Crankshaft Position Sensor: Causes And Solutions

Your car's crankshaft position sensor is responsible for sending data to the engine control unit, which in turn uses that information to determine things like ignition timing and fuel injection. If your car's crankshaft position sensor is faulty, it can cause all sorts of problems, including decreased fuel economy, rough running, and even engine failure. So if you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to have your crankshaft position sensor checked out as soon as possible.

What Is A Crankshaft And How Does It Work?

The crankshaft is a shaft located at the bottom of the engine that turns in time with the pistons, enabling them to rotate and generate power. It's connected to components like your camshafts, alternator, starter motor, flywheel, and more.

The internal combustion engine needs the crankshaft for its rotational energy. The primary purpose of the crankshaft is to change reciprocating energy (also called linear energy) into rotational energy. This new type of energy will give power to the wheels below the car that are part of the drivetrain. Consequently, these wheels can spin forward which makes the vehicle move in that direction.

The crankshaft position sensor's purpose is to detect the speed of the crankshaft. Once it detects the correct spinning rate, it sends this information to the engine control unit. The engine control unit manages the fuel injection and ignition timing. They must be in sync so that the engine produces enough power.

The crankshaft's position is integral to the engine control unit. The crankshaft uses a timing chain, gearwheels, and a belt with teeth to drive the camshaft. If the exhaust valves don't open and close as they should courtesy of the camshaft, it creates problems with the exhaust system. All of this ultimately links back to how well the crankshaft functions.

What Happens When The Crankshaft Position Sensor Goes?

When the CKP sensor malfunctions, it can cause the PCM to inaccurately calculate the fuel injector pulse and spark timing. This usually presents itself as a slight shaking or stumble that gets worse when additional weight is put on the vehicle. It might also cause the engine to idle roughly.

If the crankshaft position sensor malfunctions, it can lead to a variety of problems, including a decrease in fuel economy and even engine failure. One more big problem with a faulty crankshaft position sensor is that it can trigger the “check engine” light. This is because the sensor provides information to the ECU about how fast the crankshaft is rotating. So, if there are issues with its functioning, the ECU will be unable to get accurate data and may flag a fault code.

Main Symptoms Of Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

There are many signs of a bad crankshaft position sensor, including:

  • Engine vibrations
  • Engine light
  • Trouble starting the car
  • Weak engine performance

Is your engine vibrating? If so, it could be due to a faulty crankshaft position sensor. When this sensor is not working properly, the engine control unit cannot manage the crankshaft properly, resulting in significant vibrations. You may even feel these vibrations in the steering wheel as you hold it with your hands.

Checking the light is vital. The engine control unit constantly communicates with the crankshaft position sensor. However, if there is something wrong with the sensor, then the computer will receive bad information about the speed of the crankshaft and its position. Consequently, this creates issues with how the engine operates and makes the Check Engine light appear on your car dash. In fact, this is most likely one of the first signs that indicate a problem with your crankshaft position sensor. P0335 and P0336 are two common codes that might display.

What if it`s weak engine performance? If your crankshaft position sensor is malfunctioning, your engine control unit won’t be able to tell the correct positions of the crankshaft or cylinders. Consequently, there will be a delay in the control unit being ability to maintain the engine's performance. During this waiting period, each time you press down on the gas pedal harder, there will be split seconds of hesitation. In some cases, it might not respond at all—which can pose a serious threat when driving on roads that require higher speeds without any lag time.

Trouble starting your car is a big problem. The engine control unit is alerted when the crankshaft position sensor isn't working as it should. This happens because the sensor sends a code that something is wrong with it. So, when you go to start your car and this problem exists, it'll be harder to get the engine going. If you don't fix the issue, eventually you may not be able to start your car at all.

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to have your crankshaft position sensor checked out as soon as possible. The good news is that a bad CKP sensor can usually be replaced fairly easily and inexpensively.

Can I Replace Crankshaft Sensor Myself?

Even though the crankshaft position sensor seems delicate, you can replace it on your own with a little guidance. With some helpful instructions and the right tools, panicking is not necessary. You got this!

Before starting this job, it is crucial for safety reasons to disconnect the negative battery cable since the crankshaft position sensor is an electrical component. The next step will be finding and gaining access to the crankshaft position sensor. It will be in different places depending on the type of car you have. Once located, you must disconnect the electrical connector and unscrew the screws holding it in place. Then you can put in a replacement crankshaft position sensor and reassemble everything back together.

The crankshaft position sensor is responsible for ensuring that your engine runs smoothly and efficiently – so if yours is malfunctioning, it's important to replace it as soon as possible! With a bit of patience and some DIY know-how, this job should not be too difficult. Good luck!

How much does it cost to replace a crankshaft sensor?

On average, replacing a crankshaft position sensor will cost you between $175 and $231. This estimate includes labor costs of $93 to $117 and prices for parts ranging from $82 to 114. These numbers do not take into account taxes or fees that may apply, nor does it consider the make or model of your vehicle which could affect the total cost.

The cost will vary depending on where you take your car for repair, so it’s important to shop around for the best price. You can also save money by purchasing your own parts and just paying for labor costs. In any case, be sure to get a few estimates before making a decision on who will do the job!

If you're having trouble with the crankshaft position sensor, don't delay in having it checked out. It's important to have a functioning engine that runs smoothly – and if not, there could be more serious issues down the road. So get it fixed now and you'll be on your way again soon!


Crankshaft position sensor malfunction can cause a variety of engine issues and might even prevent your car from starting. The good news is that this sensor can usually be replaced on your own with just a few tools and some patience. On average, it costs between $175 to $231 for the replacement depending on where you take your car for repair. So if you're experiencing any issues, don't delay - get it checked out today!

Despite the cost, replacing the crankshaft position sensor is worth it in order to have an efficiently functioning engine. You'll thank yourself later when your car runs as good as new. Don't put off getting this problem fixed - it could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run!

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