Q: I'm not sure if I should get a full diagnostic or if I should just replace a part

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I recently went to Pep Boys because my service engine soon light turned on. They gave me a free scan and it came back "P0012" which is the camshaft position timing sensor. Knowing this, do you think I still need a full diagnostic or do you believe I could just go straight into replacing the part. I would prefer to not pay the extra $80 for a diagnostic if it is not necessary.

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Any time the check engine light comes on the code that is stored is only a tool at finding the problem or cause of the check engine light. You should have the diagnostic pinpoint test done for the code you got for the camshaft sensor issue. The test will verify you do not have a wiring or mechanical issue causing the problem and not the sensor causing the problem. In the end it may still be a sensor issue and replacing the sensor in the first place would have fixed it.

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