Hall effect camshaft sensor check

Tiny
CAMP.
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 SATURN AURA
  • 3.6L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 189,000 MILES
Okay, I have the car listed above. I have code P0017, and P0018. The car starts up great, and runs great, this car never gave me any issues, my question is, how can I test hall-effect camshaft sensors using a voltmeter?
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Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 AT 9:31 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

Those codes have to do with the camshaft and crankshaft correlation and are set when the timing chain, guides or camshaft actuators wear out. I have found the engine wiring diagrams (below) for you so you can test for reference volts and signal along with the guide on how to use a voltmeter so you can do some testing.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-voltmeter

Please run some tests and get back to us so we can continue helping you.

Cheers, Ken

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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The problem won't be the sensors. As Ken said this is related to timing chain wear. It causes the crankshaft to be slightly out of time to the camshafts. That lag causes the computer to throw codes. If you have an O-scope you can look at the signals and see they are out of sync. The only repair is new timing components.
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 4:57 PM
Tiny
CAMP.
  • MEMBER
Hi, Steve.
Okay, I read alot of comments on this Saturn Aura car, about those two codes, p0017, and p0018, needing new timing chains.
Okay, My car has both those codes coming up when you use the code reader. Now, It starts up nicely and runs really well. I drove the car last year from Milwaukee, Wisconsin To Mobile, Alabama, where this car is still running great other than those two codes I get.I was planning to tare it down and replacing the timing chains, because of the two codes im getting, but undecided to do so, because its not a simple tare down plus, its not cheap to do so.
So, I decided to drive it until it quit but I really want to see if its a bad sensor or check and see did it really have a stretch chain or what.
Anyhow, let me know what you guys think.
Thank you Camp out.
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 5:24 PM
Tiny
CAMP.
  • MEMBER
The only problem this car gave me was it needed a new coil pack for cylinder 1, and EVC purge valve. Thank you
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
They will run fine even with the stretched chains. The computer is measuring the difference between the camshafts tone ring spaces and the crankshaft ring. They will set a code with less than 3 degrees difference between the two. I've done a couple like this and the actual stretch in the chains is VERY small. But when added up in the three chains it's enough to throw things out of whack enough to set these codes. Many vehicles are set up this way now.

One way to verify it's chain stretch would be to pull a valve cover. Put a wrench on the crank and turn the engine backwards and see how far it moves before the cam moves.

The sensors themselves won't set those codes even if they fail. They would set different codes then.
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 10:57 PM
Tiny
CAMP.
  • MEMBER
Thank you Steve, and I'm try thhis in see what happens.I'll be sending a reply back when I'm finished.
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Thursday, June 1st, 2017 AT 11:07 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Nice work Steve :)
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Friday, June 2nd, 2017 AT 8:58 AM

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