Where Is the Cam Sensor Located?

Camshaft sensor placement depends on the type of engine, but the sensor is usually located on the timing cover or cylinder head. Older engines have the part mounted inside the distributor, though some conventional engines place the sensor in the center toward the back of the engine. The guiding rule is that the sensor must be aligned with the timing belt to avoid fluid leaks onto the mounting area.

The camshaft position sensor sends information to the engine's computer about the rotational position of the camshaft. Fuel injectors use information they receive from the sensor to determine when to fire. In most current engines, software is involved, which might affect where the sensor lies and how to make repairs. Because of the communication with a computer, repair sometimes involves a simple "reboot."

To find the sensor in their car, owners should look first near the crankshaft. The sensor often sits near the top of the engine casing, which is near the exhaust camshaft or the intake camshaft. This position makes the sensor accessible without removing other engine components, making installation easy for the car owner. The sensors look like small cylinders with two wires extending from them.

For certain foreign cars such as Honda, the sensors are inside the distributor, and the car owner cannot service them without taking the car to a dealer.