Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Camshaft Position Sensor

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Camshaft Position Sensor

camshaft Postion Sensor

The camshaft position sensor gathers information about the vehicle’s camshaft speed and sends it to the vehicle’s engine control module (ECM). The ECM uses this data to determine the timing of the ignition, as well as the timing of the fuel injection that the engine requires. Without this information, the engine would not be able to function properly.

Over time, the camshaft position sensor can fail, or become worn down, due to accidents or normal wear and tear. There are a few warning signs to watch out for before your camshaft position sensor completely fails and shuts down the engine, making replacement a necessity.

1. Vehicle does not drive like it used to

If your vehicle idles roughly, stalls frequently, has a drop in engine power, stumbles frequently, has reduced gas mileage, or accelerates slowly, these are all signs your camshaft position sensor could be failing. If you have any of these symptoms, it could mean the camshaft position sensor needs to be replaced by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. It needs to be completed before the engine cuts out and dies while you are driving, or does not start at all.

2. Check Engine Light comes on

The Check Engine Light will come on once the camshaft position sensor starts to go bad. Since this light can come on for many different reasons, it is best to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a professional. The mechanic will scan the ECM and see what error codes are being shown to diagnose the problem quickly. If you ignore the Check Engine Light, it can lead to serious engine problems, such as the engine failing.

3. Vehicle will not start

If the other problems are ignored, eventually the vehicle will not start. As the camshaft position sensor weakens, the signal it transmits to the vehicle’s ECM also weakens. Eventually, the signal will weaken so much the signal will switch off, and so will the engine. This can happen while the vehicle is parked, or while you are driving. The latter can be a dangerous situation.

As soon as you notice your vehicle does not drive like it used to, the Check Engine Light is on, or the vehicle will not start properly, the sensor may need to be replaced. This problem should not be ignored because eventually the engine will stop working entirely.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Engine stays running but no power at wheels

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! Problems like this can be difficult to diagnose. Does the Check Engine Light illuminate when the car loses power? If so, a local mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can diagnose...

Q: Replaced a ruined cylinder head with a used cylinder head

From what you've described, it sounds like you have not put the camshafts in the correct positions. You need to use special tools to hold the camshafts in the correct position before tightening the cam gear. Once the first one...

Q: Truck suddenly has no power, won't rev above 4K, and idles fine.

Hello there, many faults will cause a lack of power on your 2003 Ford F-150. The most common would be a failed catalytic converter, throttle body plate malfunction, vacuum leak, throttle linkage, fuel pump, or a shift solenoid. When the...