What To Do After Replacing Camshaft Sensor


Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Victor Lukasso

After replacing the camshaft Sensor on your vehicle, it is important that you take further actions to ensure that everything is functioning properly and to also avert future troubles.

When your camshaft sensor goes bad, you’ll be notified on your dashboard with a check light warning that one or more of the camshaft sensors is bad.

Alternatively, you can notice signs such as reduced fuel mileage, stalling, engine misfiring, etc which is an indication of a sensor replacement.

However, after replacing the camshaft Sensor, the troubles might still persist leaving the driver confused as to what might be the cause of the problem and what to do next.

The answer to what to do after replacing the camshaft sensor is that you’ll need to reset the error codes and reprogram the engine computer to work with the new sensor.

In this article, we’ll discuss camshaft sensors and what to do after replacing a camshaft sensor.

What is a Camshaft Sensor?

A camshaft sensor is an electronic device that’s used to monitor the location and rotational speed of the camshaft.

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The sensor relays the data to the engine control unit which in turn uses the information to adjust the engine timing.

This will help release fuel mixtures and produce sparks into the cylinder which will determine how smoothly the engine will perform.

If the camshaft sensor becomes bad, it’ll relay wrong information to the ECU which can cause issues such as stalling, engine misfiring, or total engine shutdown.

In another case, the camshaft sensor may also be used to monitor engine components such as your coolant temperature or oil pressure.

You can see that a functional camshaft sensor is required for a proper driving experience.

What To Do After Replacing Camshaft Sensor

The task of the camshaft sensor cannot be overlooked as it helps the ECU adjust the timing and fuel injection systems.

While there are times when the ECU will automatically adjust to the newly installed camshaft sensor, it’s necessary you reset your computer to be sure of proper results.

Failure to do this will result in your check engine light coming on, reduced engine performance, an unresponsive engine, stalling, or engine misfiring.

You can reprogram the sensors using an OBD-II scanner. This tool can be used to fetch and clear existing codes on the engine computer.

  • Connect the OBD-II scanner to your car diagnostic port
  • turn your ignition to ON or Start it
  • It’ll read the error codes on the car
  • From the option, click on “clear codes” or “reset” (the option might differ from the OBD-II model)
  • You can now disconnect the scanner and check if the check engine light has disappeared.
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If the engine light comes back on a few minutes after the reset, then you should check the wiring harness of the camshaft sensor.

It could also be that the replaced sensor is faulty and probably needs a replacement or other damage has been done during the sensor installation.

I’ll advise you to leave the task of camshaft sensor replacement to a professional mechanic because it’s a very complex component that needs to be installed properly.

I’ll also like to chip in that camshaft sensors don’t develop issues too often but factors such as vibration, excessive heat, debris, and physical impact could make them fail prematurely.

How to Reset Camshaft Position Sensor

In order to reset a newly installed camshaft position sensor to work with the ECU, you’ll need to make use of an OBD-II scanner.

This is necessary to prevent the computer from receiving signals from the former bad sensor and reconfigure it to receive correct information from the newly installed camshaft sensor.

  • Firstly, Connect the OBD-II scanner to your car diagnostic port
  • Turn your car keys to start or turn it on
  • Allow the scanner to read the error codes on the car system
  • From the option, click on “clear codes” or “reset” (the option might differ from the OBD-II model)

You can check your buyer’s guide for the specific options you can use to clear diagnostic codes from your car using the scanner.

Alternatively, if you aren’t in possession of an OBD-II scanner, you can remove the negative battery terminal of your car to reset the sensor.

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Removing the negative terminal for at least 10 minutes and putting it back will drain energy stored on the computer making it reset automatically.

Symptoms of a Bad Camshaft Sensor

A bad camshaft sensor is often accompanied by several symptoms. Although these symptoms might be synonymous with other car faults.

  1. The check engine light illuminates
  2. Engine Misfiring
  3. Stalling
  4. Rough Idling
  5. Reduced fuel mileage
  6. Engine power loss
  7. Sputtering


Do you have to reprogram a camshaft sensor?

Yes, reprogramming a new camshaft sensor will help the ECU to start collecting information from it rather than the bad camshaft sensor.

How long does it take for a camshaft sensor to reset?

In most cases, a new camshaft sensor will not reset itself to work with the control unit but using an OBD-II scanner, a camshaft sensor can be reset in 5 minutes.

How do you test a new camshaft sensor?

Should you disconnect the battery when changing the camshaft position sensor?

It’s not necessary that you disconnect your battery when changing the camshaft position sensor, but doing that will help you reset it faster to work with the ECU.

This will eliminate the problem of the check engine light staying on even after the sensor has been replaced.