Question about Nissan Altima

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I have a 1997 Nissan Altima Gxe 4 cyl my engine light came on after a stall so went to auto store for diagnostic test and code came up for camshaft sensor now when they cehcked for the part they said there was no cam shaft sensor. for this year 97 do i have to replace the distributor to remedy this problem or is the sensor seperate? I had the distributor changed a year ago. what would cause a distributor Or camshaft snsor to go bad like that? Thanking you in Advance Jason

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  • Jason r. Hicks Nov 05, 2010

    thank you ZJ once again your info is invaluable appreciate it iwill try this stuff tomorrow

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  • Master
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This diagram shows the sensor as being connected on the outside of the distributor. It may not have been replaced when the distributor was. This also has instructions for checking and changing it. http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?pageId=0900c1528026552c

Posted on Nov 06, 2010

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  • Nissan Master
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Hi Jason: we are assuming that you talking about DTC P0340 - Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction...

If this is right, keep in midn that a code P0340 could mean one or more of the following has happened:

  • a wire or connector in the circuit could be grounded/shorted/broken
  • the camshaft position sensor may have failed
  • the PCM may have failed
  • there exists an open circuit
  • the crankshaft position sensor may have failed

Possible Solutions: With a P0340 OBD-II trouble code, diagnosis can be tricky at times. Here are some things to try:
  • Visually inspect all the wiring and connectors in the circuit
  • Check for continuity in the circuit wiring
  • Check the operation (voltage) of the camshaft position sensor
  • Replace the camshaft position sensor as required
  • Check the crankshaft position circuit as well
  • Replace circuit wiring and/or connectors as required
  • Diagnose/replace the PCM as required

Additiona details about this, the Camshaft Position (CMP) sensor is a basic component of the engine control system. It monitors engine speed and piston position. These input signals to the ECM are used to control fuel injection, ignition timing and other functions.

The sensor has a rotor plate and a wave forming circuit. The rotor plate has 360 slits for a 1° signal and 4 slits for a 180° signal. The wave forming circuit consists of a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and photo diode.

The rotor plate is positioned between the LED and photo diode. The LED transmits light to generate rough shaped pulses. These pulses are converted into on/off signals by the wave forming circuit and sent to the ECM.

The Camshaft Position sensor is located inside the distributor. On some distributors, the camshaft position sensor is not serviceable (replacement parts may not be available separately). How to TESTING (see Figures 1 and 2)...

I have a 1997 Nissan - zjlimited_29.jpg

Fig. 1: Camshaft position sensor terminal locations-six-terminal connector

zjlimited_30.jpg

Fig. 2: Camshaft position sensor terminal locations-four-terminal connector

  1. Remove the distributor assembly from the engine.
  2. Disconnect the ignition wires and coil wire from the distributor.
The camshaft position sensor electrical harness should remain connected.
  1. Turn the ignition switch ON .
  2. Measure voltage between the camshaft position sensor terminals and ground, as illustrated.
  3. With the engine's distributor shaft rotating slowly, voltage should fluctuate between 0 and 5 volts.
If the voltage signal is checked with the engine running, the normal reading will be 2.3 volts (average voltage). An oscilloscope may also be used to view the pulse signal.
  1. If voltage does not fluctuate or is not within specification, check the circuits for damage.
  2. If the circuits are functional, the sensor may be faulty.
  3. Install the distributor and connect the ignition and coil wires.
  4. Erase stored memory codes.

Keep in touch.

Posted on Nov 05, 2010

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