Camshaft position sensor

Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 SATURN L300
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 104,000 MILES
I purchased my car in February 2015 and was only able to drive it for less then two months before I started having issues with it. Sometimes I can drive it and have no problems at all and sometimes I can barely make it home. It seems to run just fine in cold weather with no issues at all. I was told it is the camshaft position sensor with the problems I'm experiencing. I have looked it up and it seems to be doing what the description has told me. I also know my car has two camshaft position sensors and I was told its the one on top. I would like opinions and also would like to know what tool is needed to change it. I have watched videos on it plus been told its a quick fix.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 7:55 AM

28 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Can I start by you giving me the exact code numbers not code descriptions you have in the computer?I can give a good opion without having those codes so I see what you have been researching.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 12:20 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
Unfortunately the mechanic who checked it for me passed away so I do not have the codes. I currently can't drive it to have it check anywhere and can't afford to take it to a shop. Single mom with low income at the moment.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 12:34 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
I had one of my friends who was here visiting from Virginia back in December drive it so he could see what it was doing and he has worked in shops all his life so I valve his word. He was the one who said camshaft position sensor so that's what I googled and every thing I have read on it is what my car is doing.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 12:38 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That makes it tough since I don't know which sensor were talking about or code. Honestly have had people tell me it's this code and it's really this code. So I would hate to see you waste your time and money on the wrong part and repair. If I was there with your car the first thing I would do is do a full computer scan on your car. To take someone's word what's going on as far that goes will get you in trouble. Stopped doing that many years ago. Even at the Saturn dealer I worked at had special order parts and the cars came in went to replace it. Guess what it wasn't a bad window regulator it was a bad window switch and vice versa lol.I really want to help you but your my eyes ears and hands. Without knowing the etc it would be dumpling guessing and I really don't want to do that. So what happens when it acts up?Does the engine die and won't start and just cranks and doesn't start the this happens?
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I have worked for Saturn for over 16yrs and never remember replacing a cam shafts sensor on one of those. Lots of crankshaft position sensors so that's why I asked the question about what's it doing?
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 12:51 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
It has no problem cranking honestly but when it starts to act up it will go into a low power mode and u can push the gas all the way down and still only go about 15 mph and once u shut it off and restart it the engine light comes on with that little low power icon and the car shakes and u can push the pedal to the floor while In park and it only stops the shaking. Once it sits for a bit u can usually start it up with no problems but when it is having those issues it shifts hard at first and sometimes will turn off when u try to shift from park to drive and push on the gas to go.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 1:16 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That could be a throttle by wire issue with the reduced power mode kick in.I have replaced a lot of throttle bodies and throttle body harnesses to the throttle body for that. There is even a bulletin for that from Saturn. But I would need the codes. It really doesn't sound like a bad cam sensor. There is also a issue with water getting in and coloring the inline connector terminals on the drivers side that can cause that also. There is a bulletin for that as well. But the starting point for both is get the codes.
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 AT 5:17 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
According to my dad when the mechanic pulled the codes it popped up like 15 codes and he cleared them and it ran fine for a month after that and started acting up again. The throttle body has been replaced and half the wiring has been redone. It took him going through it twice to clear the codes the first time. The 2nd time he came out to clear the codes it didn't help anything
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Friday, April 1st, 2016 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Still need the current code numbers
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Friday, April 1st, 2016 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
It is now not wanting to stay running. The idle goes up and down on it while in park and then drops and shuts the car off. When it is driving its like it wants to drive itself and I dont have to push on the gas but still goes into the low power mode at times. It's hard to get codes when I can't keep it running to take it anywhere.
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Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You can buy a cheap code reader that have them really cheap. But it's probably going to take a advanced scan tool that can read the live data etc to help diagnose the problem. Iam not trying to discourage you from trying to fix your self but this might be pretty difficult for the average person unless your pretty good with working on cars. Also again still need the codes that's are starting point. That's the first thing I would do if I had the car is check the codes.
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Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
Codes- P1791 & P0221
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The p1791 if you only had that code and cleared it and it came back it would be a bad transmission computer. But the trouble tree says if there are other codes diagnose those first. The number one fix for the P0221 is replace the throttle body and connector. When you replaced the throttle body it was with a brand new one?Also when you replaced the throttle body connector it was with a brand new one?Also how far back did you cut the old throttle body connector out of the engine harness?Also did you install the throttle body connector harness hold down on the throttle body when the connector was replaced?
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
I haven't replaced anything on it yet. Everything that was replaced on it was from the previous owner so I couldn't tell u if it was new or not I just know my dads mechanic said mostly everything had been replaced and alot of wiring was replaced. Is what needs to be done on mine an easy fix and how costly is it gonna be?
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 AT 1:26 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That's gonna be a difficult answer if it was all used parts then it's very likely you need a need new throttle cable body and connector. Can you take some good pictures of the throttle body and connector and wires and post them for me?That would really help me help you.
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 AT 1:43 PM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
I can this weekend cause that's when I have someone coming over to look at it.
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
OK get me those pictures so I can try to sort out this.
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I posted a picture of what the throttle body looks like. So if you get me those pictures of the throttle body and connector that would really help.
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 AT 9:47 AM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
Ok so my boyfriends father came over to work on my car since it was his code reader that got the codes I gave u. He ended up finding what part it needed because he worked on it for a bit and then he tapped on a part on the engine and it stopped everything it was doing and ran just fine. My question is can u tell me what the piece is because I don't know
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Friday, May 20th, 2016 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
JESSICA 83
  • MEMBER
Its not letting me add the image
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Friday, May 20th, 2016 AT 11:17 AM

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