Updated at: 05-04-2022 - By: micdot

To determine whether you have a defective camshaft position sensor, how do you know? You’ll learn about all the symptoms and the probable cost of a replacement in this guide. This author has been thoroughly vetted and is qualified to write about this subject matter. Learn more about us by visiting our website’s “About Us” page.A car’s engine would be incomplete without a camshaft. Intake and exhaust valve operation is the primary responsibility of this component. Additionally, it may be used to power the pump for the fuel, oil, or power steering. A malfunction in the car’s camshaft, which determines intake and exhaust rates, can cause a wide range of symptoms. Because of their similar names and the fact that they function together, it might be difficult to tell the difference between a camshaft and a crankshaft. Timing belts and chains connect the camshaft to the crankshaft. In addition to determining the position of the pistons, the crankshaft also plays a vital role in synchronizing the overall operation of the engine.

The synchronous process can be disrupted if the camshaft position sensor is defective, resulting in multiple symptoms. The cost of a new camshaft position sensor and how to diagnose a faulty one are both addressed in this tutorial.

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What Is A Camshaft Position Sensor?

In the same way that the crankshaft and camshaft work together, so do their sensors. In order to power the engine, the camshaft position sensor communicates with the engine control unit. Fuel and air are injected precisely into the combustion chamber at precisely the right time thanks to an engine control unit and camshaft, as well as a sensor. Starting, accelerating, and/or stalling might all be affected if the camshaft is malfunctioning.

Symptoms Of A Bad Camshaft Position Sensor

Many problems can emerge if the camshaft position sensor is defective, due to its critical role in the engine. The following are the most frequently encountered signs and symptoms:

On-board diagnostics

Stuck in a rut

The vehicle will not start.

Idle in rough shape

Engine power has been reduced.

a low gas mileage

All of these signs and symptoms might develop on their own or in combination. The check engine light will typically come on in conjunction with one or more of these signs and symptoms. The symptoms of a malfunctioning camshaft position sensor are described in detail in the paragraphs that follow.

5 Symptoms of a Bad Camshaft Position Sensor (& Replacement Cost in 2022)

Check Engine Light

A check engine light is the most prevalent sign of a faulty camshaft position sensor. When the light comes on, it’s likely that you’ll have no idea what the problem is. You should use an OBD2 scanner to gain a clearer picture of what’s going on in your car. It’s best to take your automobile to a mechanic if you don’t have an OBD2 scanner. In the event that you can avoid it, you should not drive your vehicle if the light is on.

Even if the check engine light is on and you don’t know why, you can probably take your car to the shop if you’ve been given the go-ahead by a professional mechanic or someone equally trained. If the “limp mode” activates, it is likely to be the case. For the sake of the car’s internal workings, this is a security measure that reduces the vehicle’s horsepower and top speed. If your automobile is in limp mode, you should be able to drive it to the local repair facility. Turning your engine off and on again may clear the limp mode, just as it does with the check engine light.

Stalled Engine

Engine stalling is a more dangerous, but luckily less common, symptom. This might happen in a parking lot or while traveling on the highway. The second possibility has the potential to be exceedingly harmful. Do not drive the automobile at all if the engine stalls unexpectedly. Because of a lack of fuel or air entering the combustion chamber at the correct time, this problem develops.

Unable To Start The Car

This symptom has a connection to the one that came before it. The engine will have a difficult time starting if the sensor isn’t working properly. There are a slew of possible causes for this symptom, just as there are for practically any other. A defective starter, a clogged fuel filter, a dead battery, or other factors can also prevent a car from starting.

Rough Idle

When everything is working well, the driver will probably not even notice that the engine is idling smoothly. Rough idle, on the other hand, is highly obvious while driving. Rough idle can be caused by unsynchronized combustion in the cylinders if the camshaft position sensor is malfunctioning. Also, a bad fuel pump or EGR valve might cause an engine to run rough. Knowing what is causing the car’s harsh idle might save you time and money in the long run. Finding out may necessitate the use of additional instruments and testing methods.

Reduced Engine Power

There are two ways to reduce the engine’s power. You may see no dashboard message or light and the car is moving erratically since the reduced power is due to the limp mode. A decrease in engine power or speed may be noticeable when accelerating and when coasting or idling. Vibrations are another possible symptom when moving at high speeds. All of this is the result of inefficient combustion and engine misfires.

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Bad Gas Mileage

It is possible that an irregular amount of gasoline is delivered into the combustion chamber because the camshaft sensor delivers incorrect information to the engine management unit. In addition to putting in more fuel, the combustion will also take place at an inopportune period, resulting in more unburnt fuel and a lower gas mileage. Observation of this symptom is more difficult due to its protracted occurrence. You should also know how much gas your automobile uses on a regular basis.

Replacement Cost For A Camshaft Position Sensor

You’ll have to buy a new camshaft position sensor if your old one fails. You could even do it yourself if you’re handy around a garage or mechanic’s shop. Changing the sensor isn’t difficult, but it may be at a location that is tough to access. As a result, you may need to be patient in the process of replacing it. On average, it will cost between $90 and $140 to buy a new sensor. Between $70 and $100 should be spent on labor. The type of car and the repair business have an impact on the price, as they do with any other replacement. As a general rule, premium brands and dealerships are more pricey. In either case, a camshaft position sensor replacement will cost between $160 and $240.


Your car’s engine relies on a tiny camshaft position sensor. In the engine’s combustion chamber, it maintains proper timing of the burning of fuel and air. The crankshaft and the engine control unit are closely intertwined. Many signs and symptoms may appear if the sensor is not functioning properly. When this happens, the check engine light comes on. In addition to poor gas mileage, choppy idles, engine stalls, and a loss of engine power are other signs of engine trouble.


It may be difficult to distinguish between the many signs and symptoms. Leaving your car in the hands of a qualified mechanic is usually the wisest course of action. The cost of replacing a faulty camshaft position sensor ranges from $160 to $240. Both your vehicle and the business where the repair work is done have an impact on how much it will cost. You may replace the sensor yourself if you have the right equipment and the patience to do so. Only a new sensor would be required, which would cost somewhere between $90 and $140.