A crankshaft position sensor detects and reports crankshaft speed and position to the engine computer when the vehicle misfires or runs incorrectly. When the sensor cannot detect a logical pattern, it will trigger the check engine light so the vehicle owner can have the car inspected for possible problems. The sensor is difficult to reach, due to where it is located, but is held on by a single bolt and a wiring harness.
Locating and Removing the Crankshaft Sensor
First, disconnect the negative battery terminal. This will help to prevent any danger of touching live wires and getting shocked. Locating the crankshaft sensor can be tricky. In most vehicles, the sensor is located at the front of the motor around the main pulley. The sensor is held on by a wiring harness and a nut. You will need to take the wiring harness off the back of the sensor before taking out the retaining bolt. The harness has a locking tab that needs to be lifted up so the connector can slide out underneath the locking tab. Allow the wiring harness to hang freely or you can tuck it along one of the components if it is in your way. You may have trouble removing the nut as it is difficult to get to due to the O-ring and the position of the sensor. Unscrew the nut with a 10- to 12-inch wrench till the nut is free from the threading. Pull the sensor out from the motor and proceed to replace it.
Installing the Crankshaft Sensor
Slide the new sensor into the slot where you pulled the old sensor out from. Ensure the O-ring on the sensor is new and positioned around the end of the sensor. Position the nut and tighten it down with the socket wrench. Do not over-tighten as you do not want to strip the threading where the bolt screws into. Once the sensor is positioned securely into the motor, reattach the wiring harness. Slide the connector to the sensor and push in until it clicks in place. The old camshaft sensor can be discarded as you will not need it for a core deposit.
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