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7th Gen In the years from 2001 to 2005 Honda released it's 7th Generation Civic. Chassis codes: EM2, ES1, EP3, EU1


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Old 06-21-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

I've been having problems with my 2003 Civic LX (1.7 Liter, Automatic) for the past 2 months now. My friend was driving it to the dealer to get a couple of lug nuts replaced and he said the car died on him, but he was able to start it right back up. The dealer said I needed my timing belt and camshaft sensor replaced (I called bs on the timing belt, it had been replaced not even 9,000 miles ago) so I naturally called bs on the camshaft sensor.

About 5 days later while going up a mountain side, it stalled and died on me with the CEL lit. My friend said it sounded like bad gas/clogged line. So I engaged the fuel pump a few times and was able to get it started up. He put some dry gas in it and high octane and the CEL went off. The car ran fine for about 2 weeks. While driving around the mountains again, I got to the top and switched the car to low gear to coast down and it died, CEL came up, did the same thing as before. Car ran fine. CEL went out 2 days later.

After 3 weeks, I was driving and pulled into the bank, when I came back out, the car hesitated to start and the CEL was immediately on. I went to AutoZone and they said the camshaft position sensor malfunctioned (shoulda got the exact Error Code, but since the dealer claimed the CPS as well, I figured ok, this has been the problem the entire time). Car hesitated twice on the way home, drove it for about 50 miles. Didn't have a problem. CEL went out 2 hours later

Two days ago, it hesitated to start after after pulling into another bank. Both times I had been driving the car for about 30-40 minutes. My first instinct was it was going to die. I got back on the highway for 2 miles and sure enough, when I came to a stop, car died with CEL coming on. It hesitated to start. Waited for about 1 minute, engaged fuel pump 3 times, car started. This time I got it home in a minute and I high revved it and it wouldn't budge past 3500 rpm. Came back to the car 30 minutes later and it high revved no problems. CEL went out the next day (after driving nearly 200 miles).

I'm wondering if this is really the CPS going bad. I've read many forums and I've seen people replacing their CPS and that was never the problem to begin with, despite error codes. The car has never had a problem start on a cold start. The gas mileage is superb (I'm currently running around 35-38 Highway miles). Could this very well be a problem in the wiring? There is a bit of oil on one connector that's located near the battery that seems to go to the CPS (which I assume is located under the engine towards the front). I'm not a DIY car guy by any means and I don't want to replace something that isn't bad at all.

Other information:

152,000 miles, Oil change every 2 months (about 6,000 highway miles)
Timing belt replaced at 140,000 miles
Alternator replaced at 145,000 miles
Battery replaced at the 145,000 miles
Used high octane gas for the past 2 fill ups

This problem only started the week after I had ran the car on extremely low fuel, filled up one gallon, drove it for another day then finally filled up a full tank. I wouldn't think dirty gas would cause the CPS to malfunction, but I've heard of some strange issues with cars before.
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Old 06-21-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Next time the CEL comes on take it to autozone and get it read.
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Old 06-21-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Like I said, I already did that. Said Camshaft Position Sensor Malfunction. And as I said before, the dealer said the same thing (they probably checked the CEL when it was on the very first time). However, I've driven with the CEL still on and even after the car has died and it's definitely not running in limp mode (still getting 36-38mpg, no rough idling).
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Old 06-21-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

What is the code because autozone readings are not always right.
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Old 06-21-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

limp mode means it wont let the car rev over a certain rpm... if u know the code its either a broken wire or the sensor its self
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Old 06-21-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Ok well the code itself I do not have but will sure to get it next time the CEL is on.

Last Friday when I had this problem, the car was definitely in limp mode as it wouldn't rev past 3500 rpm, but the car shouldn't "magically" come out of it, should it? What wires should I inspect?
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Old 06-21-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Have you went really low on oil lately cause that usely makes the cel for the camshaft positioning sensor to go off and some times when the camshaft positioning sensor goes bad or that cel comes on for that then your timing has jumped.

I have been through this before with my car. The code popped up for cps and well i went to change it and nothing, so I did some research and finally came up with that the vtc solenoid malfuntioned and well changed that and didnt work and finally came to the timing and it was off, so redid the timing and the cel went off.

Not to sure if thats the same as yours but most the time for a cps sensor its either the sensor or your timing. You could have done the timing not to long ago but it could have jumped.
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Old 06-21-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

If the problem is only intermittent then after 40 cycles of your engine the check engine light and limp mode will diengage. It did it to me with my old engine. My problem wasnt a CPS but I know the CEL will reset itself if you are only showing signs once in awhile. Sounds kinda like a wiring issue... Like your grounding out your sensor.
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Old 06-21-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

don't get high octane, you are wasting your money. the civic requires 86 octane minimum. nothing more.
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Old 06-23-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Haven't had a chance to take it to the mechanic yet. I did notice that a plug whose wire runs down and under the bottom of the engine was coated in oil. Could this be the culprit?
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Old 06-23-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Could be... Depends on if you have exposed wires that are conducting through the oil to ground each other out.
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Old 06-23-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

What's the suggested way to clean these? Also, about two days ago, I notice the car actually has MORE power than it did before. After running a full tank of gas, I calculated it to getting 42 mpg highway. For a car who has something wrong with it, it's excellent :-\
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Old 06-23-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

I would just replace the sensor. It takes about 5 min. Its only 1 screw.
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Old 06-24-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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I would just replace the sensor. It takes about 5 min. Its only 1 screw.
^^^ Good advice!!^^^ Do that first, and then worry about the wiring.
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Just dont do over 88mph or you will go back to the future.

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Old 06-24-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

The sensor might need to be changed and it might work but what if it dont. It will be 80$ down the drain those sensors are not cheap.
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Old 06-24-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Well if you need to, you can use some brake cleaner on a rag and get as much of the oil off as possible and see if you can find any exposed wiring first. Its a more time consuming job, but it doesnt cost but the price of the brakeclean.
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Quote:
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Just dont do over 88mph or you will go back to the future.

Utah... Come on Vacation... Leave on Probation...
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Old 06-24-2010   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

I already have the sensor and it only cost me $43 with tax. I have nothing to go off of other than what the CEL codes gave me. Plan on replacing it this Saturday. Btw, from what I've read/seen, the sensor replacement isn't a 5 minute job. It's a 2 hour job requiring you to take the timing belt cover off.
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Old 06-24-2010   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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I already have the sensor and it only cost me $43 with tax. I have nothing to go off of other than what the CEL codes gave me. Plan on replacing it this Saturday. Btw, from what I've read/seen, the sensor replacement isn't a 5 minute job. It's a 2 hour job requiring you to take the timing belt cover off.
Not quite 2 hours if ya know what your doing. Maybe an hour, but thats including everything, i.e. jacking the car up, taking the wheel off...etc...etc.
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Now, its really quite simple. Understeer works like this: you drive down the road, turn the wheel, but the car keeps going straight, you crash into a tree and you die. OVERsteer works like this: you drive down the same bit of road, turn the wheel, the back of the car comes spinning around and you go off the road, crash into a tree and you die. Now, oversteer is best, because you don't see the tree that kills you.
Quote:
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Just dont do over 88mph or you will go back to the future.

Utah... Come on Vacation... Leave on Probation...
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Old 06-24-2010   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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I would just replace the sensor. It takes about 5 min. Its only 1 screw.
I am actualy experiencing the "limp mode" issue currently. The code is 1361.
My question is that I was told that a flaw in the design of the 2001 civic head allows the camshaft to float. Honda recomendation is to replace the head???????????????? I have looked at remanufactured heads and they run from Napa $586 to 449 at Advance. Honda quoted 4500 to do the job. OUTRAGEOUS.
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Old 06-24-2010   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

the float is the issue as miles add up I floats more. I currently have 163500 or so miles on my 01. I am at a loss as to whether or not to dump approx. 1500 or so with all I would need to complete the job.
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Old 06-24-2010   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Sorry guys i forget that not everyones car is as hacked up as mine. I can get to my sensor from the top of the motor due to the cover modifications. My bad.
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Old 06-24-2010   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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Sorry guys i forget that not everyones car is as hacked up as mine. I can get to my sensor from the top of the motor due to the cover modifications. My bad.
Lets see these cover modifications.
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Old 06-25-2010   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

I dont have pics with me at work but I'll try to get some when I get home. I dont have the top cover at all and the Bottom cover was cut in half so I could get to the belt tensioner without having to remove the whole damn cover. I can remove the entire timing belt cover without removing the crank pully.
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Old 06-25-2010   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

So if I'm correct, the crank pulley has to come off just because of the timing cover to get at the timing belt? That sounds like a mod I need to do.
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Old 06-25-2010   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Yes your correct. To get the cover lower cover off on a stock car you have to remove the crank pully. But

If you cut the lower part of the cover off and seal it to the motor you can then remove the bolts from the cover and slide it out of the way. There really is no need for this but I got so tired of having to pull the cover off every time I removed the head I went ahead and cut it up.
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Old 07-22-2011   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Two months ago I had the timing belt replaced on my 01 civic and now I have a problem with a code 1361, excessive end play in the camshaft, showing up. Any reason to believe this is just a coincidence?
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Old 07-23-2011   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

Make sure to check to see if there are any leaks since you mentioned the sensor had oil on it because if you replace the sensor you will still have the problem.
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Old 07-23-2011   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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Originally Posted by mrmoe View Post
Two months ago I had the timing belt replaced on my 01 civic and now I have a problem with a code 1361, excessive end play in the camshaft, showing up. Any reason to believe this is just a coincidence?
Could how many miles do you have? Did you replace the TDC sensor aka Camshaft Sensor when you replaced the timing belt? Usually you do those at the same time.
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Old 07-23-2011   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

The sensor is very sensitive... they either didnt install it properly or mishandled it.
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Old 07-23-2011   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Camshaft Position Sensor Questionable

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Originally Posted by bg_008 View Post
Could how many miles do you have? Did you replace the TDC sensor aka Camshaft Sensor when you replaced the timing belt? Usually you do those at the same time.
I have 105K. No we did not have the sensor replaced.
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Old 07-23-2011
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