Over the years vehicle manufacturers have create engines that are more powerful and efficient, yet with smaller displacement. Technology has helped eliminate systems like point ignition that rely on mechanical movement to fire the ignition coil. Now our engines are computer controlled, with one of the main inputs being the crankshaft position sensor. Just about every engine today has a crank sensor that sends a signal to the computer regarding engine speed. This signal allows the computer to calculate timing and to identify various issues with the engine. Knowing the symptoms of a failing crank sensor will help to diagnose many running issues.
The Check Engine Light
When a crank sensor is in the early stages of failure the vehicle's computer may turn on the "Check Engine" light. You may not have any other symptoms, but this is the vehicle's way of telling you that it sees something that is not right.
Missing Crank Signal
If the crank sensor completely fails, the computer can no longer calculate engine speed. When this occurs, the ignition system and the fuel system shut down causing the engine to crank and not start or to stall if the engine is running.
Intermittent Crank Signal
If the crank sensor sends a signal that is intermittent or shows the wrong crank position it can cause rough idling, backfiring and loss of power.
- Photo Credit XiXinXing/iStock/Getty Images
What Is a Crankshaft Sensor?
A crankshaft position sensor is standard equipment on almost all electronically fuel injected vehicles and gives the computer vital real-time information. Crankshaft...
What Is the Purpose of a Crankshaft Sensor?
Sophisticated computers that continuously adjust critical engine parameters control almost all modern car and truck engines. The crankshaft sensor is one of...
What Does a Crankcase Position Sensor Do?
A crankcase position sensor communicates with the engine's electrical control module about the revolutions per minute of the engine and where the...
What Is a Crank Position Sensor?
The crankshaft position sensor is an electronic component designed to fine-tune the timing of a vehicle's engine. The sensor works with the...
How to Replace a Crank Shaft Sensor
For a car's engine to run, the spark plugs must fire precisely when the piston reaches the top of the compression stroke....
How to Diagnose a Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor
The crankshaft position sensor monitors the rate at which your crankshaft is spinning. Though extremely durable, they can be damaged by high...
How to Diagnose a Cherokee Bad Crank Position Sensor
The crank position sensor in a Jeep Cherokee is designed to record information about the revolutions per minute (rpm) and relative position...
Bad Crank Position Sensor Symptoms
The crank position sensor, sometimes referred to as the crankshaft position sensor, is a small plug found on motor vehicles that monitors...
How Do I Check a Crankshaft Position Sensor?
The Crankshaft Position (CKP) sensor monitors crankshaft position and speed. Your vehicle computer uses this information, along with data from other vehicle...