The engine is the power machine of a car, literally converting energy, in the form of fuel, into movement, and is known as an internal combustion engine. The engine is made up of several components that all work together to enable combustion to occur and in turn the car to move. The camshaft plays a big part in how well the engine performs. Located in the engine compartment, the camshaft is usually either a steel or cast iron cylindrical structure in the form of a rod which runs along the cylinders.
The camshaft's job is to manage the poppet valves, opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves in the cylinder head. The cylinder head is comprised of a series of passages that carry the air and fuel combination needed for combustion to the cylinders; the liquid coolant, needed to keep the engine cool; and harmful fumes (produced by the engine in the process of combustion) from the exhaust valves to the exhaust manifold and away from the vehicle. An integral part of the engine's timing system, the camshaft works to manage this process by making sure that the intake and exhaust valves are opening and closing at exactly the right time. The engine needs the correct amount of air and fuel flowing through it in order for the fuel to burn in the cylinders and for the engine to ignite or spark at the right time. The outer surface of the camshaft has protruding curves or lobes around it (one for each of the valves) which engage with, essentially lifting, the valves as the camshaft turns, opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The camshaft pulley controls how fast the camshaft rotates and enables the smooth rotation of the cylindrical camshaft. The camshaft receives power from the crankshaft, connected by the cam belt/timing belt, and as the camshaft rotates on the camshaft pulley, it opens and closes the valves. The cam shaft pulley works in conjunction with the timing belt to make sure the camshaft is rotating in synch with the crankshaft (the part that controls the engine's pistons and turns power from the pistons into the rotational power required to make the car move).
The lobes on the camshaft will suffer from wear as they are subjected to extremely high temperatures and friction. It is not uncommon for the camshaft to receive damage from another part coming loose and knocking it as it spins, such as the connecting rod, which can cause the camshaft to break in two if cracked. Damage from rust can lead to camshaft malfunction. When you need a new camshaft, the camshaft is the ideal replacement part, specifically manufactured for the make and model of your vehicle.