I’m sure we can all understand that the camshaft position sensor or the CMP is a device or sensor meant to be placed in your vehicle. The job of this sensor is to send your engine control module or ECM important data so that your engine picks up on the ignition time along with the fuel injection of the vehicle.
Sometimes such camshaft sensors end up failing at doing the task they are supposed to. There are obviously numerous reasons as to what causes a camshaft position sensor to go bad. And we will elaborate on those causes so that you can fix the problems.
A camshaft position sensor can go bad for bad wiring, crank walk, over heating, prior accidents, damaged timing belt, and for many other reasons. Dirt, oil, moisture, or any water damage can also damage the engine's camshaft since these things build up over time.
Causes For A Camshaft Position Sensor To Go Bad
You will see many signs or symptoms when your camshaft position sensor goes bad or fails to work. It is important for you to immediately check what is wrong and determine the cause of the sensor failure. Some causes that you might discover for your own camshaft sensor failure are given below:
A problem that occurs the most with your camshaft sensors is when the wiring harness is faulty. From the in-depth research of torquewrenchcenter blog, we’ve found that this happens when the voltage isn’t proper or because of return circuit or ground circuit issues.
If your wiring harness has a lot of loose wires, oil, dirt, or debris on it, it will disrupt that very improper voltage and cause the wiring to get damaged or start tearing up to the point the entire wiring harness becomes worn out and useless.
The camshaft sensors will keep failing, and you will have to start up your vehicle over and over when it fails since it won't allow your vehicle to have an engine that will work continuously for long hours.
This happens when your engine’s crankshaft starts slipping to the engine’s belt area. When your main or core thrust bearing becomes old and worn out, then this crank walk happens.
As time goes by with this being unnoticed, the crankshaft will continue to stay in its new position, and the crank sensor's metal plate inside it will strike a side of the sensor continuously every time the engine or the engine's belt revolves.
With each engine belt revolution or rotation, there will be sharp clicking sounds on repeat. As this continues, the crankshaft will wear out and eventually break into pieces. You might never notice this until one fine day you are driving your car, and the next second, your engine has completely shut off. You should immediately check the crankshaft to see if a crank walk was the cause of the camshaft failure.
When you are driving your car for long hours on a hot sunny day or even parking your car under the open sun without shade, it can damage your camshaft sensor. The excessive heat can actually cause a ton of problems for your whole engine too.
Not to mention the engine itself produces a lot of heat. If there isn't enough ventilation or lubrication or if your radiator isn't working well, then you can expect your engine's overheating to go higher than average.
When this happens, the plastic casing or covering that is on the crankshaft sensor will eventually crack or probably melt from the heat. Your car will not start up afterward because the camshaft sensor will not be able to transfer fuel or ignition data to the engine.
Stuff like dirt, oil, moisture, or any water damage is just as dangerous for the engine's camshaft as overheating is since these things build up over time inside the engine and around it. They might be easy to clean, but they are also hard to notice. So, you will not know this is a cause for your camshaft sensor failure unless your engine goes down, and your scan tool gives you a warning.
Any minor collisions or accidents that might have happened to your vehicle in the past, parts of your engine might have gotten damaged even though the vehicle looks fine from the outside can be a cause.
Any sort of collision is enough to cause wires to damage or tear, oil caps to come loose, oil tanks to start leaking, etc. All these damages will interrupt your camshaft sensor’s signals since your camshaft is involved with the other parts of the engine as well.
It is possible that the timing belt in your engine might have torn or gotten damaged because of an accident or collision. If it did tear or snap, then the belt will end up wrapping around the crankshaft and end up damaging other parts and sensors.
The camshaft sensor will most likely be hit by this snapped timing belt when it initially tore from the damage. The wiring harness and sensors will also take on some damage from this.
You can replace the timing belt, but it will not fix the other damages that took place because of that one torn belt. Eventually, the entire camshaft sensor will remain damaged until that is fixed too.
The moment you realize there is a problem with your engine, it is best to stop your vehicle and check out the engine. One of the parts you do need to check immediately is your camshaft sensor.
Usually, your scan tool will indicate it directly to you if your camshaft sensor is in danger. Even if it doesn't, there are some symptoms your vehicle will show, which will also be a signal that there is something wrong with your camshaft.
The above are what causes a camshaft position sensor to go bad, and knowing these causes helps you fix the problem right away, whether it is about cleaning anything or replacing anything.
Last Updated on March 5, 2021 by Marcus Ford