Ford Ranger Camshaft Position Sensor Troubleshooting Guide
Pretty much everything under the hood is responsible for keeping your engine working properly. So if one part fails, your vehicle is likely not going anywhere. What makes the whole engine complicated is one symptom may be attributed to several parts in the engine. It may take an expert mechanic to determine the problem, but here, the focus is on the Ford Ranger camshaft position sensor.
As with any vehicle, the Ford Ranger camshaft position sensor keeps the engine running smoothly and efficiently by sending information to the electronic control module (ECM) to produce the correct firing order. Without a properly working camshaft position sensor, the engine may misfire -characterized by a loud noise in the engine as if the engine is about to die. Other symptoms of a faulty camshaft position sensor are engine hesitation or stumbling, stalling, poor idle, rough riding, long cranking time during cold start, and drop in fuel efficiency. Replacing the camshaft position sensor is a common fix, but check first if it just needs some cleaning. This is an easy DIY project; even someone with basic mechanical skills can do this correctly.
Engine does not start
A bad camshaft position sensor can cause the engine not to start. Now, there are several factors that will cause the engine not to start. You must be able to determine the root cause of the problem by checking the battery, starter, terminals, spark plugs, and solenoid. Check the sensor wiring too, as loosely connected wiring can cause similar engine problem-check for corrosion. If you have eliminated all the other factors, check the camshaft position sensor. Normally, removing the carbon with a dry cloth does the job.
OBD-II reader is telling "camshaft position sensor malfunction"
The good thing about the OBD-II reader is that it tells the difference between faulty camshaft position sensor and a more expensive engine. While it may not be standard equipment for car owners, your mechanic has it and will use it to check for engine problems. If the camshaft position sensor is found faulty, replace or clean it.
Ford Ranger Camshaft Position Sensor Maintenance Tips
The Ford Ranger camshaft position sensor rarely fails, but when it does, it poses several problems. Since it's the one that keeps the rotation of the engine in sync with the combustion cycle, a faulty camshaft position sensor can cause the car to run erratically or not at all. Other problems related to bad camshaft position sensor include poor idle, engine hesitation or stumbling, load engine noise, drop in fuel efficiency, engine misfire, stalling, and long cranking time during cold start. To prevent any of these from happening, here's how to maintain your camshaft position sensor:
Maintain a clean camshaft position sensor.
As the engine runs, carbon builds up in the camshaft position sensor. Later on, it will have an effect on how the sensor will perform. Sometimes, it can even cause the "check engine" light to turn on, forcing you to do some actions. To avoid this, make sure that you clean the camshaft position sensor once in a while, say every 5,000 miles or every time you change the engine oil. Use dry cloth and spray with electrical cleaner to remove the carbon buildup.
Keep the wiring clean.
The symptoms of a faulty camshaft position sensor are similar to the symptoms of a loose or corroded wiring. If the wiring is loose or corroded, your engine will experience problems even if the camshaft position sensor is working well. This is why maintaining the wiring is as important as maintaining the sensor. Always check for loose connection or corrosion. Clean the wires as needed.
Keep the engine clean.
The camshaft position sensor plays a big role in keeping the efficiency and the performance of the vehicle. But it is also part of the intricate system that makes the engine run. It affects the engine as it is affected by other parts of the engine. Hence, if one part of the engine fails, other parts including the camshaft position sensor may be affected. So it is important that you keep the engine clean by following the prescribed maintenance schedule that the car manufacturer has set.