How to Install a Crankshaft Position Sensor on an '05 PT Cruiser

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The crankshaft position sensor -- also known as the CKP sensor --detects crankshaft position and rotation on the 2005 PT Cruiser. The sensor relays this information to the electronic control unit and helps determine ignition and fuel injection timing. Wear or damage to the crankshaft position sensor can lead to poor performance or even a non-running condition. The sensor is above the front motor mount so some disassembly is required to replace it.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Shop rag
  • Engine oil
  • Inch-pound torque wrench
  • Foot-pound torque wrench
  • Set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels. Turn the ignition switch to the “Off” position.

  • Jack the front of the vehicle up. Support the vehicle using jack stands.

  • Locate the sensor on the front of the engine just below the starter. Locate the bending strut and structural collar just below the sensor.

  • Remove the five mounting bolts from the strut, using a ratchet and socket. Remove the strut from the engine. Remove the three remaining bolts from the collar, using a ratchet and socket. Move the power steering hose aside and then remove the collar from the engine.

  • Lift up on the locking tab on the sensor electrical connector. Unplug the electrical connector from the sensor.

  • Wipe the surrounding area using a clean rag to remove any dirt or debris that may find its way into the sensor hole.

  • Remove the sensor retaining bolt, using a ratchet and socket. Pull the sensor out of its hole.

  • Lubricate the O-ring on the new sensor with clean engine oil. Insert the new sensor in the hole and push it in with a slight twisting motion. Align the sensor mount with the bolt hole and install the retaining bolt. Tighten the bolt to 80 inch-pounds, using an inch-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Install the electrical connector onto the sensor terminal. Ensure that the terminal lock snaps into position.

  • Hold the collar in its position between the transmission and the engine oil pan. Move the power steering hose into position below the collar. Install the collar-to-oil pan bolt through the forward hose support and collar bolt hole and then tighten it finger tight.

  • Place the bending strut in its position and start the upper strut-to-transaxle bolt. Do not tighten the bolt at this time.

  • Insert the lower strut-to-transaxle bolt through the strut and collar and start it. Do not tighten the bolt at this time.

  • Install the strut-to-block bolt on the passenger side corner of the strut and then tighten it finger tight.

  • Insert the collar-to-oil pan bolt through the rear power steering hose support and rear collar hole and then tighten it finger tight.

  • Tighten the three collar-to-transaxle bolts to 75 foot-pounds, using a foot-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Install the remaining two strut-to-engine block bolts. Tighten the remaining five bolts to 45 foot-pounds, using a foot-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle using a jack.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use caution while working under an elevated vehicle. Never work under a vehicle held by a jack. Always use jack stands before getting under an elevated vehicle.
  • Follow the collar and strut installation steps closely. Failure to properly install the collar and strut can cause damage.

References

  • Alldata: 2005 PT Cruiser, Crankshaft Position Sensor, Service and Repair Procedures
  • Alldata: 2005 PT Cruiser, Engine Mount Service and Repair Procedures - Structural Collar
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