1999 Chrysler 300M Power cut-out , Engine died, won't start

Got the following code from the odometer:

P0340 - Cam positioning sensor

Car was running great; occasional loss of power while driving at highway speeds and power would immediately return. Today it lost power and died and I had to pull over. Car started right back up and no further problems for 11 miles. Pulled into a parking space and the car died. Would not start. At first made some grinding noise and clicking when I tried to start it. That cleared up and it just cranked and would not start. Got a P0340 code from the odometer. Had it towed 15 miles home and when unloaded from the truck, it started and we pulled it in the garage. Now it won’t start again…please help.

Well, it seems likely that you’re having a problem with the camshaft position sensor or its wiring. You can peruse this for orientation: http://www.obd-codes.com/p0340

Autozone’s website had online repair manuals that might have the specifics for how to test the sensor and its circuits. You just need to register an email address & plug in the car’s info. Alternatively you can get a repair manual at an auto parts store for about $20.

You’ll probably also need a digital volt meter.

I didn’t think a bad cam sensor would prevent a car from starting, but it may be possible depending on how the engine computer is programmed. If you’re getting a bad cam sensor code, it’s certainly a good place to start. These are incredibly easy to change. One bolt I think and right on top of the engine. Literally a 5-minute job.

Inspect the wiring and connector first though to make sure you’re getting a good connection to the sensor.

Without the cam sensor the PCM is clueless about where the engine is in it cycle, so it can’t deal with spark or fuel timing. So the PCM just shuts it all down.

My 94 LHS with the same 3.5L motor will run with the cam sensor disconnected. The fuel injection is no longer sequential with no cam sensor to tell the computer what’s going on–all the injectors spray simultaneously and blind, so economy and drivability suffer somewhat. If the crank sensor is disconnected, that’s a different story–the computer can’t tell that the engine is turning at all, and no spark is generated.

I have verified that mine will run with the cam sensor disconnected.