What to Do Before and After Replacing Camshaft Sensor?

If you don’t want to ever find yourself alone near your car waiting for the towing truck to come, this one’s for you.

Often it happens that due to engine failure in the middle of the road, you are susceptible to time loss. Or it may happen that you are aware that your engine is running poorly, but you still want to push it to work before it actually breaks down.

Both of the scenes are unwanted for any car owner. But as you are cursing the engine, there is something more inherent and minute that might be the real cause of this issue is the camshaft sensor.

Have you recently replaced your camshaft sensor? What to do after replacing camshaft sensor so that this hectic issue doesn’t occur again and your car runs smoothly? You will probably have to reprogram the sensor. This article will tell you how.

What is a Camshaft Position Sensor and How Does It Help?

You have had it replaced, but do you know what the sensor actually is?

The camshaft position sensor is related to the motion of the camshaft, as the name suggests.

When the valves of the shaft close and open, the sensor targets the movement and takes the data. You will find these sensors located above a carved ring on the shaft.

Now there is something else that works in close connection with the camshaft sensor: the crankshaft sensor. T

aking the help of the latter, your camshaft sensor produces and tweaks AC signals when the position of the shafts reaches the Top-Dead Center or the Bottom Dead Center. 

Why is this important? This information from them both helps the control modules of your car to make precise injector pulses and spark timing.

When Should A Camshaft Position Sensor Be Replaced?

There are people who have their camshaft sensor removed and replaced the moment they start seeing error codes.

While it is common that error codes are the result of issues of the camshaft sensor, it is not always wise to have it replaced at a minor inconvenience.

But sometimes, there are obvious signs that tell you that something is wrong with the camshaft sensor. Here are some of them:

  1. Your car stops running all of a sudden, frequently.
  2. When your car’s engine cranks but does not turn.
  3. The car starts after much trial and stalls immediately.
  4. The computer dashboard is giving you erratic signals, often more than one.
  5. Your sensor is sending no signals when it naturally would.
  6. When your engine is overheated, is way too old and the sensors are rusty.

How Should A Camshaft Position Sensor Be Replaced?

While this is something that is done by the professional mechanics and not at home mostly, it is good to know how exactly your camshaft sensor is replaced.

When your engine goes through instability in its operation and functions, the camshaft position sensor is said to have failed.

In order to replace or change the sensor, first, you need to remove the bolts that hold the sensor to the head of the cylinder where it is placed.

Next, you need to disconnect it from the electrical system. After that is done, a new sensor is installed in its place and connected to the system.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Camshaft Position Sensor?

For those of you who haven’t replaced their sensors yet but are reading this article to get some heads up, replacing your camshaft sensor can cost you any amount between $120 and $300.

Sometimes, to get access to the sensor, some other parts such as gaskets and the valve cover may need removal depending on your car. In that case, you may need to add $20-$40. 

If you are looking to get new parts, it may cost you between $50 and $200. And as for the labor cost, it can be within the range of $70 to $100 depending on the professional mechanic and his service fees.

However, these are generic costs and the installation of the sensors and their parts will vary with the model and brand of the cars you own.

If your vehicle is more of a luxury automobile, or you want to take the help of the local car dealership to do the replacement for you, the costs will be more.

Needless to say, the prices will also vary depending on the location where you want to have your sensor fixed.

What to Do After Replacing Camshaft Sensor?

After you have done the replacement of the sensor, you can choose to do two things: either reprogram it or not.

When Not to Re-Program:

With your new camshaft sensor and the old crankshaft sensor, the ECM will determine the appropriate time of firing the ignition and injection.

It will further examine the amount of time between the signal pulses to and from the module and sensor and use that against the existing data table to find out what is the proper time difference between the pulse separations.

If the reading is optimal, the sensor does not have to be programmed. If you see any error codes after the replacement, check for all the writing and connector issues and cancel/repair them but still get codes, nothing is wrong with the camshaft sensor.

When to Re-Program:

Now depending upon the service of the professional and the manufacturer, the variation in installment may need the sensor to relearn some things.

This will reset the information held by the data table previously and hence the ECM will have to learn what the new sensors’ signals mean. In this case, you need to reprogram the sensor.

If you choose not to do so,  you can get trouble codes and your engine will eventually perform poorly as the overall power condition is low.

Hence, the best place for your sensor to re-learn and reprogram would be the local car dealership.

Final Words

You know about the sensor, you know when to replace it and you have paid the bills and actually got it replaced. Then, what will you do after replacing camshaft sensor?

As this article taught you, you can either choose to program it or not. If you cancel the previous codes and they go away, there is no need to relearn.

But if there is a difference of services that have inherently changed the signals from the sensors to be read by the PCM, you need reprogramming.

In all cases, you should pick the choice that will bring your engine’s operation back to normal.

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