The crankshaft position sensor is a key component in the engine management system, found on virtually all modern vehicles with internal combustion engines. It monitors the position and rotational speed of the crankshaft and sends this information to the engine control unit (ECU) so that appropriate adjustments can be made based on operating conditions. Crankshaft position and speed is one of the most important parameters used in engine management calculations (fuel injection, combustion, etc.), and many engines cannot run if the shaft position sensor is used. The elbow does not provide the correct signal.
Common causes of crankshaft sensor failure include:
- Engine overheating: Excessive heat buildup in the engine can lead to damage to the crankshaft sensor by melting the plastic housing.
- Circuit problems: worn, loose, damaged wires, incorrect voltage can interrupt the signals sent to and from the crankshaft sensor, causing it to malfunction.
Driving with a damaged crankshaft position sensor can be very difficult and dangerous. It can lead to major damage and more expensive repairs, even rendering the vehicle inoperable. Typically, a damaged crankshaft position sensor will typically produce the following signs and symptoms to alert the driver of a potential problem that needs to be looked into.
1. Check engine light is on
The Check Engine light will come on when there is any sign of damage or fault coming from the engine. If the computer detects a problem with the crankshaft position sensor signal, it will activate the Check Engine Light to alert the driver of the problem. The Check Engine light coming on can also be caused by many other problems. At this time, the best way is to need a professional technician with a diagnostic machine to scan the error code.
2. Problems starting car
The most common symptom associated with a faulty or damaged crankshaft position sensor is difficulty starting the vehicle. The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and speed of the crankshaft and other parameters that are important when starting the engine. If there is a problem with the crankshaft position sensor, the vehicle may have difficulty starting or not start at all.
3. Engine stalling
Another symptom commonly associated with a faulty crankshaft position sensor is an engine stall. If something goes wrong with the crankshaft position sensor or its wiring, it could interfere with the crankshaft signal while the engine is running, possibly causing a stall. This is usually a sign of a wiring problem. However, a faulty crankshaft position sensor can also produce this symptom.
4. Irregular acceleration, bad performance
With incorrect input coming from the crankshaft position sensor, the engine control unit is unable to adjust the optimal ignition and fuel injection timing as engine speed increases. Irregular acceleration, poor engine performance can lead to a lack of accuracy and make it difficult to maintain a constant speed.
5. Rough, vibrating idling engine
Another sign of a damaged crankshaft position sensor is rough idling. When you idling or stopping at a traffic light, you may notice that the engine is grinding or vibrating. When this happens, it indicates that the sensor is not properly monitoring the crankshaft position, resulting in vibrations that affect total engine power. Any unusual vibrations should be checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
6. Engine misfire or vibrates
If you feel or hear a brief hiccup in the engine, it could be an indication of the cylinder not igniting due to a faulty crankshaft position sensor. A damaged crankshaft position sensor cannot provide correct information about the piston position in the engine, causing misfire. This can also happen due to faulty ignition timing.
7. Bad fuel economy
Without precise timing information from the crankshaft position sensor, the fuel injectors will not inject into the engine effectively. The engine will use more gasoline than it needs on short and long distances, reducing overall fuel economy. At this point, you need a professional technician to check more fully, because the increase in fuel consumption also comes from many other reasons.