Hoping someone has a quick cheap solution for my P0343 code for my '02 GLS 4Motion wagon with 80K miles on the ATQ 2.8L 30V V6.
Backstory: Picked up the VW on Thursday (24 May '12), good shape overall and runs very well. When I was inspecting the vehicle before buying I noticed the coolant bottle was full of gunk and brown, so I figured a coolant flush was in order to say the least. I drove it home from Ramstein AFB to my post in Stuttgart (I am a Soldier stationed in Germany...Passat is US spec!), car ran well all the way home with no CEL or other signs of issues. Temp gauge was rock solid at 190 F, which I hate how hot German cars run...but I digress.
The next day I attached a flushing "T" to the outlet of the heater core next to the battery. (My online research showed that ANY other coolant/additive mixed with VW G12 (or G12+) will turn it brown). Spent most of the day flushing the system, steam cleaning the engine and replacing brittle/broken/dry rotted vacuum lines and hoses. Some water got in the spark plug wells and the engine ran rough...missing and hesitating, etc. During all the cleaning and dry rot/ heat damage repairs, the CEL came on. I had expected this with all the damaged vac lines, so no worries. Upon completing all repairs and clearing each code, I noticed P0343 "Cam Sensor A High, bank 1" which puzzled me. I assumed I had gotten water in a sensor, so I went through and checked almost ever connector I could find on the engine...all were dry. This brings me up to my current issue...
I have ordered the Haynes manual and will order the Bentley once Amazon comes under $100!
Forum research has shown this code as a likely sensor issue, timing belt issue or several combinations of other issues.
What I have done so far:
1. Did a visual of the timing belt by removing the tops of the inspection covers. Belt is in good condition and did not notice any major issues. When the engine was cold the belt did have some slack on the non-tension side, but once it was started for the day it was tight upon numerous following inspections. I have not yet checked the cam sprockets to see if they are zero as when installing a new belt.
2. Pulled both Cam Sensors and took meter readings with the following results:
Sensor A Bank 1, Front Pass Side
+ and - = 4.57 Mohms
+ and 0 = 11.8 Mohms
0 and - = open (however with the leads reversed 3.48 Mohms)
0 and + = 11.9 Mohms
Sensor B Bank 2, Rear Driver's Side
+ and - = 4.67 Mohms
+ and 0 = 12.3 Mohms
0 and - = open (however with the leads reversed 3.5 Mohms)
0 and + = 12.2 Mohms
As the readings were similar, I assumed there was nothing amiss (after all, these are super basic sensors with no moving parts to wear out!) but I took the opportunity to swap sides in the hope that I would get a new code for the opposite bank...but no luck! The same code reappeared.
Upon checking my codes numerous ways, it is thrown almost immediately at startup, but sometimes the CEL does not indicate it until after shutdown and a restart.
I am preparing myself to replace the timing belt, but am hoping someone may have an alternative that I missed as the engine runs great! I am not too concerned about doing the work as I am putting in a lower Tstat anyway since I don't like it running that hot...and someone PLEASE tell me it is NOT required to remove the entire front clip to do the work as I read in a 60 step process on one of the forums! I think I can do the job with out removing anything more than the radiator, but that is a first look best guess without familiarity of all the engine components...does anyone have the Cam TDC zero tool they want to sell??? (EPS has them for just under $200 and Ebay I saw one for $75)
Anyway, please let me know your thoughts and ideas! I am hoping I am jumping the gun...especially since VW recommends the belt change @ 105K miles for my 2.8L 5 valve.
Thanx in advance!