fiasco -- so I thought it best to seek your input!

As of last night - with a partially drained battery it would error (P0344) as soon as I tried to drive it, but after fully charging battery it ran fine even with all accessories on - so I THINK I'm on the right track, but as always I desperately welcome your input!

Thanks again for all you do!

You.
Are.
THE.
Man!

MOST Sincerely,

Alan

Answer
Hi Alan,
I would change the camshaft position sensor. What you describe and the code is symptomatic of that one failing as it heats up. Then see how it runs and we'll deal with a residual code after that. Thanks for the details, we can discuss later.
Roland

Chrysler Repair

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Roland Finston

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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.

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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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"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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