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Common Symptoms Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor

Published on December 28th, 2023

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To discuss the common symptoms of the Crankshaft Position Sensor.


A Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP) is an electronic component used in an internal combustion engine to monitor the position and rotational speed (RPM) of the crankshaft. The electronic control unit (ECU) uses this information to control fuel injection, the ignition system timing, and other engine parameters.

The sensor is installed near the main pulley, the flywheel, the camshaft, the transmission bell housing, the engine cylinder block, or the crankshaft itself.

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Crankshaft Position (CKP) Sensor

Issues and causes of the bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

  • Overheating Engine: The engine temperature is higher than normal temperature causing melting of the plastic covering and leading to crankshaft sensor damage
  • Circuitry Problems: The CKP sensor can't send the signal to Powertrain Control Module (PCM) because of faulty voltage or loose, worn-out, or damaged wiring
  • Broken timing belt

Symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor

The CKP sensor is a primary input to the PCM, a faulty sensor can cause a range of different problems. These are the most common bad crankshaft position sensor symptoms:

  • Check Engine Light illumination.
  • Hard starting and/or stalling.
  • Engine runs rough or misfires.
  • Poor fuel economy.

1. Check Engine Light illumination

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If have problems with the crankshaft position sensor, the check engine will illuminate to inform the driver.

2. Hard starting and/or stalling

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The CKP is responsible for monitoring the position, speed of the crankshaft, and other parameters that play an important role when starting the engine. When the CKP has an internal fault, it can not send the signal to PCM. This cause the engine to start hard or stall

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3. Engine runs rough or misfires

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The most common symptom associated with a bad/faulty crankshaft position sensor is the engine runs rough or misfires. The failing CPK can not provide the right information about the position of a piston in the engine, causing a misfire. This fault may pose damage to components and should be repaired as soon as possible.

4. Poor Fuel Economy

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The faulty CPK sensor that lacks accurate timing information may cause fuel injectors won't pump fuel into the engine efficiently, the vehicle will be lost power and consume more fuel. If you notice that the car consumes more fuel when you drive at the same distance, it's a sign of a bad CKP sensor.

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