How To Figure Out That A Camshaft Position Sensor Is Bad Condition

Posted in Engine & DriveTrain | Asked on Sep 17, 2009

On a 1998 Mercury Sable. I was driving it and it started to handle rough so I went and had it looked at. The car shop said it might be a camshaft position sensor or synchronizer. When I started it up again it works fine now and haven’t had any trouble running errands but the check engine light is on. Can someone try to help me figure out what the problem is?

There are 5 Answers for "How To Figure Out That A Camshaft Position Sensor Is Bad Condition"

  1. cnc_cut says:

    If you go to autozone, the parts place, they will do a diagnostic scan on your vehicle for free. Your car is new enough to have this done. The scan, if your check engine light is on, will tell you exactly what the problem is. http://www.autozone.com ^(http://www.carparts21.com/goto/http://www.autozone.com)

  2. paul4001 says:

    The cam sensor/synchro failure is very common on these engines. You probably have the 3.0L v-6 engine. I have replaced dozens of these on the sister line the Ford Taurus it uses the same engine there’s also a double overhead cam engine…same problems. Have the part replaced, the synchro’s have a tendency to seize up and tear the cam sensor apart which makes installing the new parts more time consuming (time=$$). Also if the code set the cam sensor most likely has already been destroyed. Before this failure a slight chirping may have been intermittently coming from under the hood? That would have been the sensor getting ready to seize up.
    The cam sensor tells the engine computer when to deliver fuel to the engine via injectors. The system is currently running in” limp mode”. Which is meant to get you home or to a shop.

  3. dreamer_ says:

    The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is there to tell the ECU how hard you have your foot on the gas. It isn’t there to adjust for the idle. It’s a sensor. It does have some adjustment of it’s own…
    trouble shooting for the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS):
    Symptoms of a bad or mis-adjusted TPS include:
    • Varying idle speed
    • Hesitation while accelerating
    • Poor fuel economy
    • Inability to correctly set base ignition timing
    o I.e. you jumper the timing check connector and the idle and timing don’t change
    Seemingly unrelated systems can also be affected by a malfunctioning TPS, including Electronically Controlled Transmissions (ECT). Problems can include poor shifting and hunting between gears due to the engine computer seeing apparent throttle position changes coming from a flaky TPS. Since it is the TPS that tells the engine’s ECU that you are idle, if that setting is off, setting timing can be difficult, since insertion of the timing check jumper won’t have any affect on the engine.
    They have a diagnostic equipment (some sort of oscilloscope) to check the condition of the TPS,…

  4. Lab says:

    You will have to give us the current codes (go to autozone or any place like that) and tell us exactly what codes come up (P0341 or something like that)

  5. jeromech says:

    There is no way to tell if the cmp sensor is bad unless you have the codes pulled.