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Camshaft Position Sensor: What is it and what to do when damaged

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The camshaft position sensor provides the engine control system with crucial information. It transmits camshaft and crankshaft positioning data to the ECU. This position information assists in estimating ignition and injection sites.

The engine control system utilizes the data from the camshaft position sensor to carry out subsequent combustion processes. Furthermore, the ignition point is crucial to the functioning of any engine. 

The principle of the Camshaft Position Sensor

Generally, in an engine, the location of the crankshaft drive is determined by two sensors. Henceforth, this sensor operates using the hall effect. Furthermore, the sensor logs the position of the ring gear and modifies the voltage measurement accordingly. The voltage signal is analyzed in a transmitter device. Furthermore, the appropriate data is derived from it. 

This sensor helps a car’s engine control system generate necessary data. For example, it is used to determine the Camshaft’s location and monitor its rotation.¬†


The sensor is located close to the cylinder head. This location makes it easy to read the timing rotor and Camshaft. The electronic control unit (ECU) decodes the signal at the Camshaft’s angle. It will determine the cylinder’s recognition based on the signal provided by this sensor.

This sensor scans the expansion stroke of the cylinder in modern auto start-stop engine technology. It is advantageous to provide fuel and spark advance during acceleration. A defective camshaft sensor alerts you to its condition before it becomes ineffective.

A defective camshaft sensor alerts you to its condition before it becomes ineffective.

Can I drive with a defective camshaft position sensor?

Signals from this sensor help to optimize engine performance. You will not encounter any driving difficulties. Camshaft sensors can impact the engine’s performance and fuel economy.

This sensor is required to optimize the efficiency and performance of any engine. In addition, an electronic control unit for the engine regulates the fuel delivery and other components. The defective camshaft sensor impacts the ignition system of the engine. 

Calculating information for spark advance and fuel supply at the right moment will not be useful. Therefore, it will always be advised that you maintain an up-to-date camshaft sensor for the optimal operation of your car.

How to reset the camshaft position sensor?

Evidently, you cannot reset a camshaft position sensor. Therefore, you will need to replace the component if your camshaft malfunctions (check engine light on, acceleration issues, sputtering and stalling, etc.). 

You can replace your camshaft sensor yourself if you are comfortable working on your engine, or you can hire a mechanic.

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Can I change the camshaft position sensor by myself?

Undoubtedly, yes. Generally, using your car’s basic maintenance handbook, you can replace the camshaft positioning sensor. Nevertheless, you should be familiar with its appearance and location within the car.

You should know its appearance and placement if you want to replace it. A defective camshaft position sensor replacement will not cause your car to cease functioning. If you have made an error in replacement, you must get help from a mechanic.

A defective camshaft position sensor replacement will not cause your car to cease functioning.

Why does a camshaft position sensor go bad?

Multiple factors can impact the performance of the camshaft position sensor:

  • Damage caused to water
  • Use and tear
  • Deterioration caused by corrosion of metallic elements
  • Damage due to engine oil leaks
  • Melting or overheating
  • Result of a short circuit
  • Loss caused by fire or spark

Numerous potential factors could impact the performance of the sensor. However, the camshaft positioning sensor will function effectively if you consistently maintain your car.

What are some of the common issues?

Engine oil leaks are the main cause of damage. Accidents are also a cause. It will prevent or reduce the sensor’s signal transmission capabilities.

Due to poor tightness or the loss of engine components, engine oil might cause leaking and harm the sensor. In addition, the leaking oil prevents the wiring and circuitry from transmitting signals.

Can you clean a camshaft position sensor?

Any equipment associated with a car must undergo periodic maintenance. Cleaning the sensor is simple. First, disconnect the engine’s battery so that all electrical and electronic circuits are turned off. Next, determine where it is located in your car. Remember to disconnect the sensor’s three cables before reconnecting them. Before connecting, clean the sensor with a cleaning solution and let it dry.

Connect the sensor’s three wires to their original place. Reconnect the battery and restart the system. You have thoroughly disinfected the camshaft position sensor. Repeat this method after some time has passed.

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