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Camshaft Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Camshaft Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Sockets 8mm, flathead screwdriver, torque wrench, shop rag

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Intake or Exhaust camshaft sensor

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will run well

Complementary Modification:

Replace sensors in pairs

The digital motor electronics (DME) engine management system in MINI R56 vehicles uses the engine control module (ECM) to control fuel injection, ignition and other important drivetrain functions. The ECM sequentially triggers the fuel injectors to spray fuel into the intake ports and then, a split-second later, triggers the ignition coils to fire the spark plugs. This sequence of events is timed by using crankshaft position information. Using the signal from the crankshaft sensor, the ECM "knows" which cylinder is ready for fuel intake and then, later, for ignition.

However, in addition to the crankshaft position signal, the ECM needs a signal to distinguish the crankshaft valve-overlap top-dead-center (TDC) position from the TDC just prior to the power stroke. This signal is provided by camshaft position sensors, which help synchronize fuel injection and ignition. In addition, camshaft sensors serve as feedback devices for VANOS (variable camshaft timing) control.

When a camshaft sensor fails, the check engine light will illuminate and a fault code will be stored. I have seen faulty sensors cause engine stalling and poor engine drivability. If you have a camshaft sensor fault code and your engine isn't running right, I suggest replacing the sensor before digging too deep. In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors. MINI suggests replacing the sensor fasteners when removing. This is due to Loctite used at the factory. If you do not want to replace the fasteners, be sure to apply a small amount of blue Loctite on the fastener threads.

MINI R56 models come equipped with a few different engines, with each engine type the camshaft control varies and so does the number of camshaft sensors. On N12, N16 and N18 engines there are two camshaft sensors, intake and exhaust. On N14 engines, there is only an intake camshaft sensor. The sensor part numbers are the same, even on engines with two sensors. So you can swap them around for testing if needed. If you need help with detailed testing steps, see our tech article on camshaft sensor testing.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Use a MINI scan tool to identify the sensor with an issue.
Figure 1

Use a MINI scan tool to identify the sensor with an issue. On my subject vehicle, it is the intake camshaft sensor (red arrow).

Use a MINI scan tool to check if there is a current issue with the camshaft sensor.
Figure 2

Use a MINI scan tool to check if there is a current issue with the camshaft sensor. You can monitor camshaft actuation. Check if the camshaft actual angle (red arrow) matches the setpoint (green arrow).

On R56 MINI models, the intake (inlet) camshaft sensor is located on the left rear of the cylinder head (green arrow).
Figure 3

On R56 MINI models, the intake (inlet) camshaft sensor is located on the left rear of the cylinder head (green arrow). The exhaust (outlet) camshaft sensor is located at the left front of the cylinder head (red arrow).

Intake camshaft sensor: Locate the sensor (green arrow).
Figure 4

Intake camshaft sensor: Locate the sensor (green arrow).

Intake camshaft sensor: Disconnect the electrical connector.
Figure 5

Intake camshaft sensor: Disconnect the electrical connector. Press the release tab up (red arrow) and pull it straight off the sensor.

Intake camshaft sensor: Then, using a 8mm socket, remove the sensor fastener (red arrow).
Figure 6

Intake camshaft sensor: Then, using a 8mm socket, remove the sensor fastener (red arrow).

Intake camshaft sensor: Remove the camshaft sensor (red arrow) from the cylinder head.
Figure 7

Intake camshaft sensor: Remove the camshaft sensor (red arrow) from the cylinder head. Be ready to catch any dripping oil in a rag. Install the sensor in the cylinder head and tighten the fastener to 8 Nm. Connect the camshaft sensor electrical connector and clear the DME fault codes.

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Working at the front of the cylinder head, disconnect the camshaft sensor electrical connector by pushing up on the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it straight off.
Figure 8

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Working at the front of the cylinder head, disconnect the camshaft sensor electrical connector by pushing up on the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it straight off.

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Then, using a 8mm socket, remove the sensor fastener (red arrow).
Figure 9

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Then, using a 8mm socket, remove the sensor fastener (red arrow).

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Remove the camshaft sensor (red arrow) from the cylinder head.
Figure 10

Exhaust camshaft sensor: Remove the camshaft sensor (red arrow) from the cylinder head. Be ready to catch any dripping oil in a rag. Install the sensor in the cylinder head and tighten the fastener to 8 Nm. Connect the camshaft sensor electrical connector and clear the DME fault codes.

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Comments and Suggestions:
jackmirabito Comments: Just ordered a new Sensor from Rock auto. Hopefully this resolves my problem! Stay tuned
October 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should have ordered it from Pelican parts where you come for help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sean Comments: After working on my r56 mini cooper rear brake pads replaced, I have brake pedal that sinks when engine starts it feels firm when pumped a few times when engine is off.
And, I have CEL with code P0015 camshaft sensor. Could the code be triggered by vacuum pump issues?
September 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not likely. Pedal sinking is not likely vacuum either. That would be hard pedal.

You may have air in the system. Try bleeding your brakes. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Amarelo Comments: Hi, camshaft position B - bank 1 which sensor is?
August 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The one closest to the intake manifold. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alan Comments: If the cam sensors have been changed, can this problem be related to a code P10EE? I can not find any information on this code and keep coming on.
August 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: P10EE is a fault inthe valvetronic system. Check the valvetronic system function as well as the eccentric shaft sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tatersalad Comments: What is involved with recalibration of vanos selenoid replacement
June 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If replacing a VANOS solenoid, simply clear the fault codes. No calibration needed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Michael2007Mini Comments: Question -
What is the round part that's connected to the exhaust cam shaft you see directly underneath the exhaust cam sensor?
March 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The vacuum pump. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hyoot Comments: Camshaft Posiistion Sensor A Bank 1

Which sensor is ar fault, inlet or exhaust?
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Intake sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: Is there an electrical schematic of the camshaft sensor
So as to test the sensor using a multimeter?

I don't have a wide range of tools but I have a scan Guage II
Which shows a P0340 code and I have a multimeter. If I could
Find an electrical diagram of the camshaft sensor I
Might be able to verify it is truly faulty.
January 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.

Procedure here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI_R56/18-FUEL-Camshaft_Position_Sensor_Testing/18-FUEL-Camshaft_Position_Sensor_Testing.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
chelomini Comments: which one is bank 1?
December 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On all vehicles, the sensor closest to cylinder 1. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:52:43 AM