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Crankshaft position sensor functions and malfunction symptoms

November 11, 2016 | Electrical Repair Info

crankshaft-poition-sensor-symptoms

Internal combustion engines can be found in virtually all modern-day automobiles. There is an engine management component in these vehicles called a crankshaft position sensor which keeps track of the crankshaft’s rotational speed and its position. As the component monitors this, it will send these details to the vehicle’s computer where it can then adjust itself appropriately based on the conditions it is informed about. For any engine to work correctly, engines must be able to calculate the position of the crankshaft and its speed. Without a crankshaft position sensor, an engine would not be able to run because there would be no signal to tell it what the speed and position are of the crankshaft.

Crankshaft position malfunction symptoms

If you have troubles with your crankshaft position sensor, then there are certain symptoms you can look out for in order to fix the problem before the engine completely malfunctions. The most noticeable symptom is when you have problems starting your vehicle’s engine. This occurs because the crankshaft position sensor immediately gives information to the computer about the crankshaft’s speed and position when the driver tries to start the engine. If the sensor is faulty, the engine won’t be able to start up and run. You may also experience intermittent stalling with the engine which occurs if there’s a problem with either the wiring of the crankshaft position sensor or the sensor itself. This means while the engine’s running, the signal from the crankshaft will get cut off and force the engine to stall.

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If you’re lucky, then the first symptom you’ll experience is simply the “Check Engine” light illuminating on your dashboard. This will occur if your vehicle’s computer detects an issue with the signal from your crankshaft position sensor. It doesn’t necessarily mean the sensor itself is damaged or defective, but it means you need to have it checked out because there could be a wiring problem or an array of other problems. Regardless, take the car to your dealer or auto body shop and have them investigate what the problem is.

The last thing you want to do is ignore the symptoms when they occur. You don’t want to be driving and have your engine suddenly shut off because that could be yourself and others on the road at risk. It only costs roughly $100 or so to purchase a new sensor for your vehicle. Think about how much more it would cost if you crash or have engine problems. So, always get a checkup on your vehicle whenever you experience these symptoms.

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