Camshaft, What Are the Components and How Does It Work?

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Camshaft is one of the main components in a motorized vehicle engine that functions to regulate the opening and closing of valves in the engine cylinder. This component is a shaft equipped with protrusions or “nok” called “lobes” or “steering” which are eccentric in shape. When this component rotates, these protrusions force the valves to open and close at the right time.

The main function of this component is to regulate the flow of air and fuel into the engine cylinders and to remove the used combustion gases. By controlling the opening and closing times of the valves, it affects engine performance, including the power and torque produced, as well as fuel efficiency.

There are two main types of camshafts commonly used in vehicle engines, namely the opening camshaft (intake camshaft) that regulates the air and fuel intake valves, and the closing camshaft (exhaust camshaft) that regulates the gas exhaust valves. While the conventional this shaft is driven by a belt or timing chain, some modern engines use variable technology that allows for dynamic valve timing to improve engine efficiency and performance. Check out the full details through the following article TransTRACK!

Camshaft Components

This shaft is a component consisting of several parts and elements that play a role in regulating the valves in a vehicle engine. Some of the main components and elements of this component are as follows:

Lobes (Nok)

These are eccentric protrusions on this shaft that have a special shape to regulate the opening and closing of the valves. Each knob on the camshaft controls one or more valves.

Camshaft Journal

It is the part of the shaft that flows inside the bearings to provide support and proper positioning for the camshaft. This shaft usually has several journals where the bearings are placed.

Timing Gear or Timing Sprocket

Timing gears or sprockets are used to connect this shaft with the crankshaft, thereby timing the opening and closing of the valves with the phase of engine rotation.

Drive Mechanism

The shaft must be driven to rotate, usually using a timing belt, timing chain, or timing gear connected to the crankshaft. This drive mechanism ensures that this shaft rotates at the correct time.

Camshaft Position Sensor

Shaft position sensors are used in some modern engines to measure this shaft position and provide information to the engine control unit (ECU) to optimize engine performance.

Adjustable Cam Gears (If used)

Some engines equipped with adjustable camshafts allow adjustment of this shaft phase angle. Adjustable cam gears are used to change the valve opening and closing times to improve engine performance.

This shaft is a key component in the engine’s valve system, and the design and arrangement of the camshaft have a great impact on the engine’s characteristics, including power, torque and efficiency. It is one of the very important components in a vehicle engine and must be properly maintained to maintain optimal engine performance.

How the Camshaft Works

The way this component works is closely related to timing the opening and closing of the valves in a vehicle engine. This is important for regulating the flow of air and fuel into the engine cylinders and expelling the combustion gases. Here are the steps on how this component works:

Camshaft Rotation

This component is mounted inside the engine and is connected to the crankshaft via a timing gear, timing chain, or timing belt. When the engine is started, the crankshaft rotates, and this movement drives the camshaft simultaneously.

Lobes and Valves

On the camshaft, there are eccentric protrusions called “lobes.” Each camshaft lobe is designed with a special profile, which is used to control the opening and closing of valves. When the shaft rotates, a particular lobe will meet a particular valve and force the valve to move according to the profile of the lobe.


The timing of valve opening and closing is controlled by the position of the lobes on the camshaft and how the camshaft is connected to the crankshaft. This is set with precision and is called “timing.” This timing is very important as it determines when the air and fuel intake valves should open (intake valve opening) and when the gas exhaust valve should open (outlet valve opening) in a four-stroke engine cycle.

Machine Phase

The camshaft must be aligned with the crankshaft for the valves to open and close at the right moment in the engine cycle. This is known as “engine phase.” Correct engine phasing is important for engine performance and efficiency.


In some modern engines, there is a camshaft position sensor used to monitor camshaft rotation. This sensor provides information to the engine control unit (ECU) to adjust the valve timing according to the engine operating conditions.

Variable Valve Timing (If used)

Some modern engines have variable valve timing (VVT) technology that allows changes in camshaft phase during engine operation. This can improve fuel efficiency and engine performance by changing the valve opening and closing times according to the need.

The camshaft plays an important role in regulating the flow of air and fuel in a vehicle engine, and the way it works affects the overall performance of the engine. The good condition and proper regulation of the camshaft and valves are essential to keep the engine functioning properly.

By using TransTRACK’s Vehicle Maintenance System, you can ensure that your camshaft and other engine components are well maintained and always in optimal condition. With this system, you can monitor your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, track repair history, and optimize your engine’s performance.

Don’t let camshaft and other engine component problems hamper your vehicle’s performance or result in costly repairs.

Apply TransTRACK Vehicle Maintenance System immediately to maximize your vehicle’s performance and lifespan, including camshaft maintenance and other engine components. With proper monitoring and maintenance, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns and unnecessary repair costs. Keep your vehicle in optimal condition and safe on the road with the help of TransTRACK Vehicle Maintenance System today.


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