A majority of drivers do not think of the intricate mechanics behind the ignition and initial starting of a vehicle's engine. Three parts, including the crankshaft position sensor, alternator and battery, all work together for overall car ignition.
The crankshaft position sensor, or CKP, tells the engine's on-board computer where the crankshaft is in regards to pushing the pistons up and down for engine timing. Working indirectly with the CKP, the alternator provides electricity and the battery stores the electricity for all the electrical components within the vehicle.
The alternator supplies the electricity for the CKP to function and provide timing signals. If the alternator or battery fails to supply voltage to the system, the timing cannot be determined and the vehicle will subsequently fail to crank at ignition.
Most commonly, the wire harness that supplies electricity to the CKP sensor can fail, preventing the vehicle from starting. In this case, the alternator and battery do not need to be examined for failure, the harness simply needs repair or replacement to get the vehicle running.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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...
What Does a Crankcase Position Sensor Do?
The crankshaft position sensor is part of the engine called the distributorless ignition system. Lacking a distributor, this system functions with a...
Bad Crank Sensor Symptoms
The crankshaft sensor in the modern automobile engine is an integral component. When malfunctioning, the symptoms of a bad sensor are easily...
What Does a Gear Position Sensor Do?
Modern vehicles come equipped with numerous sensors that send information vital to overall function to control modules. The gear position sensor, or...
Basics of a Crankshaft
Before the advent of electric starting systems, cars were started by manually cranking the crankshaft. When you drive to the grocery store...
What Happens When a Crank Position Sensor Fails?
The crankshaft position sensor is used in engine ignition systems without electronic distributors. Crankshaft position sensors come in two varieties -- Hall...
What Does a Tachometer Measure?
Tachometers, which measure the rpm, or revolutions per minute of a car's engine, provide useful information as to how fast and hard...
How to Change a Sonata Crank Sensor
A Hyundai Sonata's crank sensor might need to replaced if the car begins to stall or misfire. The crank sensor is a...
What Is an Output Speed Sensor?
In a vehicle, the output speed sensor is also known as the vehicle speed sensor. It sends a signal to the transmission...
How to Know Whether to Replace Your Camshaft Position Sensor or Crankshaft Position Sensor
The camshaft sensor and the crankshaft sensor, although both hall effect sensors, serve different purposes. They both can be diagnosed using similar...