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Q: Crankshaft position sensor keeps burning out

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I'm currently on my 4th crank position sensor within 4-5 months on this vehicle. The latest one is starting to give me the same symptom as the last few: engine sputtering slightly while accelerating past 3000 RPM. The last couple, after failing completely, gave me the symptoms of the overdrive coming on and off, RPM surging, stuttering and jerky driving.The last time I put a diagnostic machine on it it said the problem was the crank sensor (I don't remember the specific code unfortunately), replaced it, but the trouble code wouldn't clear. Maybe it's the wire that leads to the sensor that is connected to the main harness? Whenever I've replaced the sensor, it doesn't appear burned. I have not used dielectric grease when replacing. Help?

My car has 117000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It’s been my experience that typically when I have run across a situation where a sensor keeps failing in the same way, it comes down to one of two situations. Either there is a problem with the wiring/connector for the sensor, or the sensors that I was using are low quality and failing prematurely. There could be a problem with the electronic control module, or the pickup on the crankshaft, but these two are the most common that I have run across. If you feel you need a hand in diagnosing and/or repairing the problem, contact a certified mechanic, like the mobile mechanics available at

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