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P0336 OBD-II Trouble Code: Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance

Check Engine Light

P0336 code definition

Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance

What the P0336 code means

When the P0336 diagnostic trouble code has been stored in the Engine Control Module (ECM), it is an indication that the “A” circuit of the crankshaft position sensor has a range/performance error.

A quick background into this system:

The crankshaft position sensor records the rotation speed of the crankshaft, monitors the engine valves to ensure the pistons can operate properly, and monitors how well the engine is functioning. The ECM uses the information that has been recorded by the crankshaft to make any necessary adjustments to the fuel injection process and ignition timing. When the crankshaft position sensor and ECM are working properly together, they control the vehicle’s emission performance and power output. This mechanism allows the vehicle to be reliable with great driveability.

The crankshaft position sensor has two parts: a rotating disc (reluctor) and the stationary sensor. The majority of crankshaft position sensors have a voltage wire sensor, a ground wire, and a signal wire. These three wire sensors work together to provide the ECM with a revolutions per minute (RPM) signal.

With this information, as well as the information it receives from the camshaft position sensor, the ECM can determine how to adjust the timing of the ignition and fuel injection. When the ECM stops receiving the proper signal from the crankshaft position sensor, and is thereby unable to determine how to make necessary adjustments, it will store the P0336 trouble code.

Related OBD-II Trouble Codes:

  • P0335 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction]
  • P0337 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Low Input]
  • P0338 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit High Input]
  • P0339 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Intermittent]

What causes the P0336 code?

  • The reluctor wheel has broken, snapped, or has worn down teeth
  • Crankshaft position sensor magnet shavings have gotten stuck on the sensor or the reluctor wheel
  • Wires and circuits have burned or shorted out
  • A short in the crankshaft position sensor wiring harness
  • A broken or corroded crankshaft position sensor connector
  • Engine misfire(s)
  • Faulty crankshaft position sensor
  • Faulty camshaft position sensor
  • Faulty ECM

What are the symptoms of the P0336 code?

  • Check Engine Light will come on
  • One or more cylinders may misfire
  • Car may hesitate upon acceleration
  • Car may start irregularly or won’t start at all
  • Engine may vibrate/sputter
  • Car may stall or backfire
  • Loss of fuel economy
  • Variations in speed, acceleration, and/or idling functions

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0336 code?

  • Uses an OBD-II scanner to get all of the trouble codes that have been stored by the ECM

  • Visually inspects the crankshaft position sensor for obvious damage

  • Inspects the wiring for breaks, burns, or shorts. It’s also important to make sure that the sensor wires are not too close to the spark plug wires

  • Inspects the connector for breaks, corrosion, or a loose connector

  • Inspects the crankshaft harness wiring insulation for any type of damage

  • Inspects the reluctor wheel for any damage (the reluctor wheel should not be loose on the crankshaft)

  • Makes sure that the reluctor wheel and the top of the crankshaft position sensor have the proper gap.

  • Clears the trouble codes and performs a test to see if any return,

  • Uses the scanner to view the RPM reading (done while starting the car)

  • In the absence of an RPM reading, uses the scanner to check the crankshaft position sensor signal.

  • Uses a volt-ohm meter (VOM) to test the resistance in the crankshaft position sensor wiring and the crankshaft position sensor itself (resistance specifications are provided by the manufacturer)

  • Checks the camshaft position sensor and its wiring - since the crankshaft and the camshaft work together, a faulty camshaft position sensor, and/or camshaft position sensor wiring can affect the operation of the crankshaft position sensor.

  • If there is an engine misfire, it will need to be diagnosed and repaired.

If all of the diagnostic tests do not resolve the problem with the crankshaft position sensor, there is a rare possibility of a problem with the ECM.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0336 code

There are a few mistakes that are often made when diagnosing trouble code P0336, but the most common of these is replacing the crankshaft position sensor without considering the other possible solutions.

The crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor work closely together, and for this reason, it is common for the crankshaft position sensor to be replaced when the actual problem is that the camshaft position sensor is faulty.

Before replacing the crankshaft position sensor, It is also important to consider the possibility of there being an engine misfire or a wiring issue. Giving these components proper consideration will save you a lot of time, and will help avoid misdiagnoses.

How serious is the P0336 code?

A vehicle with this trouble code occurring is unreliable, as it may be difficult to start or may not start at all.

Also, when a problem with the crankshaft position sensor goes unaddressed for an extended period of time, it is possible to damage other engine components. For this reason, the P0336 trouble code is considered serious.

What repairs can fix the P0336 code?

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0336 code

A faulty crankshaft needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Failure to do so for an extended period of time may cause damage to other engine components. When replacing a crankshaft position sensor, using an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part is recommended.

Make sure to thoroughly inspect the reluctor wheel for damage, as it is commonly overlooked as a cause for the P0336 trouble code. It is also important to keep in mind that an engine misfire can also be responsible for causing this code.

Need help with a P0336 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

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