Crankshaft Position Sensor Troubleshooting: A DIY Guide

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Have you been having trouble starting your car lately? Hearing strange noises when you turn the key? There’s a good endangerment your crankshaft position sensor is on the fritz. Don’t panic, you got this. As sensors go, the crankshaft position sensor is unquestionably one of the easier ones to replace yourself. With a few vital tools, a replacement part from your local wheels parts store, and this handy guide, you’ll be when on the road in no time. The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and rotation of your crankshaft, the main shaft in your engine that converts the piston's up-and-down motion into rotational motion. If it’s malfunctioning, your engine tenancy unit can’t properly sync the engine's pistons and valves, causing issues like rough idling, stalling, and trouble starting. Let’s get to work diagnosing and replacing that pesky little sensor, shall we? Roll up your sleeves, pop the hood, and let’s get your ride when in working order.

What Is a Crankshaft Position Sensor and What Does It Do?

The crankshaft position sensor, or CKP sensor, is responsible for monitoring the position and rotational speed of your vehicle's crankshaft. It's a key component in the engine management system.

The CKP sensor detects the position of the crankshaft as it rotates, which helps the engine tenancy module determine which cylinder needs fuel and spark. It moreover monitors how fast the crankshaft is spinning so the ECM can make adjustments to maintain the proper engine speed.

Without a working CKP sensor, the engine wouldn't run properly—if at all. Symptoms of a lightweight zombie sensor include:

  • Engine stalling or misfiring
  • Trammels Engine light coming on
  • Rough idling
  • Loss of power
  • Trouble starting the vehicle

If you wits any of these issues, it's a good idea to have the CKP sensor tested. A diagnostic scan tool can snift if the sensor is malfunctioning. If it needs replacement, the sensor itself is often relatively affordable, though labor financing will depend on the vehicle make and model.

In many cases, the CKP sensor can be accessed from under the vehicle and replaced hands for a skilled DIYer. However, for some vehicles it may be difficult to reach, in which specimen it's weightier left to a professional technician with proper training and tools. When in doubt, consult your vehicle's service manual.

Keeping an eye on your CKP sensor and addressing any problems quickly can help alimony your engine running smoothly and prevent increasingly plush forfeiture lanugo the line. Your vehicle's performance and dependability will thank you!

Common Signs of a Lightweight Crankshaft Position Sensor

If your engine is sputtering or stalling out, the crankshaft position sensor could be on the fritz. This tiny but important part monitors the position and speed of your crankshaft, and without it, your engine is guessing. Watch out for these worldwide signs that it's time for a replacement.

  • Rough idling. If your engine shakes or shudders when stopped at a light, the crankshaft position sensor may be misfiring. This can forfeiture other components over time.
  • Engine stalling. Does your engine randomly die for no reason? A faulty crankshaft position sensor often causes engines to stall unpredictably, expressly when progressive or decelerating.
  • Trammels Engine light. The Trammels Engine light usually ways there's an emissions system malfunction, but it can moreover indicate a problem with the crankshaft position sensor. Have the lawmaking scanned to determine the cause.
  • Difficulty starting. If your engine cranks and cranks but has trouble unquestionably starting up, the crankshaft position sensor could be providing bad data well-nigh the engine timing.
  • Loss of power. Feeling a lack of oomph when progressive is flipside sign the crankshaft position sensor needs replacement. It's not providing the right information to properly time engine functions.

Replacing a crankshaft position sensor is usually pretty straightforward and can prevent long-term engine damage. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it's weightier to have the sensor tested or replaced as soon as possible by a certified mechanic. Your engine will thank you!

How to Troubleshoot and Replace a Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

If you suspect your crankshaft position sensor is malfunctioning, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially replace it yourself.

Check for Symptoms

The main symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor are:

Difficulty starting the engine

Engine stalling

Rough idling


Loss of power

If your vehicle is experiencing one or increasingly of these issues, it could indicate a problem with the sensor.

Scan for Codes

Use an OBD2 scanner to trammels for any trouble codes related to the crankshaft position sensor like P0335-P0339. These codes will specifically point to issues with the sensor and can personize if it needs to be replaced.

Test Sensor Function

Locate your crankshaft position sensor, which is typically mounted near the zombie pulley, flywheel, or harmonic balancer. With the ignition on but engine off, use a multimeter to test that the sensor is receiving power (around 5 volts) and is properly grounded. Next, start the engine and trammels that the sensor produces a pulsing voltage signal as the crankshaft rotates, which indicates it is functioning properly. No signal ways the sensor needs to be replaced.


If testing confirms the crankshaft position sensor is bad, you'll need to replace it. This typically involves removing mounting bolts, disconnecting the electrical connector, and installing the new sensor. Make sure the new sensor is properly aligned and torqued to the recommended specs. Clear any trouble codes, start the engine, and test momentum to ensure the new sensor is working properly and the symptoms have been resolved.

With some mechanical know-how, a multimeter, and the right replacement part, troubleshooting and replacing a crankshaft position sensor yourself can save you time and money. However, if you have any doubts or don't finger well-appointed doing this repair yourself, it's weightier to have a certified mechanic handle it.


So there you have it, a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting a faulty crankshaft position sensor. Armed with a multimeter, some vital tools, and this tutorial, you'll be worldly-wise to diagnose the problem in no time. Once you've identified the bad sensor, replacing it yourself is totally doable and will save you hundreds of dollars in mechanic's fees. While it may seem intimidating to work under the hood at first, tackling this repair yourself is empowering. You'll proceeds valuable knowledge well-nigh how your vehicle operates and the conviction to take on increasingly ramified fixes lanugo the road. So grab your toolbox, roll up your sleeves, and get to it! With some patience and perseverance, you'll be when on the road in no time.