Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Top Dead Center (TDC) Sensor Last?

How Long Does a Top Dead Center (TDC) Sensor Last?

Top Dead Center Sensor

The top dead center (TDC) sensor is the point from which the firing order is determined and the ignition system measurements are taken. The measurements are normally defined as before top dead center and after top dead center. The TDC is meant to be a reference point that tells the spark plugs when it should fire and ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber.

The purpose of the TDC sensor is to ensure the reference point on the camshaft is dead center. This is usually located on piston number one. The TDC sensor sends a signal to the engine control module (ECM) which then sends a spark to the piston at top dead center. From here, the fuel is ignited and the power stroke starts as the piston is forced down.

Over time, the sensor can go bad due to becoming old, wearing out, cracking or starting to corrode because of the harsh operating environment. If the sensor goes bad, the engine control module will not receive the correct signal and the spark may be sent to the wrong cylinder at the wrong time. This can cause your vehicle to have issues running, or it may cause the engine to not run at all. Two of the biggest signs your TDC sensor is bad is the Check Engine Light will come on and your vehicle will not start. If this happens, contact a professional mechanic to have your top dead center sensor replaced.

Since the TDC sensor can go bad over time, it is important that you can recognize the symptoms that indicate it needs to be replaced.

Signs that point towards the top dead center sensor going bad include:

  • The Check Engine Light comes on
  • Your vehicle misfires or runs poorly while idling or driving
  • The engine will not run at all, causing you vehicle not to turn on
  • Backfiring from the exhaust system

The TDC sensor is important to keeping your engine running smoothly and everything in sync. As soon as you notice any symptoms, it is important to address them immediately.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: My car he got power and everything but I feel like he's plugs something hold it

You need to begin with checking the necessities. If your car is missing, you will need to check all of the following. Internal combustion engines (ICE) require spark, fuel pressure, injector pulse and camshaft timing to run. All of these...

Q: collision sensor goes off

Hello. It sounds like there may be an intermittent problem with the collision sensor. Keep in mind that intermittent problems are some of the most difficult to diagnose. When the sensor has an intermittent problem, it may cause the truck...

Q: Does not idle

Hello. Low idling issues can be caused by several faults. Typically they are an effect of poor fuel and spark efficiency. When diagnosing this type of issue, you will want to start with the easiest parts to check, and work...