Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality Crankshaft Position Sensor

Crankshaft Position Sensor

Just like the name indicates, the crankshaft position sensor monitors the rotation speed and position of the crankshaft. The crankshaft is what turns the engine’s piston power into a force that can actually move the vehicle. Its position must be tracked in order for other parts involved in the engine’s operation to work properly, such as ignition timing, fuel injection, and spark plug firing sequence. In other words, if the crankshaft position sensor – also known as an engine speed sensor – malfunctions the engine will not run correctly.

This sensor is typically comprised of an inductive coil along with magnets. It may be located on the flywheel, main crank pulley, or the crankshaft. The sensor may malfunction due to damage to its physical structure from wear and tear, magnet problems (the magnets that help it function can also attract metal shavings from other parts), or because of wiring problems (wires connect the position sensor to a power source and the ECU – engine control unit).

Signs your crankshaft position sensor needs replacing

  • The Check Engine light comes on, particularly after the car has been running for a while. This happens due to the sensor malfunctioning when it gets hot.

  • The car will start sometimes and not others. Eventually, if the problem is not fixed, the engine will not turn over at all.

  • The engine will misfire or hesitate on acceleration. This is due to miscommunication between the cylinders and the car’s computer.

  • You may feel vibration when the engine is running or experience general abnormal engine behavior.

It’s important to pull codes from the vehicle if you have a code reader, or else have a shop do it, because many other part malfunctions can cause similar symptoms to those from a broken crankshaft position sensor. If this important component is the problem, there are some important things to consider when buying a new one.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality crankshaft position sensor

  • Make sure you’re getting the correct kind for your vehicle – there are two types - magnetic field sensors (called variable reluctance), and Hall Effect. Both use magnetic fields to measure crankshaft position, but operate in slightly different ways.

  • Choose a replacement crankshaft position sensor that includes an O-ring if applicable. You will generally need the ring if your sensor is mounted on the engine, so make sure all necessary components are included.

  • Look for a sensor with high heat resistance – preferably up to 300 degrees F. If the heat rating isn’t high enough the part could crack or melt. Whether you perform the switch yourself, or have a professional mechanic put in your new crankshaft position sensor, the part itself is affordable and fairly straightforward to replace.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality crankshaft position sensors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a crankshaft position sensor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote for a crankshaft position sensor.

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

Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...
P0684 OBD-II Trouble Code: Glow Plug Control Module to PCM Communication Circuit Range/Performance
P0684 code means there is a failing connection within the Glow Plug Control Module often due too corroded wires and solenoid failures.


Related questions

Q: My engine light was on so I took my vehicle to auto zone and got a p0014 code read. It says the exhaust camshaft positioning timing is over advanced. Can you help?

Hi there: The P0014 is the OBD-II generic code that the engine control module (ECM) has determined that the bank 1 exhaust camshaft is more advanced than what the ECM has commanded it be. This over-advanced condition could be during...

Q: Stalling,bad fuel mileage,won't start without Acceleration, rough idling.

This may be related to a couple of different things. I would recommend checking the idle air control valve/module which works similar to the MAF sensor in that it regulates air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to...

Q: Code P0335. Crank position circuit code

Hello. Your crankshaft position sensor has failed. Most engines support a fall-back mode where engine timing is then determined by the cam position sensor. It is less precise than when the crank position sensor is used, but allows the engine...