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How to clean camshaft sensors

Updated February 21, 2017

The camshaft sensor plays an important role in an engine because it tells the spark plugs when to fire. If it is not working correctly, the car will misfire or not fire at all. If your car is sputtering and the check engine light is on, the problem may be caused by the camshaft. Often they are not working properly because they need to be cleaned. Cleaning it yourself will save the cost of replacing it.

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  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable with the socket wrench.

  2. Locate the camshaft sensor. It is located in various places on different cars, so refer to the service manual to find where it is on your car.

  3. Detach the three wires from the camshaft sensor, noting where they go as you take them off.

  4. Remove the camshaft sensor by removing the screws that are holding it on the distributor, and place it on a clean rag. You may need to pry it out with the screwdriver.

  5. Spray a small amount of solvent on the sensor. Wipe it dry with another rag.

  6. Replace the camshaft sensor, and tighten the screws. Attach the three wires back into their original positions, and connect the negative battery cable.

  7. Warning

    Disconnect the negative battery cable whenever you are working with electrical components on an engine to avoid electric shock.

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Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Service manual
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • 1 can aerosol solvent
  • 2 clean rags

About the Author

Donna Tinus

Donna Tinus has been a writer since 2005. She has a background in medical terminology and has written articles for various websites on topics such as family, finance, medicine, health, pets, gardening, beauty and relationships. Tinus holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Centenary College.

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