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Old 03-26-2005, 12:11 PM   #1
Ilan
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Camshaft Position Sensor Bad. Can I still Drive Till I Replace It?

SES light came on, went to Autozone, and it's the camshaft position sensor. Since it's Saturday, I can't get into the dealer till Monday. Is it OK to drive? It stalled a couple of times when I started out, and took a few more cranks to start, but otherwise seems to run fine once I get going. Am I risking getting stuck on the road? It's a 2001 330xi.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:18 PM   #2
Commander FAT
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If I'm not mistaken you may just have a missing engine until you get the sensors replaced.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:04 PM   #3
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I drove mine for a couple months with the CEL cycling on and off before I finally replaced it - actually just finished a couple hours ago! It'll run fine, just a little flat.

You'll need a couple non-standard things to do the replacement:
32mm open-ended wrench to remove/replace the VANOS solenoid
5mm Allen head socket
Blue loctite - the factory put it on the bolt holding the sensor for a reason...

Here's how to do it:
* Remove the airbox (2 10mm bolts after the cover's removed)
* Disconnect the tube above the sensor and the VANOS solenoid by squeezing both sides of the connector and pulling straight out (I think this is the PCV recirculation but I'm not sure)
* Disconnect the VANOS solenoid electrical connector by squeezing the wire clip and pulling the connector off
* Remove the VANOS solenoid with the 32mm wrench. Oil will come out, have rags ready
* Remove the camshaft position sensor hold down bolt with the 5mm Allen socket. A standard Allen wrench will also do.
* Pull the CPS out - give it a twist to help it out. Make sure you clean out where the gasket goes as mine was pretty cruddy there. Get a new gasket with the new CPS, it's a buck and worth it to avoid a potential oil leak
* Trace the wire to the connector way underneath the motor and disconnect it and remove the CPS from the car
* Run the new sensor wire the same way the old one ran
* Put the new gasket over the sensor and install it
* Renistall the 5mm Allen bolt with a drop of blue Loctite
* Put everything else back where it came from

Total time, if you have everything you need at hand, maybe 45 minutes.

Have fun!

Scott
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:05 PM   #4
slow323ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeon
I drove mine for a couple months with the CEL cycling on and off before I finally replaced it - actually just finished a couple hours ago! It'll run fine, just a little flat.

You'll need a couple non-standard things to do the replacement:
32mm open-ended wrench to remove/replace the VANOS solenoid
5mm Allen head socket
Blue loctite - the factory put it on the bolt holding the sensor for a reason...

Here's how to do it:
* Remove the airbox (2 10mm bolts after the cover's removed)
* Disconnect the tube above the sensor and the VANOS solenoid by squeezing both sides of the connector and pulling straight out (I think this is the PCV recirculation but I'm not sure)
* Disconnect the VANOS solenoid electrical connector by squeezing the wire clip and pulling the connector off
* Remove the VANOS solenoid with the 32mm wrench. Oil will come out, have rags ready
* Remove the camshaft position sensor hold down bolt with the 5mm Allen socket. A standard Allen wrench will also do.
* Pull the CPS out - give it a twist to help it out. Make sure you clean out where the gasket goes as mine was pretty cruddy there. Get a new gasket with the new CPS, it's a buck and worth it to avoid a potential oil leak
* Trace the wire to the connector way underneath the motor and disconnect it and remove the CPS from the car
* Run the new sensor wire the same way the old one ran
* Put the new gasket over the sensor and install it
* Renistall the 5mm Allen bolt with a drop of blue Loctite
* Put everything else back where it came from

Total time, if you have everything you need at hand, maybe 45 minutes.

Have fun!

Scott
That's the procedure for the intake cam sensor, the exhaust cam sensor is right out in the open on the front right corner of the cylinder head and is a 10 minute job to replace.
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:31 PM   #5
Alpine_330CI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow323ci
That's the procedure for the intake cam sensor, the exhaust cam sensor is right out in the open on the front right corner of the cylinder head and is a 10 minute job to replace.
i rode mine for 3 months, and just replaced it a week ago.
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Old 03-26-2005, 04:54 PM   #6
abefroman
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I let mine go for 2-3 weeks before I replaced it. My car died about a day or so before the part came. I wouldn't drive very far before you fix it.
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:50 AM   #7
Ilan
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Thanks for everyone's input. But I still don't understand what, exactly, the role of the camshaft position sensor is, and what is the impact of a bad one. Does it slowly deteriorate, or is it the type of sensor that either works or just stops working completely? And if it doesn't work, what's the impact as far as driveability? Will the engine simply shut down completely?

And thanks for the DIY info, but because of time crunch, I think I'll just have the dealer take care of the change on Monday.
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:58 PM   #8
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Bump. I need to replace my intake CPS. Anyone have any DIY pics? My SA at the dealership told me when I had the exhaust CPS replaced that it is a problem that could eventually 'leave you on the side of the road'.
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:00 PM   #9
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refer to post three
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil328i
Bump. I need to replace my intake CPS. Anyone have any DIY pics? My SA at the dealership told me when I had the exhaust CPS replaced that it is a problem that could eventually 'leave you on the side of the road'.
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:12 PM   #10
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I need pics. I saw post 3.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:34 PM   #11
ADA
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man,

i wished i knew about this thread sooner. I just threw out my used (but in good working condition) camshaft sensors (both intake and exhaust).

I recently replaced my camshaft sensors just for shitzz and giggles. Damn, let me check the dumpster.
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Old 05-17-2005, 06:20 PM   #12
Cecil328i
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Where exactly is the intake sensor, or do i have to remove the intake box to see it?
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:13 PM   #13
pinefield
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The inlet cam sensor is by the electromagnetic valve on the left of the oil filter housing (facing the car). The new part number is 12-14-7-539-165 and the o-ring is 12-14-1-748-398. I'm not too sure how difficult it is to get to though.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:01 PM   #14
macattack_ga
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Thank you Scott!

Thanks Scott! just finished mine last night.
It would have been a 15-20 min project if i had read your instructions more carefully and not dropped one of those wire clips and had to remove the front driver side wheel to retrieve it!

cost me: $110.75 including shipping from Pelican Parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigeon View Post
I drove mine for a couple months with the CEL cycling on and off before I finally replaced it - actually just finished a couple hours ago! It'll run fine, just a little flat.

You'll need a couple non-standard things to do the replacement:
32mm open-ended wrench to remove/replace the VANOS solenoid
5mm Allen head socket
Blue loctite - the factory put it on the bolt holding the sensor for a reason...

Here's how to do it:
* Remove the airbox (2 10mm bolts after the cover's removed)
* Disconnect the tube above the sensor and the VANOS solenoid by squeezing both sides of the connector and pulling straight out (I think this is the PCV recirculation but I'm not sure)
* Disconnect the VANOS solenoid electrical connector by squeezing the wire clip and pulling the connector off
* Remove the VANOS solenoid with the 32mm wrench. Oil will come out, have rags ready
* Remove the camshaft position sensor hold down bolt with the 5mm Allen socket. A standard Allen wrench will also do.
* Pull the CPS out - give it a twist to help it out. Make sure you clean out where the gasket goes as mine was pretty cruddy there. Get a new gasket with the new CPS, it's a buck and worth it to avoid a potential oil leak
* Trace the wire to the connector way underneath the motor and disconnect it and remove the CPS from the car
* Run the new sensor wire the same way the old one ran
* Put the new gasket over the sensor and install it
* Renistall the 5mm Allen bolt with a drop of blue Loctite
* Put everything else back where it came from

Total time, if you have everything you need at hand, maybe 45 minutes.

Have fun!

Scott

Last edited by macattack_ga; 06-28-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:20 AM   #15
SHAMIE
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Hey guys.. very helpful thread thanks! I am getting ready to tackle my own Cam sensor on my 2001 330ci convertible @ 103K and wanna run a few things by the experts:

1. My ODBII code is "P0369: Camshaft Position Sensor B: Bank 1 CKT intermittent" - that code isn't even listed in the master list here! should that worry me?
- is this the Intake or Exhaust sensor?
- are the insturctions in post 3 the ones i should follow??
2. Any recommendations on where to get the part from?
3. Which DIY manual is a favorite among the crowd? Do i need one? I am only somewhat mechanically inclined and this will be my first DIY that involves the engine!! i'm a bit worried - i don't wanna hurt my baby!
Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:34 AM   #16
VBladeV01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAMIE View Post
Hey guys.. very helpful thread thanks! I am getting ready to tackle my own Cam sensor on my 2001 330ci convertible @ 103K and wanna run a few things by the experts:

1. My ODBII code is "P0369: Camshaft Position Sensor B: Bank 1 CKT intermittent" - that code isn't even listed in the master list here! should that worry me?
- is this the Intake or Exhaust sensor?
- are the insturctions in post 3 the ones i should follow??
2. Any recommendations on where to get the part from?
3. Which DIY manual is a favorite among the crowd? Do i need one? I am only somewhat mechanically inclined and this will be my first DIY that involves the engine!! i'm a bit worried - i don't wanna hurt my baby!
Thanks!
PO369 is exhaust and you will find it bolted on the engine block. It's the one closer to the front of the car. I got both my CPS intake/exhaust replaced using a DIY here. Search and you'll find it.
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