14 FAQS About Camshaft Position Sensor

FAQS About Camshaft Position Sensor

learning more about the camshaft position sensor We are gathering the most frequently asked questions about the camshaft position sensor.

1.) What is Camshaft Position Sensor

A camshaft position sensor is an electronic device that performs exactly what its name implies: it monitors the position and speed of the camshaft and provides that information to the vehicle’s engine management module (ECM). This data is required by the ECM in order to control how much fuel enters the combustion chamber and the ignition (spark) timing to ignite the fuel.


2.) What happens if a camshaft sensor fails?

1. The Check Engine Light Is Turned On

A lighted Check Engine light is the most prevalent sign that the camshaft position sensor is faulty.

OBD II (on-board diagnostics II) systems effectively monitor vehicle hardware and software, detecting part deterioration that causes subtle performance changes before a part breaks completely. When the Check Engine light shines, you can connect to the ECM using a DIY scan tool to try to diagnose the problem, but it’s best to take it to the specialists. Ignoring the Check Engine light can cost you a lot of money in engine and gearbox repairs.

2. Drivability Issues

When a camshaft position sensor fails, it loses its capacity to relay data fast. Even a few milliseconds of mismatched fuel delivery and ignition timing will cause your car to splutter, accelerate slowly, lack power, stall, or even shut down.

3. Problems with Transmission Shifting

The ECM may receive data from a faulty camshaft position sensor, which prevents the gearbox shift solenoids from activating and the gears from shifting. On some models, it’s known as “limp-home-mode,” because it helps prevent the engine from damage by limiting engine speed.

4. Inefficient Fuel Economy

Fuel injectors can be kept open too long due to inaccurate camshaft position sensor data, sending excess fuel into the combustion chamber. If too much liquid gasoline (which does not compress) builds up in the combustion chamber, it can cause engine banging and significant damage.

5. The Engine Won’t Turn On

Your vehicle will not start if you disregard the signs indicated here and your camshaft position sensor fails. The data transmitted to the ECM by a camshaft position sensor deteriorates as the sensor ages. When the data signal is poor enough, the ECM turns off fuel and spark delivery, and your engine won’t start.

If your car shuts off while you’re driving, it’s merely a little annoyance, but it can be a deadly situation if it happens while you’re parked.

The camshaft position sensor may need to be replaced if your vehicle isn’t running as well as it used to or if the Check Engine light is illuminated. If you ignore these signs, your engine will eventually quit functioning.

3. Is driving with a faulty camshaft sensor safe?

Yes, driving with a faulty camshaft sensor is safe. However, your engine’s performance will suffer and your fuel consumption may rise. If you’re having problems with your camshaft sensor, there are a few things you may do to test and identify the issue.

Consult your vehicle’s service manual or ask your mechanic about the place on the engine where they’ll need to undertake an inspection to test for a camshaft position sensor. They will be able to test for camshaft position sensor issues using specialized equipment and diagnostic tools.

If there are any further signs of failure on this component, the camshaft may need to be replaced.

If a camshaft position sensor is not serviced, you will most likely face increasing problems with your vehicle’s ignition system, which could result in highly expensive repairs.

4. What Is the Sound of a Faulty Camshaft?

Backfiring and popping are common indications of a damaged camshaft. At low and fast speeds, you may also encounter cylinder misfires. Furthermore, if your camshaft lobes are worn, you may hear tapping and ticking noises coming from the upper engine.


5. What causes a camshaft to fail?

A damaged camshaft is usually caused by a connecting rod or other rotating element becoming loose and striking it. Sometimes the cam will break after a short period of use owing to a crack or fracture in the cam caused by rough handling during delivery or incorrect handling prior to installation.

6. Is it hard to replace a camshaft?

Most shops will mark it off around 16 hours, if everything goes well. The most time-consuming part is pulling out the engine and putting it back in. Replacing the actual camshaft is pretty easy and quick.

7. Is it worth replacing a camshaft?

Due to the manufacturing processes, repairing a camshaft is not often advisable. While some high-performance engines use camshafts that are repairable, it’s not really cost effective or practical for the average car on the road. Instead, if your car needs a new camshaft, replacing it with a new one is the best choice.

8. What’s the difference between a camshaft sensor and a crankshaft sensor?

The Camshaft sensor determines which cylinder is firing to establish injector synchronization and coil firing sequence in DIS systems. Crankshaft sensors set ignition timing, supply the RPM signal, and determine engine speed.

9. Locations of Camshaft Sensors

Typically, the camshaft sensor is situated near the top of the engine. It could be on the block’s top, one or both heads, or the intake manifold, usually near the timing cover. In rare circumstances, the camshaft sensor can be found behind the timing cover.

common camshaft location

10. Can a bad camshaft sensor cause overheating?

If the faulty cam sensor has a bad effect on ignition timing (at least in some models), it can lead to a misfire; enough raw fuel will cause the catalytic to get red hot.

11. How do you test a camshaft sensor?

Touch one of your meter probes to either one of the sensor wires and the other to the other wire. Check your meter display and compare your reading to your manual specifications. In most cases, you’ll see a fluctuating signal between 0.3 volts and 1 volt. If there’s no signal, you have a bad sensor.

12. Can camshaft be repaired?

Camshafts can be rebuilt if they have lobe wear, as long as that wear is not excessive.  Certain camshafts can have more wear than others and be rebuilt, while other camshafts with similar wear cannot be rebuilt. It depends on the engine specifications and the specifications of the camshaft that fits in the engine

13. 6 DTC OBD Codes Related to Camshaft Failure

P0344 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent

The error code P0344 is defined as Intermittent Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit on the computer’s system. Typically, this code indicates that there is a missing signal at a specific location in the CMP (camshaft position) sensors, which is caused by an electrical circuit problem in the vehicle.

P0343 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit High Input

Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit High Input is defined as the cause of Error Code P0343. In other words, the problem is with the camshaft position sensor, which has become clogged as a result of the combination of oil and moisture, resulting in a poor ground or voltage signal.

P0342 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Low Input

Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Low is defined as the cause of Error Code P0342. This indicates that the CMP (camshaft position) sensor circuit on engine bank 1 is sending out inconsistent readings.

P0341 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

What Does P0341 Stand For? Codes for troubleshooting “Camshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)” is what P0341 stands for. When the powertrain control module (PCM) detects a fault with the signal given by the camshaft position sensor, it activates this code.

P0340 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction

The error number P0340 simply signifies that the computer has delivered a complete signal to the camshaft position sensor, but it is not receiving the correct signal back from the sensor. The problem might be in any component of the circuit, such as the PCM, wiring, or the sensor itself, because the circuit is a concern.

P0011 Code: “A” Camshaft Timing Over Advanced (Bank 1)

What does the P0011 code indicate? The OBD-II generic code P0011 indicates that the engine control module (ECM) has detected that the bank 1 intake camshaft is more advanced than the ECM has specified. This over-advanced issue could occur when the camshaft timing is advanced or delayed.

14. How to Test the Camshaft Position Sensor

2 type of camshaft

How To Test, A Two-Wire Sensor:

  • If you have a two-wire, magnetic-type sensor, set your multimeter to “AC volts.”
  • Have an assistant turn the ignition key on, without starting the engine.
  • Check for the presence of power flowing through the circuit. Touch one of your probes to ground and the other probe to each one of the sensor wires. If neither wire has current, there’s a failure in the sensor circuit.
  • Have your helper crank or start the engine.
  • Touch one of your meter probes to either one of the sensor wires and the other to the other wire. Check your meter display and compare your reading to your manual specifications. In most cases, you’ll see a fluctuating signal between 0.3 volts and 1 volt.
  • If there’s no signal, you have a bad sensor.

How To Test, a Three-Wire Sensor:

  • First, identify the power, ground, and signal wires using your vehicle repair manual. Next, test the sensor circuit by setting your multimeter to “DC volts.”
  • Have your helper turn the ignition key on, but don’t start the engine.
  • Touch the black probe on your meter to ground and the other probe to the power wire. Compare your reading to the specification in your manual.
  • Have your helper crank or start the engine.
  • Touch the signal wire with the red probe from your meter and the ground wire with the black probe. Compare your reading to the specification in your vehicle repair manual. If the voltage signal is lower than the specification, most likely the sensor is bad. If no signal comes out of the sensor, most likely the sensor is bad.
  • Remove the sensor and inspect it for signs of physical damage or contamination.

Thank you very much! This tutorial is humbly made by: Erwin Salarda