The crankshaft position sensor is found in virtually every new car on the road today. Its job is to track the position of the crankshaft and the speed at which it is rotating. The crankshaft position sensor will then transmit this data to the engine control unit. Based on this information and the current operating conditions, the engine control unit will make adjustments to the amount of fuel that gets injected into the internal combustion chamber. It will also have an impact on the timing of the ignitions system too.
Top 5 Failure Symptoms
If the crankshaft position sensor is not acting the way it is supposed to, then it will mean trouble for the operation of the engine and the vehicle. Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor which you should be able to easily recognize. If you do, then you should take your vehicle to the auto shop and have a professional mechanic make the proper repairs and/or replacements.
Irregular Stalling – The crankshaft position sensor is comprised of numerous wires which run to the engine control unit and crankshaft. If any of these wires were to become damaged or worn out, the engine control unit would not receive the data signal from the sensor. If you are driving your vehicle while this is happening, your engine will begin to stall. Sometimes it will stall consistently while other times, the stalling will come at irregular intervals. You may also want to check the sensor itself and make sure that is not damaged either.
Difficult Starting Vehicle – When you have a worn or damaged crankshaft position sensor, one of the first things you’ll notice is that your vehicle will be difficult to start. The speed and position of your crankshaft need to be just right if your engine is going to start properly. If your engine control unit cannot receive accurate information about the crankshaft, then you will have trouble starting your vehicle. In some cases, you won’t be able to start the car at all.
Engine Vibrations – When the position of the crankshaft is not accurately being monitored, this can spell trouble for the engine. The reason is that the engine will not be able to control its power, which can cause it to vibrate profusely. You may even notice the mileage recorded on your odometer messing up too. This problem should not be ignored because it could damage your engine and other vital components that are connected to it.
Accelerator Hesitation – When you step on the gas pedal to accelerate the vehicle, the engine control unit is supposed to receive information about the cylinders’ position. But if you have a bad crankshaft position sensor, there will be a delay in the time it takes for the engine control unit to receive this information. That means that each time you step on the gas pedal, there will be hesitation in the acceleration instead of an immediate response.
Check Engine Light – There are about a dozen reasons why the check engine light may come on. One of those reasons is having a bad crankshaft position sensor. If the engine control unit does not receive a proper signal from the sensor, the unit may think something is wrong and will automatically illuminate the check engine light on the dashboard. If you are experiencing any of these other symptoms in addition to the check engine light, then you can assume the crankshaft position sensor is to blame. If you do not notice any other symptoms, then you’ll need to have a mechanic run a diagnostic test to figure out what is going on.