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What does a camshaft position sensor do?

What does a camshaft position sensor do?

The camshaft position sensor is an engine component. It detects the position of the valves and pistons and sends this information to the ECU, which then adjusts the fuel injection. If it's not working properly, your engine will suffer and you may have trouble starting.

What is a camshaft?

The camshaft is an essential component in the operation of the engine, controlling the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It allows the engine to "breathe" and is an integral part of the combustion cycle. It is equipped with cams that press on the valves, following the rhythm of the engine, thanks to a timing chain or belt that transmits the speed of the crankshaft.

Where is the camshaft position sensor located on my car?

Here are the most common locations where you can find the camshaft position sensor in an internal combustion engine:

  • Near the camshaft: On many engines, the camshaft position sensor is located directly on the engine block or cylinder head, near the camshaft. It can also be mounted on the outside of the engine, usually with an electrical cable to the ECU.
  • On the timing cover: On some engines, the camshaft position sensor is mounted on the timing cover, allowing it to monitor camshaft rotation from that location.
  • Inside the engine block: In some engine designs, the camshaft position sensor may be located inside the engine block, often requiring partial removal of the engine to gain access.

What is the role of the camshaft position sensor?

The camshaft position sensor is an often overlooked automotive component, yet it plays an important role in both starting and the combustion cycle. A camshaft position sensor sends information about the combustion cycle of the pistons to the engine control unit (ECU), allowing it to inject fuel at the right time and into the right cylinder. This synchronization prevents the valves from colliding with the pistons, which would cause major damage to all parts. The camshaft position sensor controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves as part of the combustion cycle.

How does the camshaft position sensor work?

Like the ABS sensor and the TDC sensor, the camshaft position sensor is an inductive sensor. Its detection capability is tied to a magnetic field.  The camshaft position sensor detects the components of this system.

Just as the TDC sensor is mounted opposite the flywheel, the camshaft position sensor faces a gear that is integral to the camshaft. As in any magnetic field, the rotation of the gear wheel generates pulses that perturb the magnetic field. These pulses are sent to the ECU for analysis. Together with the TDC sensor, it determines the top dead center at the end of compression in the first cycle. This is how the ECU determines the engine ignition and injection sequence.

Camshaft Position Sensor: Replacement Part Price

The price of a camshaft position sensor can vary depending on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, the quality of the sensor, and where you buy it (dealer, auto parts store, online, etc.). In general, camshaft position sensors can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 or more, depending on these factors.

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