If your car is used for a long time, it will inevitably have problems with the engine and the car’s internal parts. In particular, the most common issues are the car shaking vehemently, not starting the machine, or the engine suddenly shutting down.
If you are experiencing any of the above problems, the cause may be the crankshaft position sensor (CKP sensor). Don’t worry, today’s article Dave Ryan author of the Manor Racing show you how to make a temporary fix for crankshaft position sensor before it can be replaced.
How Does The Crankshaft Position Sensor Work?
In an internal combustion engine, the crankshaft is the part that converts the reciprocating motion of the piston to the rotation of the wheel shaft. Thanks to that, the wheel can rotate and move forward or in the direction you want.
However, there is an important part that comes with the crankshaft, but few people pay attention to it is the crankshaft position sensor (CKP sensor).
The CKP sensor is the part that checks the crankshaft’s rotational speed and sends the information to the ECU (Engine Control Unit).
The ECU gets data from the crank sensor, which adjusts the refueling time, the fuel burn time, and the exhaust time. From there, the ECU can regulate the energy that the engine generates and help the vehicle move at the desired speed.
In short, the crankshaft sensor is an indispensable sensor of an internal combustion engine. Without the CKP sensor, the engine control unit cannot know the exact position and speed of the crankshaft. Moreover, the crankshaft position sensor malfunction also causes your engine and vehicle to operate incorrectly and stably. The following 6 signs of the car and engine indicate that the crank sensor is having problems.
6 Signs That Your Crankshaft Position Sensor Has A Problem?
Check engine light
If the engine control unit does not receive crankshaft position and speed information, the engine will not operate correctly either. So when there’s something wrong with the crankshaft position sensor, the “check engine” light will light up on the car’s dashboard. This may be the first sign that the CKP sensor is having problems.
However, a bright “check engine” light can also be caused by many other causes than crank sensor malfunction. You can refer to the “check engine light flashing and car shaking“. So you can use the OBD-II tool to check the error codes to help pinpoint the exact problem.
Engine and vehicle shake strongly
It vibrates strongly or jerks intermittently when the vehicle is running, and it isn’t easy to accelerate. It may be due to a problem with the CKP sensor.
This often happens due to a miscommunication between the crankshaft and the ECU that causes the engine not to get enough fuel. If this problem is not fixed quickly, severe damage to the engine can result.
Engine stops suddenly
Another sign of a bad crankshaft position sensor is that the engine suddenly stops running, and your car stops in the middle of the road. It can be explained by the ECU mins adjusting the refueling time, so the engine does not receive enough fuel. If you do not repair the CKP sensor in time, this sudden engine shutdown will happen more often.
The engine is suddenly hard to accelerate
With that said, if the crankshaft position sensor has a problem, then the ECU cannot operate the engine precisely as it should. This error will make you uncomfortable because the car does not have enough energy to accelerate as you want.
Unable to start the car
When there are problems related to the engine, ECU, CKP sensor, camshaft, starting the car will become more complex. It would help if you fixed the errors soon because the longer the engine, the lower the chance of starting it.
Misfiring occurs when the ECU does not receive piston position and crankshaft speed information from the CKP sensor. Furthermore, misfiring is also an indirect cause of engine shutdown or engine vibration.
How To Make A Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor
If your car has at least 2 of the 6 signs above, it’s a problem with your crankshaft position sensor. You need to quickly bring the vehicle to the shop for timely inspection and repair.
However, if you cannot go to the auto repair shop, you can apply the temporary remedies below. Especially in the case of a sudden car stall, you can do these ways.
Restart the engine
In case you are driving, the car shakes and jerks or the check engine lights up, you should pull over to the curb. Stopping the vehicle, turning off the engine, waiting for the engine to cool down, and restarting the machine can help reduce shock in your car.
Filling up fuel
If the car suddenly stops because the ECU does not supply enough fuel to the cylinder, you can fix it by filling it up with fuel.
Disconnect CKP sensor
If your car has failed to start from scratch, you should try disconnecting the crank sensor.
First, you need to find the location of the CKP sensor according to the instructions (near the camshaft).
Then you remove the CKP sensor connector and restart the car. If you’re lucky, the car will start up using the car’s default mapping.
In case the car still does not start, you should find a way to replace the car’s CKP sensor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive a car without a crankshaft sensor?
The crankshaft position sensor is one of the indispensable sensors to operate a vehicle. So you can not run the car without the CKP sensor.
What causes crankshaft sensor damage?
The two leading causes of crankshaft position sensor damage include:
Motor overheating: Overheating the motor can melt the protective plastic and damage the sensor.
Problematic circuitry: Voltage errors, loose wiring, and damage to the electrical system can cause signal loss from the crank sensor to the ECU and vice versa.
What happens if I drive with a bad crankshaft position sensor?
A bad crankshaft position sensor will not transmit the exact crankshaft position and rotational speed information to the engine control unit (ECU).
As a result, the ECU cannot accurately regulate the engine’s fuel intake, combustion, and exhaust time. IF driving with a faulty CKP sensor, the vehicle may jerk, shake violently, turn off the engine suddenly, and not accelerate as desired.
How much does it cost to replace the crank sensor?
It would help if you replaced the lousy crankshaft sensor to protect the engine and make the car run smoother and safer.
The price of a crank sensor today ranges from $75 to $120, depending on the vehicle. If you include labor, you have to spend about $120 to $300 to replace a CKP sensor.
You just learned how to make a temporary fix for crankshaft position sensor and the telltale signs of a problematic CKP sensor. If not too mandatory, you should replace the CKP sensor at professional car repair facilities. This will help protect the engine and help you have a safe ride.