DTC P0316 – Testing your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor

DTC P0316 – Testing your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor


The OBDII diagnostic trouble code of P0316 is a difficult one to track down. This check engine light is for your 3.0 liter Ford engine experiencing engine misfire. The correct language for this service light is P0316 Engine Misfire Detected on Startup. Today I’ll be showing you how to test your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor to diagnose issues with your engine misfire. Our test vehicle is a 2003 Ford Taurus with the 3.0 liter engine in it.

To complete this guide, you’ll need two pieces of equipment. One is a digital multimeter, to read and check the operation of your sensor and the wire voltage at the Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor connector. The other is a OBDII scan tool, which you will use to read the trouble code and erase the Ford Taurus check engine light once you’ve replaced the bad part.

Testing a Ford Taurus camshaft position sensor

Of course before you test the camshaft sensor, you should check other components that could contribute to the misfire. Here’s the components you should be testing in order of importance.

To begin this testing guide, your Taurus key should be inserted and the ignition should be turned to the “ON” position. Once this is done your engine sensors are now powered up, and you’ll be testing using your multimeter. Not sure what a multimeter is or how to use one? Check out our guide here.

Your camshaft sensor is mounted to the front of the engine, and into the cylinder head. This variable reluctance sensor reads the high and low spots of your camshaft to determine engine speed. It’s held in place using a single bolt and is very easy to test.

Testing your Ford Taurus camshaft sensor for power

Once you’ve found the camshaft sensor, depress the locking pin and disconnect the unit. Inspect the harness for any damage or open wire sections. These can lead to shorts or an open condition which will confuse your Ford engine computer.

Testing your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor 3

Now you’ll have the two pin sensor ready to test, put your camshaft connector back in place.

With your Ford Taurus camshaft sensor reconnected, you will be piercing the wire A shown in the diagram above with the red multimeter lead.

Once you have WIRE A pierced as shown in our Taurus camshaft sensor wiring diagram, pierce the other wire with the black lead of your multimeter. Now keep your hands, clothing and tools free from your engine, drive belts and your cooling fans.

Have a friend crank the engine, and observe the voltage being sent from this sensor. The signal should fluctuate between .5 to 1 Volt AC power.

Testing your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor 2If this part of your Taurus camshaft sensor responds correctly, it’s time to measure the internal resistance of your camshaft sensor. Disconnect the wiring harness and turn your multimeter dial to read resistance Ω.

Testing your Ford Taurus Camshaft Sensor 4This part of the test does not require multimeter orientation. Simply put the leads to the pins in question and you can measure the resistance of the internal windings in the sensor.

A properly working Taurus camshaft sensor will return a internal resistance between 5-1.9 Ω.

If your Taurus camshaft sensor does not respond correctly or returns values that are outside this guide, this sensor has gone bad.

Remove the bad camshaft angle sensor and install a replacement Ford cam sensor. Once you’ve got the new part in place, use your OBDII scan tool to erase your Ford Taurus check engine light.

Have any questions about this Taurus camshaft sensor testing guide? Want to learn more about your Ford Taurus? Leave us a comment below and let us know!