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What does the camshaft position actuator solenoid do?

On earlier engines, they incorporated and EGR valve to help lower emissions. By recirculating the exhaust gases, not only were the valves cooled, (thus the introduction of unleaded gas) but harmful exhaust gases were lowered. The EGR valve was one of the BIGGEST innovative enhancements for gas engines in the late 80's, early 90's.

With the sophistication electronics, we can now control engine valve timing by turning the camshaft as the engine is running. This is done with oil pressure to these valves and special "camshaft reluctors" on the cams themselves. By controlling valve timing, (for emissions and cooling the valves) we can eliminate the EGR valve. 

It is extremely important to keep the engine oil clean as the camshaft solenoids have a fine mesh screen to only allow clean oil in. 

These valves are expensive. In the neighborhood around $100.00. 

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Resolved Question:

What is "cam solenoid" and estimated cost of parts?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Answered in 22 minutes by:
5/30/2010
Mark
Mark, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 847
Experience: 34+ yrs Dealership Exp. - Fully State & ASE Certified - GM Master & GM World Class Tech
Verified
Greetings, my name is Mark.

I can only assume what you are in reference to as your terminology is really not used. Camshaft position solenoid actuator is about as close as I can come.

On earlier engines, they incorporated and EGR valve to help lower emissions. By recirculating the exhaust gases, not only were the valves cooled, (thus the introduction of unleaded gas) but harmful exhaust gases were lowered. The EGR valve was one of the BIGGEST innovative enhancements for gas engines in the late 80's, early 90's.

With the sophistication electronics, we can now control engine valve timing by turning the camshaft as the engine is running. This is done with oil pressure to these valves and special "camshaft reluctors" on the cams themselves. By controlling valve timing, (for emissions and cooling the valves) we can eliminate the EGR valve.

It is extremely important to keep the engine oil clean as the camshaft solenoids have a fine mesh screen to only allow clean oil in.

These valves are expensive. In the neighborhood around $100.00.

Hope this helps shed a little light.

Below is a description of the system.

Camshaft Actuator System Description

Camshaft Position (CMP) Actuator System

The camshaft position (CMP) actuator system is used on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. The CMP actuator system is used for a variety of engine performance enhancements. These enhancements include lower emission output through exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) control, a wider engine torque range, improved gas millage, and improved engine idle stability. The CMP actuator system accomplishes this by controlling the amount of intake and exhaust valve overlap.

CMP Actuator System Operation

The camshaft position (CMP) actuator system is controlled by the control module. The control module sends a pulse width modulated 12-volt signal to each CMP actuator solenoid to control the amount of engine oil flow to a camshaft actuator passage. There are 2 different passages for oil to flow through, a passage for camshaft advance and a passage for camshaft retard. The camshaft actuator is attached to each camshaft and is hydraulically operated to change the angle of each camshaft relative to crankshaft position (CKP). Engine oil pressure (EOP), viscosity, temperature, and engine oil level can affect camshaft actuator performance. The control module calculates the optimum camshaft position through the following inputs:

Engine speed
Manifold absolute pressure (MAP)
Throttle position indicated angle
CKP
CMP
Engine load
Barometric pressure (BARO)

A locking pin keeps the CMP actuators in the parked position to avoid valve train noise upon engine start-up. The parked position is 0 degrees of camshaft actuation. The locking pin will release the actuator after the EOP is sufficient to overcome the locking pin spring pressure. The exhaust CMP actuators also have return springs. The return springs are necessary to assist the CMP actuators to return to the parked position due to the rotational inertia of the valve train components upon engine shutdown. The control module uses the following inputs before assuming control of the CMP actuator:

Engine coolant temperature (ECT)
Closed loop fuel control
Engine oil temperature (EOT)
EOP
Engine oil level
CMP actuator solenoid circuit state
Ignition 1 signal voltage
BARO


camshaft position (CMP) actuator solenoid valve.
Object Number:(###) ###-#### Size: SH
Mark
Mark, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 847
Experience: 34+ yrs Dealership Exp. - Fully State & ASE Certified - GM Master & GM World Class Tech
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Would synthetic oil minimize the problem? What would be estimated cost of repair?
Hello back and thank you so much for your payment. You're most generous.

Usually when the these solenoids fails, it is a hard failure. You will need to have them replaced. By looking at the repair procedure, I can't imagine the cost for labor being too intensive.

I only say that because I have never seen these fail on your engine. AND, I only say that because I want to encourage you to have your car fully checked out and diagnosed by a qualified repair facility. Sometimes code numbers only point you in the direction of a needed repair.

In your case, you could have what these solenoids are controlling that is the issue. It may not be the solenoids themselves. It could be the actuators. It also could be the cam sensors themselves.

I have worked on numerous engines (other than yours) that have the double overhead cam system. I have put cams, actuators, and even cylinder heads on these engines for codes that indicate the correlation between the cam and crank is off.

Thanks again and good luck to ya.........
Mark
Mark
Mark, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 847
Experience: 34+ yrs Dealership Exp. - Fully State & ASE Certified - GM Master & GM World Class Tech
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