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Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

E8 socket, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz E320 (2003-05)

Parts Required:

Camshaft sensor, sealing O-ring

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will run well

Complementary Modification:

Replace sensors in pairs

The camshaft position sensor in Mercedes-Benz W211 models is a Hall effect type. A Hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its voltage output in response to a magnetic field, created by the camshaft reluctor plate. The camshaft sensor acts like a switch with an on / off mode. This style of sensor provides accuracy and long life.

The camshaft position sensor is used to synchronize fuel injection and as a feedback device for engine timing. 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.

For information on how to test the camshaft position sensor, see our tech article, camshaft position sensor testing.

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts 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 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

On W211 models with a 6-cylinder engine, the camshaft sensor is located at the right cylinder head, mounted in the timing cover (red arrow).
Figure 1

On W211 models with a 6-cylinder engine, the camshaft sensor is located at the right cylinder head, mounted in the timing cover (red arrow).

Working at the engine cover (red arrow), pull off the two front air duct hoses (green arrows).
Figure 2

Working at the engine cover (red arrow), pull off the two front air duct hoses (green arrows).

To detach the ducts, pull them straight off the engine cover / air filter housing.
Figure 3

To detach the ducts, pull them straight off the engine cover / air filter housing. Then pull the front of the duct out of the radiator support and remove it from the engine. Repeat this step for each duct.

Lift up and remove the front engine cover.
Figure 4

Lift up and remove the front engine cover.

Then, pull the engine cover / air filter housing straight up to remove.
Figure 5

Then, pull the engine cover / air filter housing straight up to remove. The cover is held on by four metal clips that grab onto rubber mounts, with the front two shown (red arrows). The rear of the cover has two as well. Once detached, remove the engine cover / air filter housing from the engine.

The camshaft sensor electrical connector is tough to remove when the sensor is installed.
Figure 6

The camshaft sensor electrical connector is tough to remove when the sensor is installed. I like to remove the sensor and then unplug it. Locate the E8 Torx fastener (red arrow) and remove it. I like to use a 1/4-inch drive flex-head ratchet.

Remove the camshaft sensor from the cylinder head.
Figure 7

Remove the camshaft sensor from the cylinder head. Be ready to catch any dripping oil in a rag. The camshaft sensor wiring will give you just enough room to get the sensor out of the cylinder head.

With the sensor removed, press and hold the plastic release tab on the electrical connector (red arrow) as you pull it straight off the sensor.
Figure 8

With the sensor removed, press and hold the plastic release tab on the electrical connector (red arrow) as you pull it straight off the sensor.

Check the old sensor to see if the sealing O-ring is stuck in the cylinder head.
Figure 9

Check the old sensor to see if the sealing O-ring is stuck in the cylinder head. If it is, remove the O-ring.

Pull the camshaft sensor sealing O-ring (red arrow) out of the cylinder head.
Figure 10

Pull the camshaft sensor sealing O-ring (red arrow) out of the cylinder head. Be sure to replace it.

Install the new camshaft sensor with a new O-ring (red arrow) and fastener.
Figure 11

Install the new camshaft sensor with a new O-ring (red arrow) and fastener. When installing, lubricate the O-ring with engine oil and push it into the cylinder head until the retaining flange (where bolt fastens through) is flush with the cylinder head. Install the new fastener and tighten and reconnect the electrical connector.

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Comments and Suggestions:
David C Klasse Comments: I notice this is for the 3.2 M111/2? engine. I have the 3.5L M272 motor.... they are similar engine designs... so my question is... Is this instructional on the 320 motor similar enough to the 350 motor that these directions are accurate enough... OR? Thanks
September 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not exactly. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sleepy Comments: Can you guys make a DIY on how to replace all four camshaft adjuster solenoids? That would be great. Thanks in advance.
March 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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