5.9 Cummins Camshaft Position Sensor Symptoms; By Sensor Diary

The Camshaft Position Sensor (CPS) in a 5.9 Cummins engine plays a crucial role in ensuring that the engine runs smoothly and efficiently. However, when this sensor fails or malfunctions, it can cause a range of issues that can affect the performance of the engine. In this article, we will explore the symptoms of a faulty CPS in a 5.9 Cummins engine, including

  • rough idle, 
  • poor acceleration, 
  • stalling, and 
  • difficulty starting the engine. 

We will also discuss the causes of CPS failure and how to diagnose and repair the issue. So, if you suspect that your 5.9 Cummins engine is experiencing problems related to the CPS, read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

What causes the CPS failure?

5.9 Cummins Camshaft Position Sensor Symptoms

If you were thinking about what causes the CPS to fail in your 5.9 engine, the following are what you’ve been looking for. 

  • Wiring issues

The CPS requires a stable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to function properly. If the wiring connecting the sensor to the engine’s electrical system becomes damaged or corroded, the CPS may not receive the necessary power to operate.

This can result in symptoms such as intermittent power loss to the sensor, erratic readings, or failure to read at all.

  • Sensor damage

Over time, the CPS can become damaged due to exposure to high temperatures, contaminants, or other factors. This can cause the sensor to fail, leading to symptoms such as stalling, poor acceleration, or difficulty starting the engine.

In some cases, the damage may be visible, such as a cracked or broken sensor housing, while in other cases it may be internal, affecting the sensor’s electrical components.

  • Oil contamination

Oil contamination is a common cause of CPS failure, as oil can seep into the sensor housing and damage the electrical components. 

This can happen due to leaks in the engine, wear and tear on gaskets or seals, or other factors. Symptoms of oil contamination may include a buildup of sludge on the sensor or damage to the electrical components, which can cause the sensor to malfunction.

  • Other factors

Other factors that can cause CPS failure include exposure to extreme temperatures, physical damage to the sensor, or failure of other engine components that affect the CPS’s operation. 

These issues can cause symptoms such as rough idle, reduced fuel efficiency, or even engine damage in severe cases.

It’s important to note that many of these factors can be prevented or addressed through regular engine maintenance, such as changing the oil and inspecting the CPS and related components for signs of wear or damage. If you suspect that your CPS is malfunctioning, it’s important to diagnose and address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your engine.

What are the symptoms of CPS failure?

5.9 Cummins Camshaft Position Sensor Symptoms

Engine stalling: The CPS helps the engine’s computer determine when to fire the spark plugs and inject fuel into the cylinders. If the CPS fails or malfunctions, the computer may not receive accurate information about the engine’s position, leading to stalling or difficulty starting the engine.

Reduced engine performance: A failing CPS may cause the engine to run roughly, with reduced power or acceleration. This can be caused by a misfire or incorrect timing, due to inaccurate readings from the sensor.

Hard starting: The CPS provides vital information about the engine’s position to the computer. If the sensor fails or malfunctions, the computer may not receive accurate information about when to fire the spark plugs and inject fuel into the cylinders, making it difficult to start the engine.

Reduced fuel efficiency: A malfunctioning CPS can also cause reduced fuel efficiency, as the engine may be running less efficiently due to inaccurate timing or other issues.

Check engine light codes: A malfunctioning CPS can trigger various check engine light codes, such as P0340 (camshaft position sensor circuit malfunction) or P0341 (camshaft position sensor range/performance problem).

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How to diagnose and repair the CPS sensor in the 5.9 engine?

Diagnosis of CPS Failure

Using a scan tool: A scan tool can help diagnose CPS failure by reading diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and monitoring live sensor data. If the CPS is malfunctioning, it may trigger DTCs such as P0340 or P0341. Live sensor data can also be used to verify the sensor’s output signal and confirm its functionality.

Using a multimeter: A multimeter can also be used to diagnose CPS failure by measuring the sensor’s resistance and verifying its output signal.

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Repair Options for CPS Failure

Replacing the CPS: If the CPS is determined to be faulty, it will need to be replaced with a new one. This is a relatively simple repair that can usually be done with basic hand tools.

Checking and repairing wiring: Wiring issues can also cause CPS failure, so it’s important to inspect the sensor’s wiring and connectors for damage or corrosion. If any issues are found, they can be repaired or replaced as needed.

Cleaning or replacing the sensor housing: In some cases, the sensor housing can become contaminated with debris or oil, which can cause the sensor to malfunction. In these cases, the sensor housing can be cleaned or replaced to restore proper functionality.

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