Camshaft Sensor Repair on 2004 Nissan Maxima

I felt something weird when I was driving about a week ago, on the highway. Like a hesistation. A few days later, while I was stuck in traffic and moving very slowly, my car just cut off and the engine light came on. When I tried to restart it, it almost didn't turn over. I took it to Pep Boys and they did a diagnotic test that said it was the Camshaft Sensor Malfunction. I did some research to find out that this was a common problem. Also, a few weeks ago when I went for an oil change they told me I had an oil leak. From what I have read, the two could be related. My question is, PepBoys want to do a driveability test to make sure that the camshaft sensor is the problem. I am pretty sure that it is, and I am SO strapped for cash that I dont want to have to pay for this test in addition to the repair. Should I just have them repair it without doing the additional test? Im also waiting on an estimate from them. About how much can I expect to pay? Oh and btw, I already contacted Nissan and they said according to my VIN there was no recall. :(

by in Los Angeles, CA on November 09, 2010
2 answers
ANSWER by on November 14, 2010
Unquestionably, it's best to know what one can know about a given situation. I myself would test the sensors and determine whether that's the problem for sure but I know how to do it and it wouldn't cost me anything. If your car has a Camshaft Position Sensor (CMP) trouble code, you may well take a chance and have it replaced, especially if it's a common problem. I see quoted 0.5 hr for one sensor and 0.7 hr to replace both. The CMPs are about $90 each. You need to know which is causing problems, the trouble code should tell you. I don't like oil leaks, I think it'd be well to fix those too. Here's a directory link for you if you want to find a Nissan specialist:
ANSWER by on November 29, 2015
Oil is leaking from the camshaft sensor on 96 Maxima, but electrical connection is not affected. I repaired the oil leak with "teflon valve packing" (plumbing secion of big box stores) wrapped around the base. The teflon valve packing material is made in the shape of a cord (thick string). Cut the ends of the teflon cord at an angle so the cuts are about 1/4" long and can overlap one another without causing a bulge. Make sure the cut ends are rotated to the top of the sensor, tighten single 10mm bolt and it will seal tightly around the sensor filling the gap between the sensor and the chamfered head cover. Works great so far, no leaks with 600 miles since repair and only cost a $2
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