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​How to Reset Camshaft Position

Apr 3rd 2023

Camshaft On White

Source: / Oleksandr Grechin

The camshaft regulates the fuel inputs and exhaust outputs in a diesel engine. It is responsible for converting radial motion into linear motion, which allows the vehicle to move forward using the energy that’s generated through internal combustion. The position of the camshaft is crucial when it comes to maintaining power and fuel efficiency. If it is not in the correct position, you will notice sputtering and poor acceleration behind the wheel.

The camshaft is connected to the crankshaft via a series of gears, which corresponds to the opening and closing of the values. This allows the camshaft to coordinate its timing with the rest of the engine for more efficiency. If the camshaft falls out of position or the gears are no longer in sync, you may need to replace both the camshaft and crankshaft sensor. Learn how to reset the camshaft position by replacing the faulty sensor.

Replacing the Camshaft Position Sensor

A faulty camshaft can cause a range of problems behind the wheel. It is a complex component that works in tandem with various other components used to power the vehicle. If there is a problem with any one of these parts, you will see a check engine light. The only way to reset the camshaft position is to recalibrate the camshaft position sensor. A bad camshaft position sensor cannot be reset, so you’ll need to swap it out for a new one instead.

Check your owner’s manual to find the location of the camshaft position sensor. It is usually attached to the engine or the cylinder head, but it varies based on the make and model. The sensor itself is a small disc-shaped electrical input that’s secured in place by two bolts. Use a wrench to loosen the bolts until the sensor is loose. It will still be connected to a wire, so unlink the wire connector to pull the sensor free.

Electromagnetic Crankshaft Position Sensor Car Engine

Source: / Velimir Zeland

Find the right replacement camshaft position sensor for your exact make and model. It should be compatible with your engine if not the same version of the old sensor. Install the replacement using the same steps you used to disconnect the first one only in reverse. It should be reconnected to the wires and bolted in place.

Once the new sensor is installed, the engine control module may automatically calibrate the sensor, which will then slide the camshaft into place. But you will likely need to complete what’s known as a CASE (Crank Angle Sensor Error) and relearn using an OBD-II scanner. Attach the scanner to the connector pin on your vehicle near the steering wheel. Select the CASE to relearn option to begin the recalibration process. Follow the steps on the screen until the process is complete. This should reset the camshaft as needed.

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But what if you don’t have access to an OBD-II scanner? You can try borrowing one from a friend or auto parts store if you don’t want to pay for one out of pocket. If you need to reset the camshaft position in a pinch, you can try doing a scanner-less CASE relearn by driving in a specific manner.

Start by turning off all electronic accessories. The air temperature sensor and coolant temperature should be within 9 degrees Fahrenheit of each other for the process to begin. Let it idle for two minutes before accelerating to 55 mph at part throttle. Maintain that speed for at least 10 minutes to let the engine reach the proper operating temperature. Reduce your speed to 45 mph without touching the brakes and maintain that speed for another minute. Complete the deceleration cycle four times without using the brakes for 25 seconds each and return to 45 mph for 15 seconds between each cycle.

Car Mechanic Hands Replacing Camshaft Position

Source: / Ladanifer

You can speed up to 55 mph for two minutes. Stop the vehicle and let it idle for two minutes with the brake applied on the transmission in neutral. If you can’t replace the camshaft position sensor, use a temporary fix for a crankshaft position sensor to get home safe until you can make additional repairs. You can drive with a faulty camshaft position sensor in the short term but it will damage your engine over the long term.

However, it’s always important to reach a safe location before making repairs. If replacing the camshaft position sensor doesn’t solve the problem, there may be a problem with either the camshaft or crankshaft. This tends to be an issue on the Cummins 5.9. Find a replacement 5.9 Cummins crankshaft to resolve the issue.