How to Change a Camshaft Position Sensor

by Don Bowman

A camshaft sensor is an 8-volt hall-effect switch used to signal the computer the position of the number-1 intake valve and the speed of the camshaft. The computer uses this information to regulate fuel injection timing. The camshaft sensor is always positioned in front of a wheel that is slotted or has windows attached to the camshaft. As the wheel passes in front of the sensor, it creates an open and closed circuit.

1

Locate the camshaft sensor. The camshaft sensor is always in the immediate vicinity of the camshaft. Most four-cylinder engines will have the camshaft sensor located in the front of the engine just forward of the valve cover. Foreign cars such as Honda with a distributor will have the crank and camshaft sensors in the distributor. These sensors are not serviceable and the distributor must be replaced. Those sensors that are located outside the distributor are shaped like a small cylinder with two wires attached to it. V6 and V8 engines will normally have the sensor in the intake manifold, which would place it directly over the camshaft.

2

Disconnect the electrical plug on the sensor by pressing on the tab and pulling it off. Remove the hold-down bolt, using a 10-mm socket and ratchet. Twist the camshaft sensor as it is being pulled out. It is always a tight fit so it will resist removal to some degree.

3

Insert the new cam sensor, making sure to keep the tip clean. Twist it as it is being installed to ease entry into its position.

4

Rotate the sensor to align the hole in the bracket with that of the mounting surface. Install the bolt and tighten with the socket. Plug the electrical plug into the top of the sensor.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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