How to Change a Camshaft Sensor on Vehiclesby Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017
The Engine Management System (EMS) on your Vehicles uses the camshaft position sensor to sequence the fuel injectors' operation. It synchronizes fuel injection to each cylinder according to the signal sent by the camshaft sensor. When this sensor malfunctions, you may notice that it takes longer to fire up the engine; the engine may stumble, hesitate or even stall when you accelerate. If you notice these symptoms and the diagnostic points to a bad camshaft position sensor, buy a replacement from a local auto parts store and install it using this guide.
Under The Hood:
- How to Change a Camshaft Sensor on a 2006 Sebring
- How to Change the Camshaft Sensor on a Ford Taurus
- How to Change the Camshaft Sensor on a 2002 Nissan Maxima
Trace the positive crankcase ventilation hose toward the driver’s side of the engine until you reach where it connects to the PCV valve. Pull the PCV hose from the PCV valve with a slight twisting motion. Position the PCV hose aside.
Find the camshaft position sensor directly below the PCV valve. Unplug the wiring harness from the PCV valve and remove the camshaft position sensor-retaining screws using a ratchet and socket.
Note the positioning of the camshaft position sensor and pull it from the cylinder head, exposing the magnet attached to the end of the camshaft. Loosen the screw on the engine of the camshaft using a ratchet and Allen-bit socket, and pull the screw and magnet off the camshaft.
Line up the dowel pins on the rear of the new magnet, which came with your new camshaft position sensor, with the locating holes on the end of the camshaft. Guide the magnet onto the end of the camshaft and hand-thread its retaining screw. Tighten the screw to 30 inch-pounds, using an inch-pound torque wrench and Allen-bit socket.
Set the new camshaft position sensor into place on the cylinder head, so it is in the same position it was prior to you removing it. Hand-thread the sensor’s retaining bolts, then torque them to 115 inch-pounds, using an inch-pound torque wrench and socket. Plug the wiring harness into the sensor.
Press the PCV hose back into place onto the PCV valve.
Items you will need
Allen-bit socket set
Inch-pound torque wrench
Removing the Camshaft Sensor
Disconnect the ground battery cable using a wrench to hold the terminal bolt in place as you loosen the retaining nut with another wrench.
Locate the accelerator cable next to the throttle assembly towards the back and top of the engine and remove the shield. Pull the retaining pins using a pair of slip joint pliers if necessary.
Remove any other accessories that might interfere with the removal of the camshaft sensor like wiring harness, spark plug retainers or engine cover, depending on your particular Ford Taurus model.
Move the fuel-injectors wiring harness off the valve cover studs as well to gain access to the camshaft sensor if necessary.
Locate the camshaft sensor around the top of the engine. For more information, see the Resources box at the bottom of this article.
Unplug the camshaft-sensor electrical connector by pressing on the lock tab and pulling the plastic connector off the sensor.
Unfasten the two sensor mounting screws using a Phillips screwdriver and remove the sensor from the engine compartment.
Installing the Camshaft Sensor
Position the new camshaft sensor in place and start the two mounting screws by hand to avoid damaging the threads.
Tighten the two mounting screws using the Phillips screwdriver.
Plug the camshaft-sensor electrical connector.
Realign the fuel injectors' wiring harness over the valve cover studs.
Install any other accessories you had to remove to gain access to the camshaft sensor like wiring harness, spark plug retainers or engine cover.
Replace the accelerator cable shield if you had to remove it. Use the slip joint pliers if necessary.
Connect the ground, battery cable using one of the wrenches to hold the terminal bolt in place and tighten the retaining nut with another wrench.
Items you will need
Slip joint pliers
Phillips head screwdriver
Locate the camshaft sensors located on the rear of the engine. They are the black round sensor plugged into the rear of each cylinder head and very easy to identify. Depress the tab on the electrical connector and pull it off.
Remove one sensor at a time and replace it with the new one after checking the number on the sensor so you have the right one. They are not interchangeable and could cause damage if installed on the wrong side. Remove the 10 mm bolt using a socket. Twist the sensor slightly as it is pulled out.
Insert the new sensor and align the hole in the sensor bracket with the one in the cylinder head. Install and tighten the bolt until it is snug only. Plug the electrical connector into the camshaft sensor.
Items you will need
Set of 1/4-inch drive sockets