crankshaft position sensor symptoms

Crankshaft Position Sensor Symptoms, Function & Location

In Engine by Magnus Sellén11 Comments

crankshaft position sensor symptomsThe crankshaft sensor of your vehicle needs to be in good condition to provide optimal performance and accurate reading.

This component functions every time you use your vehicle. Therefore, there is a high probability that various parts of this component, such as the wiring, wheel, pin, and magnet, will be damaged.

In the case of light damage to the wheel or the pin, the crankshaft sensor can produce confusing readings.

If the wires are damaged, there may be fluctuations and your engine may hesitate. If the magnet is not calibrated, it can attract the metal chips in the engine compartment and cause the readings to rise incorrectly.

The crankshaft sensor can wear or fail due to continuous use over time. In such cases, the crankshaft sensor needs to be repaired or replaced.

Symptoms of Bad or Failing Crankshaft Position Sensor

The most common symptoms of a bad or failing crankshaft position sensor are that your vehicle may not start, or your engine will stop while driving. You can also experience misfires as well as the illumination of your ‘check engine’ on your dashboard. The crankshaft position sensor can fail for various reasons, and its failure leads to a number of engine-related problems.

Here are some of the common symptoms to help you determine whether or not your car’s crankshaft position sensor is damaged.

1. Check Engine Light

The check engine light illuminates for many reasons, one of which is sensor failure. If the engine runs for a long period of time, the sensors stop working due to increased heat generation, which causes the check engine light to illuminate. It is recommended that you have your vehicle checked by a mechanic to determine the cause of the check engine light coming on.

2. Loss in Acceleration

If you notice a loss of acceleration at high speed, this is due to a defective crankshaft sensor. What happens is that the engine control unit does not receive correct information due to the faulty sensor, resulting in a problem in the synchronization of the engine pistons with each other. In addition, an incorrect setting of ignition timing and fuel injection also causes poor acceleration.

3. Engine Vibration

If the crankshaft sensor fails, the crankshaft position can no longer be determined. This can cause the engine to vibrate heavily, reducing engine performance and increasing mileage.

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4. Increase in Mileage

If the crankshaft position sensor is faulty, the spark timing and fuel injection are not effectively dissipated, resulting in engine disturbance and loss of fuel efficiency. If you notice that your car is using up more fuel than usual, this may be due to a defective crankshaft position sensor.

5. Difficulty in Starting the Car

As soon as the sensor fails, the on-board computer receives a fault code containing information about the sensor failure. Initially, the car will have difficulty starting due to improper timing and fuel settings, and later the car will not start at all. However, this could also be due to an electrical fault or a bad connection.

6. Engine Misfire

Engine misfiring occurs when the onboard computer does not receive enough information about the piston position, which leads to a misfire of the cylinder. Engine misfires can be caused by a defective crankshaft position sensor or a damaged spark plug.

7. Engine Stalling

Apart from the problems of acceleration at high speed, if you notice that the engine of your car stops at low speed, the problem is most likely with the crankshaft sensor, as it is responsible for the ignition timing.

Problem Symptoms Causes Solutions
Bad Crankshaft position sensor Engine Stalling / Shut off while driving

Hard Starting condition

Misfires

Rough Idle

Rough Acceleration

Check Engine Light
Bad crankshaft sensor

Faulty Trigger Wheel for sensor

Corrosion in connector to sensor

Faulty wirings

Faulty ECM/PCM (Rare)
Replace Crankshaft position sensor

Repair Wirings

Repair Trigger Wheel

Clean the connector to the sensor

Replace ECM/PCM

What is a Crankshaft Position Sensor?

crankshaft position sensor

One of the important components of your vehicle’s engine management system is the crankshaft sensor or crankshaft position sensor. The main task of this component is to analyze the position or the rotational speed or the rotational speed of the crankshaft. This component is essentially present in almost all modern cars together with the international combustion engine.

The information generated by the crankshaft sensors is used by the engine control unit after transmission. This exchange of information ensures improved efficiency of the field injection timing and the ignition timing, which can be controlled to increase performance.

The two most important sets of information for the calculations related to engine management are the position and the speed of the crankshaft. In many modern vehicles, if the crankshaft sensor fails or malfunctions, the engine may not run because the information and signals are not transmitted.

Where is the Crankshaft Sensor located?

The position of the crankshaft may vary depending on the engine model and manufacturer. The crankshaft sensor is usually mounted on the engine block above the starter. Typically it is located at the front of the engine on the timing cover.

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Diagnosing the Crankshaft Position Sensor

trigger wheel crankshaft

The diagnostic procedure for checking a bad crankshaft sensor is more effective if you take a multi-stage approach. Typically, it involves noting the symptoms and physically checking the condition to make sure that it is a bad crankshaft sensor that is causing these problems.

Here is an effective approach to diagnose the problem of a bad crankshaft sensor.

Diagnostic Code

When the engine indicator light comes on, it means that the ECU has registered a fault code. There are many diagnostic codes for different problems, and they can be checked with a diagnostic scan tool. If the code is between P0335 and P0338, it means that the problem is related to the crankshaft sensor.

This is one of the simplest ways to diagnose a problem with the crankshaft position sensor.

However, by the time the engine indicator light comes on, there may be a number of other problems that are also affecting the engine, so it is good practice to use other diagnostic techniques. If you want to read the error codes at home, you can do this with an OBD2 scanner from Amazon.

Read the Engine RPM

This technique can also be performed with the diagnostic scan tool. The trick is to read the engine speed in revolutions per minute (RPM) and this data is collected by the crankshaft position sensor. Connect the diagnostic scan tool and start the engine. If the scanner gives a reading between 100 and 500 RPM, it is working properly. Anything other than this reading indicates a problem with the crankshaft sensor, while a zero reading indicates that the sensor has failed completely.

Testing Through Multimeter

If you do not have access to a diagnostic scan tool, you can also test the sensor with a multimeter. A multimeter is used to diagnose electrical components because it measures voltage, current, and resistance.

To check the resistance of the sensors, remove the sensor and connect one end of the multimeter to the sensor wiring. If the multimeter indicates zero resistance, it means a short circuit has occurred, while infinite resistance indicates an open circuit. Either way, it indicates that the sensor is defective and should be replaced. If you want to find a good multimeter, you can check it at Amazon:

Innova 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter (10 MegOhm/UL)ir?t=askamastermec 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000KIMHRQ

Crankshaft Position sensor replacement cost

The average replacement cost of a crankshaft sensor ranges from $115 to $300, labor costs range from $40 to $200, and the part itself can cost up to $150. The cost of replacing a crankshaft sensor may vary depending on geographic location, product quality, the brand used, vehicle type, and labor costs.

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The costs can vary greatly even from shop to shop. If you have it repaired with the help of a mechanic or technician, you will incur labor costs, which can range from $40 to $200. The cost of the crankshaft sensor will also vary greatly depending on the company and model of your car.

For most vehicles, it can be between $60 and $150. You should do some market research to find out who offers the highest quality products and services and what the best price is that is offered.

You could also use the tools and things in your workshop to replace the sensor. Here is a short step-by-step guide on how to fix this problem and replace the crankshaft sensor with a new one for your car.

Repairing/Replacing the Crankshaft Sensor

The crankshaft sensor is an essential component of your engine management system, without which your vehicle will not function properly. Problems caused by crankshaft sensors lead to a number of performance issues and other driveability problems.

If you are sure of the failure of the crankshaft sensor, the replacement costs for the crankshaft sensor can be reduced by simple self-installation. However, if the symptoms are persistent and the problem remains partially undetected, it is better to have an expert or professional check the condition of your vehicle.

⦁ Disconnect the battery or the negative terminal
⦁ Remove the disarm plug if it’s a hybrid
⦁ Find the location of the crankshaft in your vehicle and identify it
⦁ Clear access to the crankshaft sensor
⦁ Inspect the location of the sensor and remove any other connections
⦁ Prevent yourself from shocks
⦁ Release the electrical connections
⦁ Remove the sensor mount bolt
⦁ Remove the crankshaft sensor
⦁ Match the new sensor with the old one
⦁ Install the new sensor
⦁ Fix it with the bolt mount
⦁ Plug the removed electrical connections back in
⦁ Replace the parts you removed to clear access
⦁ Reconnect the battery
⦁ Do a test drive to check the performance of the vehicle

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

11 thoughts on “ Crankshaft Position Sensor Symptoms, Function & Location ”

Comments
  1. first of all i would to thank you. you are a great help to many people one of them is me salah senussi from Libya . god bless you my new friend

  2. is there any chance that ckp sensor cant be scanned by scanning tool

    1. Author

      Yes it’s actually pretty common that the engine control unit can’t recognize any disorders from the crankshaft position sensor.

  3. Please! Help me.
    an Isuzu 4HL1 engine.
    After a top overhaul the engine will not start
    What to do

  4. My 2009 honda city engine stops while driving but starts again immediately…during the engine stops the power steering becomes heavy ang hand brake indicator lights up and also the radio shuts off for a moment.what could be the problem.please help

  5. My check engine light came on. The ECM was replaced but the check engine light came back on with the same code indicating a faulty ECM. What is the real problem?

  6. I have symptoms of a bad crank shaft sensor. I have replaced the sensor but still getting the code 12. Toyota Camry SXV20 5SFE 2.2
    I have checked the trigger wheel and it is all good.
    I also checked resistance of the new sensor and is within specs.
    I am at a lose as to what else could be the cause.

  7. Hello i have a renault clio 1.4 16v year 2000.i have a dificult start but when start the car motor stop when is hot in normal temperature then not start again and need to whait after is cold too star.thnx

  8. Thank you and God bless you for caring enough to share your knowledge with us… I have a 93 Chevy k1500 4×4 with a 305.. been presenting all symptoms described for a long time.. been to several mechanics that could not fix her.. last week she finally stopped.. will start and run a couple of min. Then dies, with a poof thru carb. OBD1 not very helpful.. will try ty his fix..

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