Code P0341 - CAM sensor

Tiny
RPF061549
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 SATURN SL2
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 170,000 MILES
First problem is that There is no cam sensor in a 1999 Saturn! Sorry, I had to get that out.
Car started running very badly a couple weeks ago when I got this code. My research online pointed to the problem being in the ignition system. I started by replacing the coils; and, rather than give a blow by blow, to date I have replaced everything in the entire ignition system from the module to the plugs, inclusive. Everything is new and it still runs badly.
I have also replaced the fuel filter that contains the fuel regulator and my gauge says I have 58 lbs. Of fuel pressure at the fuel rail.
Let me define "runs badly:" runs very rough, must keep foot lightly on gas or engine dies at idle, idle rpm is all over the place from 400-1200.
Cannot think of anything else.
Please help!
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Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 AT 5:03 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I would start by having the fault codes read with a different scanner or code reader. A lot of the aftermarket readers have software issues that read a code that was meant for a different year or model.

The parts you listed are in the "output" circuit that is run by the Engine Computer. While parts of those circuits are monitored for defects, the symptoms you are describing are more commonly caused by an "input" circuit, and for your engine, that is the crankshaft position sensor. The codes for that sensor are mixed up with camshaft sensor codes on some code readers.

If there are no other fault codes, you need to use a scanner with graphing capabilities to view the signal waveform coming from the crankshaft position sensor. That will let you see if the signal is dropping out intermittently or is weak.
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Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 AT 6:14 PM
Tiny
RPF061549
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I will check it out - again. I did an Ohm meter test on it in cold water while heating to simulate warm up, and, though I don't remember what readings I got, they seemed to be within spec. It is just so much fun given that they decided the best place for the crank sensor is behind the starter with no other way of getting to it but to remove said starter.
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Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
As far as a bad crankshaft position sensor when those go bad the engine stops running. It will stall etc I have never seen a bad one set any codes. When you replaced the wires are you absolutely sure the spark plug wires are routed correctly? Also, what are the exact spark plugs you put in the car? I have always on that year Saturn had new spark plugs and wires fix that code.
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Friday, March 3rd, 2017 AT 7:13 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Thanks brother Saturntech9.
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Friday, March 3rd, 2017 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
RPF061549
  • MEMBER
Since this problem started, I often (but not always) must keep my foot on the gas pedal to keep the idle at or slightly over 1000rpm. And it will generally cold start initially very easily but the engine will almost always die after which it's a real bitch to get it started again.
I believe the plugs are Bosch and I don't remember the wire brand.
Plug/wire (firing) order is 4-1-2-3.
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Are those Bosch platinum plugs?If so take those out and put the copper plugs they came. The platinum plugs cause engine misfire and weird engine running issues. Also when was the last time you changed your coolant temp sensor?They fail all the time and will cause a variety of symptoms. Also inspect the inside of the coolant temp sensor connector. If the terminals are green or blue instead of silver you will have to replace the connector also.
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
RPF061549
  • MEMBER
I don't know which type plugs I installed. For full disclosure, I didn't change the plugs until after the engine started running really crappy and I then found this code set. My temp guage is working but, as an aside, the radiator fan has never worked unless I turned on the AC - and I found that stopped working about a year ago - long before the engine started acting up. Since I live in an area where heavy stop-and-go traffic typically doesn't exist (we all have stop lights and stop signs), I've never bothered looking into this.
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 8:28 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Replace your coolant temp sensor it's bad that's why the radiator fan only worked with the AC. Also you need to find out which plugs you put in if there platinum replace them with stock copper plugs ngk ones. Let me know how it runs with the new coolant temp sensor also inspect the connector like I asked.
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Saturday, March 4th, 2017 AT 12:52 PM

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