I have a 1998 Toyota Camry LE with a SOHC 2.2 4 cylinder motor and I'm trying to locate the camshaft sensor and the knock sensor so I can diagnose which one is possible my problem.

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Asked by Feb 11, 2017 at 12:52 PM about the 1998 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

36 Answers

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What is the problem?

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The girl I bought the car from said it had a bad fuel pump and that's why it stopped running which I turned the key forward and no noise from it so I changed it and still is cranking but won't start. I've changed the fuel pump, fuel filter, spark plugs & wires, ignition coils, and starter. They had replaced the alternator and battery recently before I bought it. Still with all the new stuff will crank and crank all day but won't start. Guy at Advance Auto told me to unplug the camshaft sensor and if it starts then that's the problem but if not then plug it back in and unplug the knock sensor and if it starts then that's the problem but if still don't start plug it back in and take it to a shop.

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Looks like you will have to remove Front Timing Cover to access this sensor.

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If Engine cranks but will not start-up....you might have to replace the CRANK Sensor....shown above. You can test this sensor at it's connector and use a Digital Volt Meter to test resistance of the sensor and the sensor AC voltage output.

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It appears this Camshaft Sensors is easier to replace. The test for this one is about the same as the Crank Sensor........except, I believe this one produces a DC digital signal.

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Is the diagram of the camshaft sensor on the drivers side of the motor or passenger side?

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Is it easier to just go ahead and change the crank sensor than it is to bother with testing it?

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I believe it would be easier to Test these sensors. BTW...the diagnosis of these sensors should begin with a SCAN for trouble codes. When these sensors go bad...they set codes in the Engine Control Computer. Can you buy or borrow an inexpensive code reader? That would be the easiest way to check these sensors.

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There's not any codes as the engine light ain't on

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OK...well...without a Scan Tool and a Volt meter...we are back to square one. Replacing parts. The EXACT location of the CAMSHAFT SENSOR. Since I am not there under the hood....you might Google your make model year...and "Camshaft Sensor Location"........you should find images and Videos which will direct us to the location of this sensor. Same with the CRANK sensor. Get back to us with results.

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I did google it and came up with nothing that's why I asked on this site

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The girl I bought it from said she was drinking and it just shut off and wouldn't restart. But over replaced all the parts I knew could be the problem but still just cranking and not starting

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Looking at the photo you posted I see the front timing case Cover has been partially removed. If you shine a strong light on the fire wall side of the cylinder head inside and under the cover...you should see the cam sensor who's end is right next to the camshaft gear. Access to the bolt holdding the sensor in ....well...you can not see it....you have to reach around and feel it with your fingers. So...the R and R of this sensor is blind. The crank sensor is behind the timing case Cover at the front of the crankshaft. The R and R of this sensor requires the complete removal of the cover. All of this is a lot of work for a part that may not be faulty how are you going to get that crankshaft pully...balancer off? Special tool. Could be a lot of other reasons why this engine CRANKS..... but will not fire up...start..

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So basically I'm screwed??

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My opinion?. No...as long as you enjoy a challenge and have some tools to perform the diagnosis correctly. BTW. How does that timing belt look? Does it move and rotate the camshaft when the engine turns over?

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That's why I say I'm screwed I'm not a pure out mechanic. I can't do the in depth kind of diagnosis like I need for this car. I can diagnose like plugs, wires, starter, alternator, battery, and some other simple stuff like that but not this in depth deep mechanic knowledge that I really need for my car. Idk what the camshaft is/looks like or the timing case and belt or anything like that

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Ok...understood. how about taking a compression test. Looking at the spark plugs to see if they are fouled? Does the engine oil look and smell ok?

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Oils good was even changed right before I bought it. It's got new plugs and wires cuz a wire was like Burt looking at the cool pack so I changed both coils and all 4 plugs and wires. Plugs are getting gas. Gas smells fine. No idea on the compression test

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Ok...next...check for spark. Disconnect each spark plug wire and place a screw driver blade up the boot...crank her over and hold the screw driver blade close to a good ground. About a quarter inch gap. You should see a good spark. Check each SP wire.

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Already checked the spark and they're all getting spark

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Ok....next. you now need a ..NOID LIGHT tester. Cheap at the auto parts store for your make ...model...year...engine. you plug this little guy into each fuel injectors connector and crank her over. Careful not to break the injector connector. The noid light should blink on an off. This tells us if the computer is turning the injectors on an off. Oh...another test I completely forgot about. Did you ever try a very little squirt of starter fluid down the intake?

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My brother sprayed some starter fluid into the throttle body but didn't do anything different

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Well..if your are getting spark and fuel to each cylinder....the engine is either out of time...valve timing....the timing belt is broke....bad compression...fouled dirty spark plugs....or..the variable valve timing camshaft gear is stuck. Sure would help if we could scan for codes.

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Yes it definitely would. Would also help and make things easier if I were a mechanic or at least knew all the parts and locations

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OK...let's try this. Remove all the spark plugs for inspection. If any of the firing ends are black and sooty...or wet with oil and fuel....they must be cleaned or replaced. A decent job of cleaning can be done with Carb Cleaner and a wire brush. Check the SP gaps. Before you put them back into the engine....let's do a quick compression test. Take a medium size screwdriver and place it HANDLE FIRST ...upside down into a SP hole. Hold her in there firmly. Have someone else crank the engine over. If you have good compression in that cylinder...the pressure will pop the screwdriver handle out of the hole. Careful now...we do not want to allow the handle to go into the engine cylinder. the handle has to be big enough to just sit on top of the SP hole. Check each cylinder. They should all have the same Pop. Do Not let anything go down INTO the cylinders.

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Ok so don't actually put the screwdriver handle in the hole, just on top of it and if it has good compression it will have the power to push the handle away from the SP hole?

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Not exactly.....the handle of the SD goes down the hole...NOT the blade. You will be holding on to the blade and the handle will be up against the SP hole...sealing the hole temporarily until someone cranks her over. If there is good compression...it will push on the handle unsealing the hole and.....pop. The screw diver is held upside down on the SP hole. The hole i am referring to is the SP hole....not the SP TUBE hole. The handle should be small enough to enter the SP TUBE and cover the hole the SP threads into. This Engine does have SP Tubes...correct?

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Oh ok yea I gotcha now. Yea it does have SP tubes

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Ok good. Good luck.

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Thank you I'll get back ahold of you I'm sure. Thank you very much for everything.

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Mac....did you ever get this vehicle running?

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I did not but I just got a way to buy a EBD (or whatever the letters are) code tester so I'm gonna get it and try to see what I get from that. I've found one for $20 and others for like $60 does it matter how much I spend on it or do they all throw and give the same codes?

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Buying a code reader is a good idea if you are inclined to repair today's modern cars. The difference in price is usually an indication of the capability of the device. Reading codes ....one price. Reading and clearing codes.. another price. Reading erasing and providing a Data stream...another price. Diagnosing your original concern...the crank sensor...requires a scan tool with data stream capability. A code reader will also be OK. Getting back to your original question...where is the CS....look downn at the front of the engine where the crank pully is located. Do you see a connector there? Do you see a 10mm bolt next to the connector?

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I don't know without being out at the car looking. I'm doing school work right now (college)

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Ok good for you. We will get back on this later.

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Thank you. Sounds good

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