Car Repair: Code P0349 For 2003 Nissan Maxima Camshaft Position Sensor

This was a repair I did almost about a year ago.  I stumbled upon the pics I took using my phone, so thought it would be a good resource.  As always with car repairs, you should consult with a qualified mechanic if you are not sure of what you are doing.

Code P0340 indicates a problem with the Bank 1 camshaft position sensor.  The bank 1 sensor is located closest to the engine firewall (bank 2 is closest to the radiator).  The camshaft position sensor monitors the rotation of the camshaft.  The camshaft is a pretty important part of the engine.  This is just the replacement of the sensor, so the work is actually quite simple on this car, because the part is easy to get to.

Symptoms I was experiencing prior to the CEL Going On

I had noticed for a while the car would have intermittent hesitation while driving on the highway, basically like a stumble or misfiring.  It was just happening randomly, and the check engine light never went off, so I didn’t really think twice about it.  One night the car started to stall out, but then it ran like normal.  Finally the car stalled as I was pulling out the driveway and the check engine light went off.  I was able to get the car to start like normal and get to work.  After work, I went to the local parts store and the ran the OBD scanner to check the code for me.  Being that the car had stalled and I needed to get the fix done quickly, I forked over the $82 for the part, knowing I would be able to get the part cheaper had I had time to order it online.  But, you pay a premium for instant purchases.  Yes the sensor was just $40 at and an OEM Hitachi part vs the generic from the parts store.

The Part

Yep, that part is about the size of your thumb and is the cause of the P0340 check engine code.  The hardest part of the repair is locating the part.  If you can locate the part and get to it, you should be able to get the job done and save time and money from going to the shop.

Tools Needed

Pretty basic tools needed.  You will need a ratchet, extension, swivel, and I believe it was a 10mm socket for removing the part, a hex tool, and flathead screwdriver, Philips screwdriver and pliers.  Pretty sure I didn’t use the torque wrench.

The Repair

First lets located the position of the Bank 1 Camshaft position sensor and orientate ourselves looking at the engine bay.The circled area give you an idea of the location we are looking to get to.  First step it to remove the 4 bolts holding down the plastic engine bay cover using the hex tool.

Here is a view with the part circled and I’m attempting to point it out with my pick up tool.

Next, to get more access, we need to remove the air filter housing and just move that out of the way.

This is held in place by a few bolts you can loosen with the Philips screwdriver.  There is a metal tie-down to remove, loosen the rubber boot leading to intake manifold, and use pliers to loosen the clamp holding down the rubber hose connecting to the air filter box.

Here is a shot of the rubber boot to loosen and remove.  A little tip, just loosen the hose clamp on the left side, it’s easier to mess with, and the boot can be slid off and everything can be pushed off to the side:

This is basically what it will look like with the stuff out of the way:

Good news, your practically half way done with the repair.

And we now have a clear view of the sensor that needs to be removed.  A couple of shots:

a zoomed in shot

Now with clear access, time to get the ratchet, extension, and 10mm socket.  Tip. I put a little piece of paper tucked in the socket to help from loosing the bolt and it is loosens up.  The little piece of paper really helps hold onto the bolt so you don’t lose it.  I also had a magnetic pickup tool pointed right at the bolt as extra insurance.  Now loosen that bolt:

With the bolt loosened, you can then take it off using just the extension and finally get to the part.

It will take very little effort to slide the old sensor out, but may require a little left to right action to free it up.  I used a glove, as there could be a little oil coming off the old part.

With the sensor free, time to take off the old connection.  You might find the flat head useful.  There is a little latch type of connection holding the part and electrical connection together.  Using a flat head helps get enough pressure to release the connection.  You should hear and audible click when the connection is loose and also when reconnecting the new part.  This is honestly the hardest part of the job.

Success. We have the old part removed.  Time to install the new sensor, connect the electrical connection back and reinstall the air filter housing.  Installation of the new part is basically the reverse steps.

Congrats, you just learned hot to replace the Bank 1 Camshaft Position Sensor for a 2003 Nissan Maxima.  This repair can be pretty similar on other Nissan cars that have the VQ35DE engine as this was a pretty popular engine choice for the company across a few different models.  A shop will charge anywhere from $150-$200 for this type of repair.  It took me roughly 30 minutes documenting the process, taking pictures and trial and error for the correct socket size.  You should be able to do it in about 10 minutes.  I did the repair for $82, and had I not needed to do the repair quickly, could have gotten the cost down to $40.  Not bad considering the car is now 17 years old and I am wanting to delay a new car purchase until 2024.

With the new part in place, you can either have the check engine light cleared at the local parts store.  Or driving the car for about 150 miles should clear out the light automatically.

For other repairs involving a 2003 Nissan Maxima, hit up my search bar and use the key word car repair.

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