What Does A Camshaft Position Sensor Do?

A camshaft position sensor is a medium-sized prime part of the vehicle engine that keeps monitoring the function of the moving magnetic field of the timing motor as it’s continuously changing the magnetic resistance.

In simple words, you can say that the camshaft position sensor keeps the vehicle engine parts “in time.”

Likewise, it’s an essential part in many aspects, and it also synchronizes with others in the engine to make you run the vehicle smoothly and effectively.

We are here to discuss the camshaft position sensor functioning with all the necessary information you might find essential in understanding this handy part.

Let’s get started!

What is the camshaft position sensor? 

A camshaft position sensor is a medium-size electronic device that monitors the position and speed of the vehicle’s camshaft and feeds the data to the vehicle’s engine control module (ECM). 

Location of the Sensor 

You might find the camshaft position sensor mounted near the cylinder head. More precisely, it will lie opposite the timing rotor, attached to the prime engine camshaft.

Location of the Sensor 

Functions of Camshaft Position Sensor 

  1. Proper Fuel Supply for Ignition

The camshaft position sensor senses the position and speed of the camshaft and provides this data to the ECM.

The ECM configures all the necessary data points and provides the proper amount of fuel required in the combustion chamber and ignition timing to ignite the fuel. The air/fuel mixture must ignite at an accurate time.

That increases the engine power and fuel economy with the decrease in the tailpipe emissions.

  1. Maintaining Camshaft Angle 

The ECU collects the desired data from the camshaft shaft position sensor to maintain the exact proper camshaft angle.

The sensor monitors the changing magnetic resistance from the moving magnetic field of the timing rotor. 

  1. Firing Cylinder Recognition

The camshaft position sensor also helps in recognizing the cylinder which is firing. 

If you are dealing with the modern technology that comprises the auto-start/auto-stop engines, the camshaft position sensor will help you determine the exact cylinder. It provides the power stroke relative to the crankshaft position. 

  1. Collaboration with Other Sensors

The camshaft position sensor not only functions well but collaborates with other engine parts to ensure better vehicle performance.

 As you know, modern technologies work in a combination of forms with proper mechanisms and specifications.

Likewise, the camshaft position sensors work along with the crankshaft sensor to enhance vehicle performance, work efficiency, and safety. Lots of components work together through such mechanisms.

  1. In Time Vehicle Operation 

Another prime function of the sensor is to make the vehicle run in time with high-performance efficiency. 

The working of the sensor helps the engine to run smoothly and effectively.

  1. Determines the Position of Crankshaft Drive

The camshaft position sensor functions to allow the vehicle engine to locate the exact position of the crankshaft drive. 

Why is it important?

It is necessary for calculating the points, including the ignition and injection points, among the rest of the other parts.

  1. Warning Signals 

Besides its functionality, the sensor also informs the personnel about its faulty operation. It warns the user by indicating a light that means the sensor is becoming faulty. Such alarming signals can help the user take precautionary measures to avoid mishaps.

Before leaving you stranded, it will alarm you about the unfavorable situation of the sensor.

  1. Synchronization 

The Camshaft, in collaboration with the crankshaft sensors, keeps the proper working of the vehicle, by maintaining ignition timing, engine speed, and cylinder firing times. Overall allowing the engine to run smoothly and effectively.

  1. Helps in Proper Combustion

The vehicle possessing gasoline combustion engines requires air, fuel, and spark for the proper functioning of the vehicle engine as designed.

These three prime elements should be available at the desired accurate time and in the exact quantity for the combustion process. 

The process of combustion will not occur if in case the timing is inaccurate, or any one piece is missing, 

The camshaft functions to maintain the time-lapse required for combustion.

  1. Smart Cam Use

The camshaft position sensor and crankshaft are two of the prime components of the engine system. 

That controls the position of the inlet and exhaust valves. The crankshaft controls the location of the pistons as well.

Functioning Principle of the Camshaft Position Sensor 

The function of the camshaft position sensor is to collaborate with the crankshaft sensor to define the exact position of the crankshaft drive. It is done through a certain mechanism, the ECU gathers the data from the sensor.

Functioning Principle of the Camshaft Position Sensor 

That gathered information is required for three prime purposes stated below;

  1. During sequential injection, the start of injection requires the data.
  2. It is also necessary for the actuation signal of the solenoid valve most probably for the pump-nozzle injection system.
  3. Last but not least, it’s important for cylinder-selective knocking control.

MECHANISM 

The camshaft position sensor operates by employing the Hall principle. 

What is the hall principle? 

The hall functions by scanning a ring gear on the camshaft. The rotation of the ring gear causes a change in the Hall voltage of the Hall IC in the sensor head. 

When the change is observed, it is transmitted to the control unit (CU) and is evaluated there for establishing the desired data needed for the above three functionalities.

Types of Camshaft Position Sensor

There are three primary types of camshaft position sensors, including;

the Inductive sensor, the Hall Effect sensor, and the AC output sensor. Let’s discuss each type to get more about it.

  1. INDUCTIVE SENSOR

The first one is the inductive sensor that lies near the camshaft. This sensor possesses a permanent mounted magnet. 

When the magnet goes through the sensor, it causes a change in its attractive field, and the subsequent heartbeat is towards the locally available regulator for processing and evaluation procedures.

  1. HALL EFFECT SENSOR

The second type introduces a screen with space with a magnet mounted on the shaft. 

Mechanism 

It is said to be on and off when the screen goes between the magnet and the Hall sensor. 

  1. AC OUTPUT SENSOR

The third prime type of the camshaft position sensor is the AC output sensor. It is not quite like the others because the output is an AC voltage signal. 

The local regulator will produce high recurrence (150 – 2500 cycles per second) to the exciter coil that lies near the pivoting plate. 

Pros 

  • An immense variety of sizes and designs are available
  • Presence of inductive and semiconductor types
  • Excellent reliability
  • Simple and easy
  • Problem-free connections 
  • High-temperature resistance
  • Guaranteed first-time fit
  • High performance.

Features of the Camshaft Position Sensor 

  • It possesses a precision-fit connector that perfectly aligns with the Vehicle’s mating harness.
  • It Leverages our OE engineers’ expertise, 
  • Each unit is designed with the requirements of its OE counterpart.
  • Accurate testing procedure
  • It ensures vehicles’ high-quality stability and reliability.
  • All sensors are anti-corrosive because of the salt spray test that ensures the highest possible resistance to corrosion.
  • The sensors are tested for Thermal shock ensuring reliability in all road conditions.
  • They are precisely manufactured, by top Canadian engineers with in-depth knowledge of the original part product.
  • They are highly durable.
  • The sensors are life-road-tested, and they ensure high product life.

Symptoms of a Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor

There might be many signs that will allow the user to indicate any problem lies within the camshaft position sensor.

The sensor is a necessary part, that’s why its proper working is really of prime importance.

Once the sensor starts alarming you, it means there might be some mishaps happening around the sensor that might need troubleshooting.

The sign and symptoms of a faulty camshaft sensor include;

  • Fault code 
  • The engine light gets on
  • Low engine power
  • Rough idling 
  • Bad gas mileage occurs
  • Stalled engine
  • Poor drivability
  • Poor acceleration 
  • Shifting issues in the vehicle engine
  • The vehicle starts jerking
  • The Control unit enters an emergency program for alarming the user 
  • Starting difficulties of the vehicle engine
  • The engine indicator lamp comes on for alarming the user

Reasons for faulty Camshaft position sensor: 

After the sensor indications, the user is required to find the cause of failure. Without knowing the cause it will be difficult to troubleshoot the problem.  

Remember to mitigate the problem as soon as possible to allow the sensor to get back to its job.

The Reasons for the failure of the camshaft position sensor may include;

  • Any internal short circuits
  • A damaged connection to the control unit
  • Mechanical damage
  • Break in the encoder wheel
  • Sensory deprivation

Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement Cost

If you find a faulty camshaft position sensor you need to replace it soon. To purchase a camshaft position sensor, you need to pay  $95 to $200.

If you want to replace certain parts alone, it will cost about $25 to $100. After purchasing, the camshaft position sensor, you need to install it in place of the old one, so the final cost will be the labor costs and will run in the range of $70 to $100 if you require professional replacement.

It is always expected that higher rates will be required for a luxurious car sensor replacement, so you need to pay more for the replacement. 

Be prepared for the additional fees and taxes that are added on to these costs as well.

But wait! What if you replace it by yourself?

You might be thinking that, can we replace a Camshaft Position Sensor yourself?

The answer to your question is yes. That is an easy task and can be done by anyone to save the labor fee (often close to $100), which is mostly charged by the repair shop or dealership

The whole process takes about 5-10 minutes for sensor replacement. So it’s better to get some expertise and replace it by yourself rather than paying $100 just for a 10 min task.

How to Replace a Camshaft Position Sensor

To replace it by yourself, we have to bring a handy method to hope it might help you replace the sensor and save the labor cost.

Replace a Camshaft Position Sensor

Procedure 

  1. To replace the sensor first Disconnect the negative battery cable of the vehicle.
  2. After that, locate the camshaft position sensor, it possesses a 2-3 wire connector attached to it.
  3. After locating the sensor, release the tab on the sensor. It will disconnect the wires from the sensor.
  4. Locate the mounting bolt (8mm or 10mm).
  5. The molting bolt attaches the sensor to the vehicle engine, so Remove it and Pull the sensor with a slight twisting angle from the engine.
  6. Before installing the new, apply a few drops of engine oil to the O-ring of the new camshaft sensor.
  7. After that, install and secure the sensor with the mounting bolt.
  8. Reconnect all the wire connectors to the sensor.
  9. In the end, reconnect the negative battery terminal disconnected at the start.

Hurrah! You have done the replacing the sensor.

Great job!

Conclusion 

After going through this handy guide, you might be familiar with the functions, mechanisms, types, troubleshooting, and replacing the camshaft position sensor. 

A camshaft position sensor is a part of the vehicle engine that keeps monitoring the function of the moving magnetic field of the timing motor as it’s continuously changing the magnetic resistance. In simple words, you can say that the camshaft position sensor keeps the vehicle engine parts “in time.”

Likewise, this essential part helps in many aspects, and it also synchronizes with others in the engine to make you run the vehicle smoothly and effectively.

The camshaft sensor provides proper fuel supply for ignition, increasing the engine power and fuel economy, maintaining camshaft angle, firing cylinder recognition.

Provides the power stroke relative to the crankshaft position, collaborating with other sensors, enhancing the vehicle performance, work efficiency, and safety.

It in time vehicle operation, helps the engine to run smoothly without causing any hurdle in the way, determines the position of crankshaft drive, before leaving you stranded it will alarm you about the unfavorable situation of the sensor, synchronization, maintaining ignition timing, engine speed and cylinder firing times. Overall allowing the engine to run smoothly and effectively.

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