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Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$130

Talent:

**

Tools:

5mm Allen/hex driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W210 (1996-03)

Parts Required:

New camshaft position sensor

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery, ALWAYS

Performance Gain:

Better control of fuel injection and engine timing

Complementary Modification:

Replace crankshaft position sensor

Your fuel injection computer (DME) may output a code that indicates a faulty camshaft position sensor (CPS). This important sensor tells the car's computer where the camshaft lobes are located in relation to the combustion cycle. The DME takes the signals from the cam position sensor and crankshaft position sensor, and calculates when to fire the fuel injectors and spark plugs. If the camshaft position sensor is not operating properly, your car will run very erratically or perhaps not at all.

Replacement of the sensor itself is quite easy. Begin by disconnecting the battery at the terminal access point in front of the rear seat. This prevents any errant voltage or short circuits from the battery. One of these could ruin your day very quickly as the vehicle's fuel injection system is very sensitive to voltage. Be safe and disconnect it.

Now locate the sensor on the front of the M104 engine, right next to the water pump. Pull back the locking tab on the electrical connector and pull the connector off the sensor. Then, using a 5-millimeter Allen wrench, remove the two bolts on either side of the sensor. The sensor should pull out of its location in the cylinder head. Once removed, disconnect the electrical connection going to the sensor. Also make sure that the O-ring that seals the sensor to the cylinder head is not still stuck inside the cylinder head. If the O-ring is stuck inside the head, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to carefully remove it.

Now clean the inside of the bore for the sensor with a rag. Take the new sensor and place it into the hole in the cylinder head making sure it seats into position correctly. Now lightly snug up the bolts holding it in place and you're done.

Shown here is a new camshaft position sensor for the Mercedes M104 engine.
Figure 1

Shown here is a new camshaft position sensor for the Mercedes-Benz M104 engine.

The camshaft position sensor is located on the front of the cylinder head on the left side of the car.
Figure 2

The camshaft position sensor is located on the front of the cylinder head on the left side of the car. Pull back the locking tab (purple arrow) to release the electrical connector going to the sensor and then pull it off. Once free, you'll need to loosen and remove the two 5mm Allen bolts that hold the sensor to the cylinder head (green arrows). NOTE: the lower mounting bolt is not visible in this picture.

You may find that it's a tight fit to get an Allen wrench in there to loosen up the mounting bolts.
Figure 3

You may find that it's a tight fit to get an Allen wrench in there to loosen up the mounting bolts. Use a small Allen as shown here to loosen up the bolts. Once the bolts are removed, pull the old sensor out of the cylinder head.

Take a look inside the mounting bore and check if the old O-ring is still in place (green arrow).
Figure 4

Take a look inside the mounting bore and check if the old O-ring is still in place (green arrow). If it is, be sure to pull it out before installing the new sensor.

Now place the new sensor into the mounting bore and thread in the two mounting bolts.
Figure 5

Now place the new sensor into the mounting bore and thread in the two mounting bolts. Now re-connect the electrical plug going to the sensor and you're all finished.

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Comments and Suggestions:
acritchlow Comments: 1997 s420 w140, M119. Slightly rough idle even after all new coils, new motor mounts, new transmission mount, electrical looks god no cracks or loss of insulation, no codes, fuel delivery is within pressure range with a new filter but no hesitation, considering changing cam-sensor and magnets. Any suggestions on this? is it like the w210 change? or more complicated?
October 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: before replacing parts, confirm there are no vacuum leaks. Is engine compression / vacuum OK? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ron Comments: Hello, my MB E320 not start and I think it is the camshaft position sensor . but I was reviewing it and nothing happens. What do you think it could be?
March 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and fuel pressure, volume, quality and engine compression. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jun pogi Comments: 1997 mercedes c280, i have a check engine on the panel, code po341 appears so camshaft position sensor might be the problem, i, drove the car from california to nebraska around 1,700 miles and no problem exist except for the check engine on the panel board,do u think i, still have to replace the camshaft position sensor, what is the price of ignoring the code.
February 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would replace it. If it is faulty, the engine will consume more fuel due to lack of precise injector timing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Merctech36 Comments: After spraying the cam sensor with electric cleaner it ran fine and then start it's problem 20 minutes later. I think the sensor failed
January 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be your issue. Or a coincidence. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Merctech36 Comments: Hi I have a 1996 Mercedes Benz C280,it has poor acceleration and kickdown it hesitates at 4000rpm and can splutters kind-of and uneven idle when hot
January 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the check engine light on? Sounds like an engine misfire. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dprinterguy Comments: Nothing is missing, everything is intact, fuel line, spark plugs compression was perfect. Nothing missed from the system. Let's look at it like this, you drove the car home last night, on your way home you noticed it was hesitation to move and it will not rev or speed up and perform optimally and the engine is usually hard to start anytime you want to drive. And the morning after it refused to start, but a night before it was working but it does hesitate while driving. And all component are still intact no diagnosis, no replacement at this time, fuel intake is fine, spark plugs and wires are OK, and the rest of the components are good, nothing removed, nothing missing. where do we look at or what is the culprit
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am sorry you are not finding my reply helpful. I would check what I mentioned. Something has to be missing. One of the missing components, spark, fuel or compression, will point to the area to test. Without knowing what is missing, you shooting in the dark. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dprinterguy Comments: Thanks for you quick response, fuel delivery system is perfect, changed fuel pump, nozzle, spark plugs coil and wire and most components to new ones still no start but cranks. If I had not removed the old cps, the car would still be running as we speak, because with the initially installed factory CPS it was running and starting, but after I removed it and replaced it with another one, it did not start again it's just cracking, that was why I'm particular about the CPS. I am not a motor tech. But I know basics about receive and fix but I cannot diagnose and trace faults. Please the symptoms are crank and no start, and the electricity shock from the plug wires if I crank, fuel delivery is superb, could the sensor be responsible for no electricity shock from the coil/plug wire? Thanks
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Define perfect, what is pressure and volume?

I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and fuel pressure, volume, quality and engine compression. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dprinterguy Comments: Hello Nick, concerning the E-class, everything was working fine, fuel pressure is OK, spark plugs OK, but what I noticed was the hesitation and failure to rev up to 4000 rpm. And hard starting too, and a local tech. Told me it's the Crank shaft position sensor which I was trying to replace and got damaged, and I had to install several other CPS but none of it worked, if the old one had not spoilt, I would have fixed it back and the engine would have been working as of old hard starting, hesitation and failure to rev up to 4000 rpm aside these I'm sure all components are OK. But I just want to know if I need to change both crank and cam shaft sensors. Thanks
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What you need to do is figure out where the cause of the hesitation is. Replacing sensors that are not setting fault codes will (likely) not fix the problem. Check fuel delivery, ignition, etc. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dprinterguu Comments: Hello, I have ben E240 w210 1998 not sure it all started with hesitation while rerving and hard starting but now it won't start, just cracking and I was told it's the crank shaft sensor, but unfortunately for me the crank shaft sensor got badly damaged while removing it and I was unable to get the numbers on it so as to use that same number to order a new one, but I have bought several sensors after that and none of it worked. And my question is, is it that the CPS I've ordered are bad or faulty, or is it that I will have to replace the cam shaft and crank shaft sensors together or can you help me with the correct number series of the sensor.
November 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and fuel pressure, volume, quality and engine compression. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tony56 Comments: I have a 1987 mercedes benz 190e-2.6 where is my crankshaf position sensor lowcation on my car at.i know I have two?can u help me?
August 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Upper left side of Bell Housing - Nick at Pelican Parts  
paul Comments: Nick, I have a 1994 S600, 4 door sedan. I am pretty mechanically inclined. Could you help me located and remove and replace the cam sensor?The car is running on six cylinders and the code indicates the cam sensor left bank. does that make sense? I am the original owner and would like to do the work myself if you think thats possible.
July 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The sensor is located on the left front of the engine (near the corner of the cylinder head, top), right below the curve in the fuel rail. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: I have a 95 S420 and it has started running rough at idle, under load and periodic missing. The car does run warm, 100C normally and to 110C when hot outside. I have begun replacing parts that I thought might effect the cooling and erratic performance without success. So I'm now at the Cam Shaft sensor and before I buy new ones I would like to know How do I check the position of each cam shaft by turning the crank? What number markings do I use?
June 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For your engine, you need to use a combination of camshaft position and a dial indicator. I would suggest getting as repair manual. It is too complicated to explain here. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TheElder Comments: Nick. Does Pelican sell the scan tool? If so, please point me to the one I need or is it something I get from a Rally parts store, etc.?

Please let me know. I am about ready to get started on it.
June 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need an advanced scan tool to work with theft, etc. I am not sure of the capability of the tool we sell for MB. Best bet is to call our parts specialists. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TheElder Comments: Nick. There are no fault codes that I know of. Will they show if car is not running. Anyway, I do not see any codes when key is on. I am not familiar with the acronym DME or theft issue. Can you explain, please? Car was running fine before I let my grandson use. I did have trouble sometimes getting the key out but only when I was pulled up in the driveway. I am puzzled by him telling me the steering locked up. al
June 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: theft - vehiocles are equipped with theft systems to prevent drive aways.

DME - the engine computer.

The vehicle needs to be scanned using a Mercedes-Benz scan tool to read fault codes. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TheElder Comments: Nick. My E420 not starting after I removed broke k r you and tumbler. I put sensor ring near hole where tumblew goes and put spare key through the hole and turned key. Did not start. What can I do to resolve? Al



June 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are there any fault codes? Does the DME say fuel is released or blocked by theft? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hayk Comments: Hi, I bought 2002 Boxster S, when I start it at first it runs perfect, after little bit of driving when engine gets hot Operating temp at turns or when I slow down the car it shuts off and wont start, cranks like normal but will not start, I have to leave it alone for about 20 min and after that it starts with one click, bought New Battery no change. Please advise, can Cam Sensor cause this problem ?
May 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A sensor or relay could be failing when hot. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and fuel pressure, volume, quality and engine compression. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
benz Comments: What will happened if crank sensor not good on a mec.Benz e320
April 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The engine will not run. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Antag Comments: Hi, Where's the position of Camshaft position sensor on Mercedes A140 W168 year 2000 model ?
February 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that vehicle here, so I can't be 100% sure. But I think it is on the belt side of the cylinder head, near the camshaft sprocket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
badboy Comments: where is the camshaft position sensor on a 2002 chevy blazer
February 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not 100% sure, but I think it is in the distributor, at the back of the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tor Comments: My MB E320 1997 didnt want to start the other day. It crancked, but would not fire. I checked it had spark and i checked it had fuel pressure not sure abt the psi as i do not have a gauge. I then disconnected the cam positioning sensor cable connection and hooked it up again. Then the engine started quite easily, but had a knocking sound. Before this happened the engine had been runnibg fine without any knocking sound. It had been parked for 5 days before all this happened. Would this be an indication of a faulty cps? I have no fault code on the dash.
February 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be coincidence. Is it engine knock or mechanical noise? I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and fuel pressure, volume, quality and engine compression. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rando88 Comments: I have a 97 e320 and its giving codes for a misfire and for o2 sensors 1&2 in bank 1. But its also recommended to fix other codes before replacing o2 sensors. Based off of commonly reported issues, do you think it is my injectors, the cam sensor, ignition coil, or my spark plugs? I'd like to order parts rather than buy them from the mechanic. But I want to make sure they are the correct parts considering the high cost of Mercedes parts.
January 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fix the misfire first. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
eddie f Comments: i have a 1997 e320 straight 6 cylinder spark is there but no fuel injection to the injectors. fuel pump is delivering to the rail but injectors not injecting. what is the problem ?
November 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be a theft issue. Do you have a second key you can try? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
roy Comments: I have a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300 CE; can you tell me where the cam sensor is located?
October 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Its located at the back of the engine right atop the flywheel (actually reads off the flywheel). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Curtis Comments: E320 cranks about 10-15 seconds before starting i have the same problem. Did the cam sensor fix the problem? I was thinking it was the gas and i use 93 grade.
August 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COuld be a sensor issue. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and pressure fuel, volume and quality. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beazie Comments: My MB E320 cranks about 10-15 seconds before starting. One mechanic replaced my crank sensor but the delay in starting continued. Took the car back and they took out the new crank sensor and replaced my old one because they indicated something else must be the problem. Another mechanic diagnosed the cam shank position sensor and is replacing it as we speak. Don't know yet what the outcome will be?
July 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a sensor issue. Especially if they didn't relearn the new crank sensor. I can't help without knowing what is missing from the system when you are trying to start it. When your engine doesn’t start you’ll want to check the basics. Check spark, fuel injector pulse and pressure fuel, volume and quality. Are there any fault codes? Once you figure out what is missing, it will be easier to diagnose.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ron Comments: Ok good info thank you very much.
June 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad I could help you.
-whunter
 

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