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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Around 3 weeks ago I completed a few repairs to my 2003 GT Spyder; spark plugs, and valve cover gaskets. After finishing those repairs, a check engine light popped up, for P0335 (crankshaft position sensor circuit A) and P0340 (camshaft position sensor circuit A). I’m also sometimes getting codes for too rich and too lean.

I asked my mechanic about it (who I was working for at the time) and he scanned it and said to replace the crank sensor, since the P0335 crank sensor code was the one showing up on the freeze frame data.

I replaced the sensor and I’m still getting the same codes. The car really doesn’t run any different. It starts every time and hasn’t died on me randomly. It just sounds a bit rough, which is odd considering it didn’t sound exactly like that before the spark plug replacement.

Honestly, I’ve been stumped on how to fix this. I just spent another hour today taking off the crank sensor again to see if it got chewed up or broken at all, but it looks fine. Also, when I was scanning and clearing the codes today, on one of the freeze frames on my scan tool, the P0340 camshaft sensor code is what caused the check engine light.

I’ve read a few threads on here nearly identical to my situation that said replacing the distributor solved the problem. I would go ahead and replace it, but I saw another thread where somebody had the same problems, replaced the distributor, and the problems persisted.

I’ve also just recently replaced the timing belt, but had no issues with crank and cam sensors until after the spark plugs and valve cover gaskets, in which I had to take off the upper intake manifold and everything that connects to it. I’ve also noticed a ticking in the upper portion of the engine, but I haven’t run the car too much in the past week, so the oil pressure might be a bit weak, or I have no idea what I’m talking about and it’s a different problem, but who knows.

Does anyone have advice before I order a distributor?
 

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Since the symptoms didnt exist before you did the tuneup you should start by verifying correct part number for spark plugs, correct gapping of plugs, correct routing of wires to the distributor, and making sure wires are completely secured to plugs and distributor.
Also double-check that you reinstalled all wires and vacuum lines correctly.
Then try replacing just the distr cap and rotor BEFORE thinking about replacing the distributor entirely.
The ticking issue is common with this vehicle and is caused by the oil draining out of the lifters. There are some easy fixes for that, just do a search here for lifter tick. Sometimes it goes away after an oil change, or changing brands of oil, or using an oil additive. Worst case scenario is replacing the lifters. Someone posted a specific engine revving procedure that helps refill the lifters with oil.
Going long periods without running the engine can also cause lifter tick, as can low oil pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since the symptoms didnt exist before you did the tuneup you should start by verifying correct part number for spark plugs, correct gapping of plugs, correct routing of wires to the distributor, and making sure wires are completely secured to plugs and distributor.
Also double-check that you reinstalled all wires and vacuum lines correctly.
Then try replacing just the distr cap and rotor BEFORE thinking about replacing the distributor entirely.
The ticking issue is common with this vehicle and is caused by the oil draining out of the lifters. There are some easy fixes for that, just do a search here for lifter tick. Sometimes it goes away after an oil change, or changing brands of oil, or using an oil additive. Worst case scenario is replacing the lifters. Someone posted a specific engine revving procedure that helps refill the lifters with oil.
Going long periods without running the engine can also cause lifter tick, as can low oil pressure.
So, I’ve replaced the cap and rotor, which were very worn, and I’m still getting the same codes. When I did the tune-up, I ordered the spark plugs from rockauto and it said they were for the GT or GT Spyder, as seen here:
44036


I don’t think they matched the exact item number as what’s in my owner’s manual though. Also, I’m pretty sure I set the gap around 0.040” for the new spark plugs, which is what it calls for in the owners manual. The old ones I took out were around 0.032” (roughly).

The cheapest I’ve found a new distributor is $120 and I haven’t had any luck finding one from a junkyard, although I haven’t looked around much yet.

So now I’m wondering if I should try to replace the distributor first, whether it be new or from a junkyard, or buy new spark plugs with the correct part number from the owner’s manual and replace them. Taking off the intake manifold is an absolute pain, but at least I’ve already done it once. I just don’t understand why spark plugs would cause crank and can sensor codes, but I don’t understand a lot of things so I’m probably wrong.

what I find weird is that the car basically runs fine, other than sounding a little rough. It always starts when I try to start it, which isn’t something I see when the actual crank or cam sensors themselves are bad.
 

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Wrong plugs or wrong gaps may cause misfires, but I don't think that could cause your codes. Whereas there are lots of examples of a bad distributor causing the crankshaft and camshaft error codes.

The codes are triggered when the signal is missing or bad too many times in a period of time, IIRC. So you could have an intermittent problem with the crankshaft sensor, but the sensor isn't completely kaput yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wrong plugs or wrong gaps may cause misfires, but I don't think that could cause your codes. Whereas there are lots of examples of a bad distributor causing the crankshaft and camshaft error codes.

The codes are triggered when the signal is missing or bad too many times in a period of time, IIRC. So you could have an intermittent problem with the crankshaft sensor, but the sensor isn't completely kaput yet.
I just replaced the crank sensor a few weeks ago. Since the codes were still there I took it off again to inspect it, and visually, it was fine.
 

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Sorry, I typed that wrong. I meant to say you could be having an intermittent problem with your camshaft sensor.
 
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