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Camshaft position problems and questions...

1293 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  FL 2.0L
So, recently my GTI (ABA, OBD2, bone stock) began having an intermittent issue. It would run fine for some time, and then die... not to restart again for many, many tries. Then it would run fine again for some time, and the cycle would repeat.
The code being thrown was the somewhat infamous P1340 code - "camshaft position sensor, incorrect correlation". I did my research on here and found the most likely culprit to be the timing being a bit off, possibly due to a deteriorating belt. Since it had been ages since the last belt change on this car, I changed the timing belt. The timing on the old one appeared just fine, though - and I how have a nice new belt on there that is also timed just fine.
My problem, however, has not gone away. The symptoms remain the same - it will run fine for a while and then die with the P1340 code - eventually to start again. One time only I also received the accompanying P0341 "camshaft implausible signal" code.
So, I am thinking the next logical step would be to target the camshaft position sensor itself. As I understand it from searching on here, the CPS is not actually connected to the camshaft at all, but is rather the 'hall' sensor within the distributor. I am thinking that, given the fact that this is a 14-year-old car with 175K miles on it, I might as well replace the entire distributor at this time rather than try to work a new sensor into the existing one.
Does all that sound reasonable? Is the distributor as straightforward a swap as the Bentley seems to indicate? It is one of the few things I have not yet replaced on this car! I'd appreciate any input or insight.
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Re: Camshaft position problems and questions... (Arsigi)

Fantastic Post.
Yes. your suggested course of action is a good idea.
btw, the CPS can be replaced(instead of replacing the distro). If you have a known working tester distro, that might be an easier solution..
Re: Camshaft position problems and questions... (Arsigi)

The CPS will not cause the engine to die. The engine can run (fine) with the distributor/CPS connector unplugged.
Most probably your problem is somewhere else.
Have you replaced the coolant temperature sensor yet?
Cleaned the MAF Sensor with MAF Sensor Cleaner (CRC Brand)?
Checked all vacuum hoses for cracks and breaks?
If so, your problem is more likely to be the engine speed sensor/crankshaft sensor, or the ignition coil, and NOT THE CPS.
Re: Camshaft position problems and questions... (germancarnut51)

Hmm... interesting. I have not cleaned the MAF, and it never has been done to my knowledge, so that is a cheap maintenance thing that I will certainly try. As for the vacuum lines, I replaced all the original ones with high-quality ones a year or so ago, but I will definitely re-check them.
I am curious as to why you brought up the coolant temperature sensor, though. It may or may not be coincidental, but I was having an issue with the car not getting up to proper temperature. So, while I was replacing the timing belt, I replaced what I assumed was the most likely culprit (the thermostat) as well as all the coolant lines, the expansion tank, and the water pump. (side note - the original, 14-year-old plastic impeller looked brand new. I broke it myself just to verify it WAS plastic. Guess there is an exception to every rule!) After doing all that I was still not getting up to temperature according to the ECU, so the coolant temperature sensor was next on my list of things to replace in that regard!
How would that sensor relate to the engine trouble, though?
Is the car possibly overheating, but the 'faulty' sensor not catching it? I suppose that could (?) explain why it shuts down after driving for a bit, and then starts up again later - after it has cooled down again.
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Crankshaft-/Camshaft Pos.Sens.Signals Out of Sequence
Maybe the crank sensor is the culprit. Are all of the timing marks still spot on?
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