Camshaft sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara 2,0 and 1,6 liters: solve all problems ourselves
Camshaft sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara 2,0 and 1,6 liters: solve all problems ourselves

Camshaft sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara 2,0 and 1,6 liters: solve all problems ourselves

Reliable and enduring Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.0L (J20A) and 1.6L (M16A) engines have some childhood diseases, which manifest themselves mainly in extreme conditions. For example, unstable functioning of the camshaft position sensor Grand Vitara on 2-liter and 1.6-liter motors can work with interruptions. How to check the sensor, signs of malfunction, how to replace it and how best to find an inexpensive analogue, as well as all the problems with the Suzuki Grand Vitara camshaft position sensor, we find out today.

Why do you need a camshaft position sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara. Where is it located?


In any engine with the injection system, the camshaft position sensor plays an enormous role, despite its rather simple design. Its task is to notify the engine control unit (along with the crankshaft position sensor) of the time and amount of fuel supplied to the cylinder, and it also determines the moment of spark formation in the combustion chamber.

Schematic diagram of the camshaft sensor (phase)

The camshaft sensor is a magneto-electric element, a Hall sensor which reacts to changes in the magnetic field. And the magnetic field is changed by the toothed rotor located on the actuator or on the camshaft, depending on the type of engine. When the rotor tooth passes near the sensor, the intensity of the magnetic field will change.

Changes in the magnetic field are converted into electrical impulses, which are transmitted to the electronic engine control system (ECS). The system makes conclusions about rpm, load, compares them with readings of other sensors (speed, temperature, oil pressure) and regulates fuel supply and ignition advance angle setting.

Where camshaft sensor is installed on Suzuki Grand Vitara 2,0 and 1,6 l

датчик распредвала гранд витара
Sensor mounting location on 2 and 1.6 litre engines

Depending on the engine model, the sensor may have a different location. For example, in the 2.0L J20A engine it is mounted on the cylinder head cover, and in the 1.6L M16A engine, we will look for it in the cylinder head housing.

Theoretically, the two sensors do not differ in design, but in the 2-liter engine it comes in a housing with the gear drive and with the gear assembly itself, which made it firmly more expensive than in the 1.6-liter motor. But we’ll touch on this aspect later.

Signs of camshaft sensor malfunction Grand Vitara 1.6 and 2.0 l


As soon as the camshaft position sensor starts to work incorrectly, a number of changes in engine operation are immediately noticed:

  • gasoline consumption increases sharply;
  • the engine works irregularly both at idle and under load;
  • In Suzuki Grand Vitara with automatic transmission the camshaft sensor may influence the fixation of this or that gear, but after the engine restart the operation of automatic transmission temporarily normalizes, which directly indicates the malfunction;
  • when the camshaft sensor fails completely, the engine cannot be started as the ECU receives no information about the camshaft position and consequently supplies neither fuel nor a spark to the combustion chambers;
  • Check Engine warning light may light up systematically, error codes may appear.

Error codes for camshaft position sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara

The scanner error message of the camshaft sensor

Regardless of the engine type, when scanning the self-diagnostic system with any of the available scanners and applications, the monitor will display errors P0300-P0365. The most common ones are as follows:

  • P0300ignition system spark gaps;
  • P0340no signal from camshaft sensor;
  • P0341timing is off;
  • P0342 – camshaft sensor signal is critically low;
  • P0343 – CMP signal is critically high;
  • Р0344 – signal is intermittent;
  • P0365 – no sensor power supply, open circuit in CMP circuit.

Using these hints from the engine self-diagnostic system memory, you can quickly find out the cause of sensor failure and incorrect engine operation.

Causes of camshaft sensor failure Grand Vitara


For many injection engines the causes of sensor failure are identical, but Suzuki Grand Vitara has its own peculiarities. For example, on 2L engines, camshaft sensor tends to overheat under hot weather and high loads (off-road driving, traffic jams, low-speed cross-country driving). As a result of repeated overheating, the sensor simply exhausts its life and stops responding to changes in the magnetic field.

Symptoms in this case are simple: the engine after a slight overheating stops and starts only after 20-30 minutes, when it cools down. The camshaft sensor is definitely to blame.

Typical causes of camshaft sensor failure include:

  • short circuit of 12 V power supply wire to a common ground;
  • breakage of wires in the sensor circuit;
  • bad contact in the terminal block;
  • Breakage of shield inside wiring harness;
  • Wires are not connected correctly;
  • The clearance between the sensor working surface and the rotor teeth is too small or too large;
  • Mechanical damage to the sensor;
  • End run-out of the sensor rotor;
  • Metal powder or shavings adhered to camshaft sensor working surface.

How to fix Suzuki Grand Vitara camshaft sensor overheating


This trouble haunted the Grand Vitara literally until 2006. After that, the Japanese eliminated the problem, at least partially. They took a comprehensive approach to the cooling issue, and the problem was as follows. The J20A engines up to 2006 had a metal panel in the center of the engine compartment on a vertical box, the task of which was to remove excessive heat from the engine.

Those drivers who realized that the “heart attacks” of the camshaft position sensor on the Grand Vitara are related to systematic overheating, tried different ways to eliminate this defect. Up to absolutely incredible and anecdotal solutions, like a third washer nozzle directed directly to the sensor, or forced blowing by an additional fan on a 12-volt electric motor.

датчик распредвала гранд витара
Panel responsible for camshaft position sensor overheating on Vitara

It turned out that the problem could be solved in five minutes. It is enough just to unscrew two screws and remove this small panel. The oven effect for the sensor immediately disappears and the engine starts working in the normal mode without “fainting” of the camshaft position sensor. The cooling of the sensor is normalized.

Check the camshaft sensor Suzuki Grand Vitara with your own hands. How to remove and replace


If there are symptoms of malfunction or suspicion of wear on the sensor, you can quickly check its performance. To do this we need to spend 10 minutes and have at hand a multimeter, wires with clamps and a standard set of tools:

  1. Reset the minus terminal from the battery.
  2. Disconnect the wiring harness connector from the sensor.
  3. Remove the sensor assembly from the head cover (J20A) or from the head itself (M16A) by removing the screw (a).
    датчик распредвала гранд витара
    How to remove the camshaft sensor Grand Vitara
  4. Check the integrity of the o-ring.
  5. Carefully check the sensor working surface and rotor teeth for dirt and damage.
  6. If necessary, clean the rotor and the face of the sensor.
    датчик распредвала гранд витара
  7. Take two wires and connect the plus from the battery (1) to the VIN terminal (2) of the sensor, and the minus to the GROUND terminal (3).
  8. Measure the resistance between the VOUT pins (4) and minus.
  9. Take any iron object (5) and pass it at a distance of 1 mm from the working surface of the sensor.
  10. Check the resistance with and without the iron.

Now analyze the data obtained from the measurement. If the resistance changes from less than 220 Ω to infinity with iron and from infinity to less than 220 Ω without iron, the sensor is quite functional. Otherwise, the sensor should be replaced.

When installing the sensor, tighten the screw not more than 11 Nm.

датчик распредвала гранд витара
Packing from the original Suzuki camshaft position sensor

Suzuki Grand Vitara camshaft sensor: which one is better, price, articles


The original camshaft sensor on a Suzuki Grand Vitara with a J20A 2.0L engine is part number 33100-65D00. Its price doesn’t fit within any bounds of decency and is about $121-130 for 2019. Not a very loyal price. The fact is that dealers sell the rotor housing, rotor and its actuator as part of the sensor itself, which never, in principle, break down. But there are no hopeless situations.

For the 1.4L and 1.6L M16A engines, the sensor is sold directly. It has exactly the same characteristics as the J20A camshaft sensor, the same configuration, but costs five times less. Its SUZUKI catalog number is 33220-50G02, and the price is $18-35 depending on the manufacturer:

  • Era 550347;
  • 79404 Fae;
  • J5T23191M1 MITSUBISHI;
  • 3322050G02REMSA;
  • 33220-50G02 – VM;
  • GENERAL MOTORS 91 173 944.

Consequently, by replacing the camshaft position sensor on Suzuki Grand Vitara with a J20A engine, you don’t need to buy an expensive original sensor and spend the saved money on other stuff for your favorite car.

One comment

  1. Amigo preciso de ajuda. Meu vitara 1997 v6 2.0 24 está com problemas, não centelha, o mecânico mandou trocar o camshaft que é muito caro. Tem outro, de outro caro, ou modelo que sirva e que seja mais barato.

Залишити відповідь

Ваша e-mail адреса не оприлюднюватиметься. Обов’язкові поля позначені *