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Which Is The Issue Camshaft Position Sensor or Timing Chain?

Today's European Cars For The Best Mercedes & BMW Service & Repair In Houston!

When it comes to diagnosis issues with European cars like BMW’s and Mercedes Benz’s a good mechanic that has experience with these cars can make the difference between a client deciding between a repair or a vehicle replacement.

A long-time customer called with check engine light.  Her 42,000-mile car was running fine, but she stays ahead of problems with timely service and proactive maintenance.

Our 25-year veteran technician reviewed codes and found the intake camshaft position sensor was showing possible malfunctions.

Today’s cars have position sensors on the intake and exhaust camshafts.  They determine the position of the camshafts relative to the crankshaft during changing driving conditions.  The fuel injection, ignition and the relative position of the camshafts to the crank is continuously changing due to the information provided by these sensors and demands of the engine.

After testing the sensors and reviewing real-time values with the SUV running, Alex confirmed the malfunction.  He replaced the sensor with a genuine OEM part and the car was back on the road in a few hours.

The low mileage tipped the hat that the issue was probably the sensor.  This is a sharp contrast to another car which came in with a similar timing fault code.  This SUV has 92,000 miles.

Unfortunately, the timing chain had stretched and the engine was unable to achieve synchronicity.  The engine ran better under acceleration and at higher RPMs–this was our clue to what was wrong.  Replacing the timing chain is a worst-case scenario and a big job.  It’s the least common failure with chain tensioners, chain guides and camshaft actuators being replaced more often.

In the case of this car, the owner decided to not make the repairs and replace the car.  His car had a large V8 with multiple timing chains and the engine required removal for access. 

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