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Many newer cars have computerized engine management systems that rely on sensors to report data to the computer. The crankshaft position sensor is used in conjunction with the camshaft position sensor to control ignition timing and to let the computer know when to inject fuel and provide spark sequence. Due to the mounting locations of this sensor, it is common for heat and oil leaks to cause this sensor to fail.
The crankshaft position sensor will usually let you know when it needs replacing. The Check Engine warning light will illuminate and you may notice that your vehicle has a hard time starting or running smoothly. When you notice any of these signs, schedule an inspection.
The crankshaft position sensor relays critical information to your vehicle’s computer management system. The sensor provides the management system with the information it needs to control ignition timing, and it lets the computer know when it needs to provide sparks and fuel. Without a functioning crankshaft position sensor, the computerized management system doesn’t receive this critical information, and the vehicle will either not start, or will misfire while you’re driving it.