As someone who knows about cars, the one question that I get asked frequently by people who interact with me is; how many camshaft sensors are in a car?
In case you didn’t know, a car has got multiple sensors. The number of sensors does vary though, depending on the car’s engine type and the car age.
Going back to the question of how many camshaft sensors are in a car, the answer is; four. A car with a common engine (a four-cylinder engine) has four camshafts and one sensor per camshaft.
Other types of engines such as V6, V8, and V12 have different numbers of sensors. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at each one of them in-depth.
How Many Camshaft Position Sensors Are In a V6 Engine?
What’s a V6 engine? Simply put, a V6 engine is one with six cylinders where the pistons travel and internal combustions take place. Just like a four-cylinder engine, this engine comes with four camshafts. Each camshaft has a sensor. That means a V6 engine has four camshaft position sensors.
How Many Camshaft Position Sensors Are In a V8 Engine?
What’s a V8 engine? Now, this is a type of internal combustion engine with eight cylinders where the pistons travel and internal combustions occur. Just like a four-cylinder engine or six-cylinder engine, this engine comes with four camshafts and four camshaft position sensors.
How Many Camshaft Position Sensors Are In a V12 Engine?
What is a V12 engine? Since a V6 engine comes with six cylinders, whereas a V8 engine comes with 8 cylinders, it’s only fair to assume that a V12 engine comes with 12 cylinders.
But contrary to that assumption, a V12 engine comes with only six cylinders. Each cylinder has a camshaft and each camshaft has a camshaft position sensor. Therefore, the engine comes with six cam position sensors.
What’s So Unique About the V Engine Series?
The V engine series(i.e V6, V8, and V12) have cylinders arranged in two parallel banks, connected to the same crankshaft. Since the cylinder banks are angled relative to each other from the front of the engine, they seem like a “V”, hence the name “V engines.”
Plus, these engines typically have a shorter length than their inline counterparts, providing some portability benefits. It’s one of the reasons they have become some of the most common types of engines for modern cars.
If a Camshaft Sensor Goes Bad, Do I Need To Replace All the Sensors?
As we said earlier on, your engine will come with multiple camshaft position sensors, depending on your engine’s type and car’s age. If you have the four-cylinder engine, which is the most common type of engine, it will have four cam position sensors.
Now, if one sensor fails while the rest function, you may wonder whether you need to replace all the sensors or just the broken sensor.
However, it’s recommended that you replace all the sensors at the same time. Otherwise, you may notice inconsistent performance, if you don’t. This isn’t so costly as compared to other part replacements.
Replacing a cam position sensor costs(including parts and labor) between $95 to $200, depending on many factors. These include, your car make, the sensor brand you may choose as well as your location.
Of course, you should expect to pay more if you own an expensive machine like a Benz, Rolls Royce, or Bentley or less for a mainstream brand such as Toyota, Chevrolet, and Honda.
Similarly, you should expect to pay more if you go for a premier, top-of-the-range sensor brand like Bosch and Continental AG or less if you choose an average brand such as Denso.
When it comes to location, you should expect to pay more if you live in a place where it’s hard to find a garage or mechanics and vice versa.
Contrary to the general assumption that cars come with only one camshaft position sensor, these automobiles come with multiple sensors.
Some cars come with four sensors(four-cylinder engine cars, V6 engine cars, and V8 engine cars) whereas other cars come with six sensors(e.g V12 engine cars).
Now, if you have a bad sensor, you should replace all the sensors at the same time. Otherwise, you may not get consistent performance, if you don’t.