How to Check if Camshaft Position Sensor is Bad – Camshaft position sensor is one of the important components in the engine combustion system. Its function is to detect the relative position of the crankshaft and camshaft in the vehicle engine.
This sensor provides a signal to the engine control unit (ECU), which then regulates the opening and closing times of the engine’s valves. However, as with all electronic components, the camshaft position sensor can also experience damage over time. In this article, we will discuss how to check whether the camshaft position sensor is faulty. Following are some steps you can follow:
1. Obtain your vehicle’s owner’s manual
Each vehicle is usually equipped with a manual that contains information about the vehicle’s systems, including specifications and testing procedures. You need to find the manual so you can learn the specific steps to check the camshaft position sensor on your vehicle. This manual may provide more detailed steps, depending on the model or make of your vehicle.
2. Check the connector and sensor cable
When checking the camshaft position sensor, start by checking the connector and wires connected to the sensor. Make sure that no cables are damaged or loose from the connector. If you find a cable that is damaged or disconnected, repair it or reconnect it properly. Dirty or rusty connectors can also disrupt sensor performance. Clean the connectors with a small brush and make sure there is no corrosion or other contaminants that prevent good contact.
3. Check voltage at sensor
To check if the camshaft position sensor is having problems, you need to measure the voltage provided by the sensor. The easiest method is to use a digital multimeter. Turn the vehicle key to the “on” or “ignition” position and attach the multimeter probe to the wire connected to the camshaft position sensor. You should get about 5 volts. If there is no voltage or the voltage is unstable, it could be an indication that the sensor is defective.
4. Check the sensor resistance
In addition to checking the voltage, you also need to check the resistance of the sensor. To do this, attach the multimeter probes to the sensor cables and switch the multimeter to resistance mode (Ohms). Compare the results with the resistance values described in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If the resistance value is not within specifications, it could mean the camshaft position sensor is defective.
5. Observe the Check Engine warning light
If the camshaft position sensor is faulty, the ECU will detect this problem and will activate the Check Engine warning light on the vehicle’s dashboard. When this light is on, it indicates that there is a problem with the engine’s ignition system. If the Check Engine light comes on, you must move the vehicle to a repair shop for further inspection. They usually have more sophisticated equipment to carry out further tests.
6. Examine other symptoms
Apart from the Check Engine light coming on, there are also other symptoms that can indicate that the camshaft position sensor has a problem. Some of these symptoms include difficulty starting the vehicle, engine not functioning properly, difficulty accelerating, or increased fuel consumption. If you experience these symptoms along with the Check Engine light coming on, it is possible that the camshaft position sensor needs to be checked.
7. Check the fault code in the ECU
When the Check Engine light comes on, it indicates a fault code stored in the engine control unit (ECU). To determine whether the camshaft position sensor is truly faulty, you need to read this error code. You can do this using an OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) scan tool that connects to your vehicle’s OBD connector.
Once you have an error code, find out what it means in your vehicle’s manual. If it shows a problem with the camshaft position sensor, it could be a sign that the sensor needs to be replaced.
In conclusion, the camshaft position sensor is an important component in a vehicle’s engine combustion system. To ensure your vehicle operates properly, it is important to check whether the camshaft position sensor is damaged.
By following the steps above, you can check connections, voltage, resistance, as well as read error codes to determine whether the sensor is damaged. If you experience any difficulties or are unsure about these steps, it is recommended to contact a qualified repair shop to help you check and repair a damaged camshaft position sensor.