To replace a cam sensor, first locate the cam sensor, which is located in a different spot depending on the engine. Remove the electrical plug, and undo the bolt securing the sensor. Twist the sensor to remove it, and then replace it with the new camshaft sensor.
To replace a camshaft, you need a 14-inch drive ratchet, a set of matching drive sockets and a set of wrenches. These tools are used during the removal and the replacement of the cam sensor.
Some cam sensors are located in the front of the engine, just forward of the valve cover. Other engines have the sensor located in the distributor or at the intake manifold. The latter example is directly over the camshaft itself.
A camshaft sensor must be replaced when the engine displays symptoms indicative of a defective or broken cam sensor. These symptoms include sputtering, poor acceleration and stalling, or the inability to start at all. The camshaft sensor provides a range of information to the car's on-board computer, so when it breaks, many symptoms arise from the computer being unable to sense such factors as positional rotation and speed regulation. These symptoms may be part of a much larger problem, so understanding how a camshaft sensor works helps to diagnose these engine troubles.