Where Is a Camshaft Sensor in an Engine?


A camshaft sensor notifies a vehicle's ignition module so it knows which of the engine's cylinders is properly positioned to be fired. The location of camshaft sensors can vary. Having information on the location, as well as other facts regarding camshaft sensors, can benefit vehicle owners.


  • Because a camshaft sensor may be magnetic, it will often be found positioned directly on the timing cover located over the gear of the camshaft. It can also be located either inside a special type of housing that takes the place of the distributor, or inside the distributor itself.


  • Some vehicle engines have distributorless ignition systems. When this is the case, a camshaft sensor's role is to notify the motor's control module of the position of the camshaft as well as the crankshaft. The information taken from the camshaft sensor is then used to assist with proper ignition timing.


  • Many vehicles model year 1995 or newer can be checked for camshaft sensor problems using a scan tool. Once it is plugged in, the scan tool reveals certain fault codes if there is a problem. For example, fault code P0342 indicates low input in the camshaft sensor's circuit.

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