What does the crankshaft position sensor do?
This device, also known as an engine speed sensor, monitors the position and rotational speed of your crankshaft. By doing so, it provides your engine control unit the information it needs to properly time certain operations likeinjecting fuel and triggering spark plugs.
When should a crankshaft position sensor be replaced?
A faulty crankshaft position sensor means your engine will not be able to run efficiently, and you will experience problems like cylinder misfires, difficulty accelerating, and, in worst cases, being unable to start your vehicle or the engine abruptly failing. However, before getting a replacement, we recommend going to any auto parts chain store and having them read the codes in your vehicle's computer with a scanner. This will determine if the problem is really with your sensor and not from any other component.
Which crankshaft position sensor should be used?
You will need to refer to your vehicle's owner manual in order to find out what specific crankshaft position sensor is compatible with your vehicle. However, there are generally two types of crank sensors: magnetic field (also known as variable reluctance) and Hall Effect.
The magnetic type works by having a strong magnet mounted near the crankshaft, in which several pins are placed at an equal distance apart. The magnet creates a constant magnetic field, which fluctuates when the crankshaft spins and the pins rotate. The magnetic fluctuations produce alternating current signals, the frequency of which gives your engine control unit the information it needs to control timing.
The Hall Effect sensor uses notches on the crank to disrupt its magnetic fieled. This causes the sensor to switch onand off, this giving a digital signal to your engine control unit.
Both types are highly successful sensor systems. Generally however, Hall Effect sensors are more complex and have smoother operational function while magnetic field sensors are capable of withstanding higher temperatures.
What other factors are considered in choosing a crankshaft position sensor?
- Installation - If your sensor is located on the side of the engine, chances are that you will need to install a new rubber O-ring. See if you can order a replacement package that also includes new O-rings as well as other components you may need for installation.
- Heat Resistance - The plastic casing of crankshaft sensors have been known to melt or crack under extreme engine temperatures. A good range of temperature tolerance would be from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.