Testing the camshaft position (CMP) sensor on the 2000-2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra is fairly easy. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to test it with just a multimeter (no scan tool required).
With the results of your CMP sensor test, you'll be able to find out if it's good or bad.
Contents of this tutorial:
- Symptoms Of A Defective Camshaft Position Sensor.
- Circuit Descriptions Of The Camshaft Position Sensor.
- Location Of The Camshaft Position Sensor.
- Where To Buy The Camshaft Position Sensor.
- TEST 1: Checking The Camshaft Position Signal With A Multimeter.
- TEST 2: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Is Getting Power.
- TEST 3: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Is Getting Ground.
- More 1.8L Nissan Sentra Tutorials.
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Sensor CMP (2000-2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 1.8L Nissan Sentra: 2000, 2001, 2002.
Symptoms Of A Defective Camshaft Position Sensor
Here's a basic list of the symptoms you'll see if the camshaft position sensor fails on your 2000-2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra.
- A trouble code P0340: Camshaft Position Sensor A Circuit lighting up the check engine light.
- The engine cranks but does not start.
- The fuel injection computer does not pulse activate the fuel injectors (this is verified with a Noid light test).
- The fuel injection computer does not activate the ignition coils (this is verified with a spark tester).
- The fuel pump activates and sends the correct fuel pressure to the fuel injectors (this is verified with a fuel pressure gauge).
NOTE: You can find the location of the CMP sensor here: Location Of The Camshaft Position Sensor.
Circuit Descriptions Of The Camshaft Position Sensor
The camshaft position sensor on the 2000-2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra is a Hall Effect sensor, hence 3 wires come out of its electrical connector.
Because the sensor is a Hall Effect sensor, it needs a power source and Ground to generate a signal.
One of the three wires supplies battery power to the CKP sensor. Another wire feeds it chassis Ground. And one wire carries the CKP signal to the fuel injection computer.
Below you'll find a brief description of each circuit.
|Cam Position Sensor (2000, 2001, 2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra)|
|2||red (RED)||Camshaft Position Signal|
|3||white (WHT)||Power -12 Volts|
Location Of The Camshaft Position Sensor
The camshaft position sensor is located in the upper part of the timing chain cover. It's right where the timing chain cover meets the valve cover. The arrow in the photo above points to the position of the camshaft position sensor.
Where To Buy The Camshaft Position Sensor
You can buy the CMP sensor at your local auto parts store, or if, like me, you want to save money on any purchase, you can buy it online.
The Hitachi camshaft position sensor CPS0001 listed below is the genuine factory part for the 2000-2002 1.8L Nissan Sentra.
You can check it out here:
TEST 1: Checking The Camshaft Position Signal With A Multimeter
The camshaft position sensor on your Nissan Sentra generates a voltage that switches ON and OFF when the engine is started.
More precisely, this means that the CMP sensor signal voltage alternates between 10 volts and 0 volts when the engine is running.
To get this show on the road, the very first thing we'll do is connect our multimeter to the camshaft position sensor signal wire, and then crank the engine by hand (we won't be using the starter motor).
If the camshaft position sensor is OK, it'll produce a voltage that alternates between 10 Volts and 0 Volts (when we crank the engine manually).
When the camshaft position sensor is bad, it stays stuck, generating about 10 Volts that never drop to 0 Volts.
OK, let's get started:
Raise the front passenger side of your Sentra onto a jack stand (for safety).
Remove the front passenger side wheel and remove the plastic water splash guard (shield) that protects the crankshaft pulley and serpentine belt from water.
Disconnect the CMP sensor from its electrical connector.
IMPORTANT: As a safety precaution, disconnect all of the ignition coils from their electrical connectors.
Connect the red multimeter test lead to the red wire of the camshaft position sensor connector.
You'll need to use a tool like a wire piercing probe to connect the red test lead to the red wire.
You can see a what a wire piercing probe looks like here: Wire Piercing Probe.
Connect the connector back to the camshaft position sensor.
IMPORTANT: For this test to work, the camshaft position sensor must be connected to its electrical connector.
Set your multimeter to Volts DC mode.
Connect the black multimeter test lead directly to the battery negative (-) terminal.
Slowly turn the crankshaft pulley by hand in a clock-wise direction while you keep you eyes on the multimeter once you have the multimeter set up.
IMPORTANT: Do not use the starter motor to crank the engine, and I want to emphasize that you turn the crankshaft pulley slowly.
The multimeter should register an ON/OFF voltage of 9-10 and 0 Volts DC as you manually turn the crankshaft pulley.
OFF is when the multimeter displays 9.5 - 10 Volts DC and ON is 0 Volts DC.
To be a little more specific: Your multimeter will register 9 to 10 Volts most of the time you're turning the crankshaft pulley. When the camshaft position sensor is activated (and functioning correctly) by the pole piece on the camshaft, the 10 Volts will drop to 0 Volts.
Let's take a look at what your test results mean:
CASE 1: The multimeter registered 9.5 to 10 Volts DC and the 0 Volt pulse as you manually turned the crankshaft pulley. This result indicates that the camshaft position sensor is working fine.
CASE 2: The multimeter DID NOT register the ON/OFF 9.5 to 10 Volts DC and 0 Volts pulse as you manually turned the crankshaft pulley. This result indicates that the camshaft position (CMP) sensor is not creating a signal.
The next step is to check if it's getting power (12 volts). For this test go to: TEST 2: Making Sure The Cam Sensor Is Getting Power.