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Toyota Highlander Camshaft Position Sensors Replacement Guide
How to change the Dual VVT-i system's camshaft position sensors in a Highlander with the 2GR-FE or 2GR-FKS engine.

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2017 Highlander 2GR-FKS Engine
Pull Off Rubber Engine Cover
Engine Cover Removed
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and probably also the 2019 and 2020 model years) Toyota Highlander SUV in changing a faulty camshaft position sensor in a 2GR-FE or 2GR-FKS 3.5L V6 engine that is part of the Dual VVT-i (variable valve timing with intelligence) system.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles such as the 4Runner, Avalon, 86, C-HR, Camry, Corolla, iM, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris, FR-S, xB,  xD, tC, xA, CT 200h, ES 250, ES 300, ES 330, ES 350, IS 250, IS 350, RX 300, GS 250, NX 300 and RX 350.

The OEM camshaft position sensor was marked as Denso part number 11T18-1290 (also known as # 11T181290 or 11T18 1290).

A few other compatible replacement camshaft position sensors with their part numbers are as follows: Beck Arnley 1800499, Airtex 5S6281, Delphi SS10939, Standard Motor Products PC559 and Denso 1961001.


If you have a CEL / SES (check engine light / service engine soon) light illuminated on the gauge cluster, your OBD II (OBD 2) scan tool might display one of these VVT or camshaft position sensor related DTC (diagnostic trouble codes): P1349, P1354, P0021 or P0011.
Intake & Exhaust VVT-i Sensors
Intake Side Bank 2 Sensor
Exhaust Side Bank 2 Sensor
The first two steps are to open the hood and then pull off the foam rubber engine cover.

Set the engine cover aside in a safe place.

There are two camshaft position sensors on the front of the engine and two more on the rear of the engine closer to the firewall.

In the picture above, I'm pointing to the two camshaft position sensors on the front of the engine. The one on the top left of the picture is the intake side bank 2 sensor. The other one on the bottom right side of the picture is the exhaust side bank 2 sensor.

Push In Release Tab
Disconnect Power Plug
Electrical Connector Removed
Push in the release button on the electrical connector before sliding it straight off the camshaft sensor.
Loosen Counterclockwise
10mm Bolt Removed
Pull Out Old CPS Sensor
Loosen the single bolt that secures the sensor to the top of the engine by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Set the bolt aside in a safe place.

Pull the old sensor straight out of the engine.


Inspect Electrical Pins
Inspect Rubber O-Ring Gasket
Denso 11T18-1290
Inspect the electrical pins and the rubber o-ring on the old sensor.

The OEM camshaft position sensor in this 2017 Highlander was marked as part number Denso 11T18-1290 (also known as Denso 1961001).

A few other compatible replacement sensors with their part numbers are as follows: Beck Arnley 1800499, Airtex 5S6281, Delphi SS10939, Standard Motor Products PC559 and Denso 1961001.

Port / Opening In Engine
Push In New CPS Sensor
Spin In 10mm Bolt
Push the new sensor straight into the port on the engine.

Line up the bolt hole in the sensor with the corresponding bolt hole in the engine.

Spin in the 10mm bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten Clockwise
Push In Power Plug
Replace Rubber Cover
Tighten the bolt in the clockwise direction with the 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the bolt to prevent from cracking the plastic sensor housing.

Push the rubber cover back into place over the top of the engine.

The friction fasteners on the underside of the cover should be pushed down on to the metal pegs on the top of the engine.

Be sure to record the camshaft position sensor replacement in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of my 2014-2018 Toyota Highlander DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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