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1997 Plymouth Breeze Crank Shaft Sensor wire harness shorting out

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New User

Aug 13, 2011, 8:07 PM

Post #1 of 4 (5660 views)
1997 Plymouth Breeze Crank Shaft Sensor wire harness shorting out Sign In

Plymouth / Breeze
128,000 Miles

Greetings everyone,

I am new to this discussion board but have been very impressed with the discussions ive found here in the past. I joining because I have ran into a problem that is more complicated than simple popular fixes.

The car was driven to my house without any issues and when my girlfriend went to start it the next day the car would not start.

The 1997 Plymouth Breeze has a No-Start condition. The engine will crank but there is no Spark at the spark plugs when grounded. I have checked the fuel line into the engine by attempting to disengage the connection, but fuel sprayed out. So I'm assume it is not a fuel supply problem.

The CHECK ENGINE lamp does a 2-3 second bulb test at key-on. Also, the CHECK ENGINE lamp will flash when cranking the engine but it does not stay on when I give the starter a rest. So I am unable to get any error codes.

I have already tried a new Coil Pack but there is still no spark with it attached. This verified it is not the Coil Pack. So I re-attached the old one after making sure the primary and secondary coil test results match on the old one with the new one. I preformed these tests as described in the Chilton manual.

The Coil Pack testing section of the Chilton’s manual was next on my list. The manual instructed me to detach the wire harness going to the Coil Pack and attach a test light to the middle wire (Battery +) of the 3 wire connector. When I switch the key to the ON position the light will flash once and turn off which is what the manual says it should be doing. Then, as the manual instructed, I begin to crank the engine and the light flashed continuously until I stopped cranking the engine. The manual states if the light flashes “momentarily” then the issue is the Crank Shaft Sensor or Cam Shaft Sensor or their related circuitry. I'm unsure what exactly the manual means by flashing "momentarily" but I’m assuming that is what I’m experiencing.

Now I began testing the Crank Shaft Position Sensor by first detaching the 3-wire wire harness connected to the sensor. I tested each wire to ensure they are supplying the correct loads according to the Chilton manual. This is where I get confused. The ground wire (middle) I tested for continuity to the negative terminal and this worked. The positive supply wire (right) did test good for 9V DC when the key was in the on position. But next when I tested the last wire which was the signal wire, it also tested at 9V DC. Keep in mind this was still with the key in the ON position and the Crank Shaft senor unplugged. This confuses me because the Chilton manual says the CKP sends a signal of 5V DC for ON and 0.5V DC for OFF when the engine is cranking. But nothing about when it is not cranking.

If it helps, I did find a section online about testing HALL type sensors like the Crank Shaft sensor on this vehicle that states - "Probe the Signal Wire. The presence of this Signal can only be verified with the engine cranking and with the Multimeter in Hertz (Hz) Frequency Mode or in Volts DC Mode.” -

Even with this information I assumed this was something I was unfamiliar with so I continued to repeat my test to each wire with the Crank Shaft sensor plugged in now. The ground and positive supply wires tested fine for ground and positive but I noticed the positive supply wire also tested for continuity to the ground wire?!?! And the signal wire still tested a constant 9V DC. Even when cranking the engine there was no change or fluctuation.

I know that’s elementary for a short in the wires so now I’m assuming that this is the problem causing the PCU to not send a constant signal to my Coil Pack. Is this accurate for me to assume?

I’m not sure how to locate where the short is... The Chilton manual does not have a wiring diagram which might be able to help me test the end of the wires at the PCU connection. Would it be in the wiring harness connecting to the Crank Shaft sensor most likely?

Now that you know my story my main question is, am I going in the right direction for narrowing things down to the Crank Shaft sensor and its wiring?

Thanks in advance for any help you guys may give me!

In the mean time I will be attempting to gain access to the PCU and locate the matching wire colors going into the PCU to the ones found on the Crank Shaft sensor wire harness. Then I'd imagine I will be able to check for a short in the wires from each end. I'm not sure of any other way to find out which wires I need to be testing at the PCU side.

P.S. Awesome site guys! I'm definitely keeping my membership healthy to further better my maintenance and repair knowledge. Cool

(This post was edited by mercado on Aug 14, 2011, 12:36 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 14, 2011, 5:55 AM

Post #2 of 4 (5616 views)
Re: 1997 Plymouth Breeze Crank Shaft Sensor wire harness shorting out Sign In

mercado: Separate thoughts like a paragraph as I can't read that crap and been at this by the millions.

No spark is as far as I got so chase that down,


New User

Aug 15, 2011, 1:31 PM

Post #3 of 4 (5584 views)
Re: 1997 Plymouth Breeze Crank Shaft Sensor wire harness shorting out Sign In

I've updated my post to be a lot more descriptive. Sorry about the confusion and cluttered sentences. If yanyone can please get a chance to help me verify this problem. I am comming down to needing to buy a short curcuit finder...

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 16, 2011, 5:44 AM

Post #4 of 4 (5572 views)
Re: 1997 Plymouth Breeze Crank Shaft Sensor wire harness shorting out Sign In

mercado: Thanks for fixing that part. Regulars here and there out there read tons and go blind doing it - trust me.

You are as welcome as anyone who just plays fair. Free site and just put up with some ads.

For the trouble, for now just look for any possible connection problems or obvious wiring issues and we can go from there,


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