How to Install a Camshaft Position Sensor

by Chris Moore

The camshaft position sensor controls the fuel injection to each engine cylinder. The sensor is usually mounted on one or more of the engine cylinders. Installing the sensor itself is a simple procedure, requiring it to only be bolted in position. Locating the exact position it goes on, however, can differ greatly between vehicles. More often than not, one other engine component must be temporarily removed to reach the camshaft sensor's location.

Look over any automotive guide or check with your mechanic regarding your particular make and model regarding the sensor's exact position and what other parts must be removed to reach it. Some vehicles also have two camshaft position sensors.

Make sure the vehicle's ignition switch is turned off and disconnect the negative cable from the battery.

Remove the air filter housing from the car by unscrewing the bolts that secure the lid. On some models, you need to remove the upper timing belt cover. Other parts that might need to be removed can include the distributor or heater outlet pipe.

Rotate the crankshaft until the circular reluctor in the center is positioned with its square slot aligned with the camshaft position sensor. Use a breaker bar and socket to do this. This step is needed on a few full-size pickup trucks.

Locate the position on the cylinder head where the sensor is to be mounted. It is near the camshaft sprocket with at least one bolt hole for the sensor.

Mount the camshaft position sensor onto the cylinder head. Place a new O-ring on the sensor with the ring lightly coated with engine oil, insert it in place on its cylinder head and tighten the mounting bolt(s).

Attach the position sensor's electrical connector. This uses a quick connector that usually locks in place when plugged in. It has a release tab you press in order to remove it. Re-install any parts you had to remove to get to the sensor.

Items you will need

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.