The camshaft position sensor is a vital part of your engine’s ability to function properly. It detects the position, speed, acceleration and deceleration of the camshaft, which regulates the injection of fuel into the engine. In order to make the minute adjustments necessary to determine the fuel injection timing, the camshaft position sensor must be in good working order. This not only prevents engine trouble but also optimizes fuel economy.

It's important to catch any indications of a failing camshaft position sensor. Signs your camshaft position sensor may be bad include:

  • Long cranking when trying to start the car, or just a “ticking” sound with no ignition
  • Abnormal idling – when at a stop the engine may sputter and struggle to stay running
  • Rough-running engine – the engine could be running fine one minute while driving and struggle the next
  • Stalling on acceleration – the engine may sputter and/or stall when you try to speed up

When you see indications of a failing sensor and are ready to replace it, keep a few things in mind to make sure get a good quality camshaft position sensor:

  • Watch for the OEM Specified or Direct Fit label. Universal camshaft position sensors do not exist.

  • Make sure the part is EMI tested. Electromagnetic interference causes inaccuracy in these sensors.

  • Look for a durability rating of 300 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity resistance. Lower ratings mean the part will be vulnerable to faster breakdown.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality camshaft position sensors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a camshaft position sensor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on camshaft position sensor replacement.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Camshaft Position Sensor and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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