Camshaft Position Sensor

What is does the camshaft position sensor do??

The camshaft position sensor monitors the rotation of the camshaft, specifically targeting when valves open and close. Most camshaft sensors are mounted just above a notched ring on the camshaft. Most of these camshaft sensors will use a magnet to produce or vary an AC electronic signal that is used in conjunction with a crankshaft position sensor to determine when a position approaches top dead center (TDC) on the compression stroke. This information will help to fine tune spark timing and injector pulse.

What are the symptoms of a faulty camshaft position sensor?

A car that does not run. The engine will crank but not turn over, or it will start then immediately stall. Many times when the on board computer receives an erratic signal, internal logic will understand this as a mechanical problem, and it will shut down the engine to prevent any damage. Ironically, the very same sensor may send out no signal, or be unplugged, and the engine will run, albeit poorly. Heat, age and especially rust are the biggest culprits for sensor failure.

How severe is a faulty camshaft position sensor?

The failure of a camshaft position sensor could leave you stranded on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck. The engine still may run poorly, Either way find a good mechanic, one who specializes in engine performance, and set an appointment - the sooner the better. In most instances, this repair should take no longer than one day.

What is the typical cost to replace a camshaft position sensor?

  • Estimated part(s) cost = $50 - $100
  • Estimated labor cost = $40- $200
  • Estimated total cost = $90 - $300

In most case, this is not a expensive repair. The sensor will cost somewhere between $50 and $100 depending on the manufacturer. Installation can vary depending upon the car, and will run from $40 to $200 depending upon the location. Sometimes other parts of the engine need to be removed in order to access the sensor, and this may include the valve cover. Incidentals, including gaskets, may run an extra $20 to $40 dollars.

Keep in mind, pricing will vary by location and your vehicle make and model. Save time by using Openbay to compare local pricing and book an appointment with a service center in your area.

Service article written by an ASE Master Technician