5 Common Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Sensor

5 Common Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Sensor
March 11, 2024
5 Common Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Sensor

When you car gives you trouble the culprit is not always a major issue. Sometimes, even the tiniest components can cause big problems. One such example is the crankshaft position sensor. Despite its small size, this sensor plays a vital role in your engine's performance. A malfunctioning crankshaft sensor can lead to a variety of problems that can leave your car sputtering and stalling.

In this blog post, we'll dive deeper into the world of crankshaft position sensors. We'll explore the tell-tale signs of a bad sensor, how to diagnose the problem, and the potential consequences of ignoring it. We'll also provide solutions to get your car back on track, including troubleshooting tips and replacement recommendations. So, if you've been experiencing any strange engine behavior, keep reading! 

Warning Signs of a Failing Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor monitors the crankshaft's rotation and transmits this information to the engine computer. This data is crucial for optimal engine performance, and a faulty sensor disrupts this communication. Here are the five most common symptoms you might encounter:

  • Illuminated Check Engine Light: The most universal sign of trouble! The check engine light is your car's way of communicating a problem. A malfunctioning crankshaft sensor will trigger the light to come on, indicating a fault in the system.
  • Engine Starting Issues: Does your car crank but refuse to start, or experience extended cranking times? This could be due to the engine computer not receiving the proper signals from the crankshaft sensor to initiate the combustion process effectively.
  • Rough Idling and Engine Stalling: A bad crankshaft sensor can cause the engine to run erratically at idle, surging or vibrating abnormally. In severe cases, the engine may stall completely while driving or idling.
  • Reduced Engine Power and Performance: The engine computer relies on crankshaft sensor data to optimize fuel delivery and ignition timing. A faulty sensor can disrupt these processes, leading to a noticeable loss of power and acceleration.
  • Fuel Efficiency Problems: When the engine computer can't optimize fuel delivery due to a bad crankshaft sensor, fuel is wasted, and your gas mileage suffers.

Diagnosing a Crankshaft Sensor

While the symptoms listed above can point towards a bad crankshaft sensor, it's important to get a confirmed diagnosis before replacing the part. Here are some approaches to pinpoint the problem:

  • Trouble Code Scan: Many modern vehicles store diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that can be retrieved using a scan tool. PartsHawk.com offers a wide variety of OBD-II scanners to help you read and interpret these codes. A common code for a bad crankshaft sensor is P0335 (Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction).
  • Visual Inspection: A basic visual inspection of the crankshaft sensor and its wiring harness can sometimes reveal physical damage or corrosion that might be causing the malfunction. While not a definitive diagnostic method, it's a good starting point.
  • Professional Diagnosis: For complex issues or situations where the cause remains unclear, consulting a trusted mechanic with advanced diagnostic tools is recommended.

Consequences of Ignoring a Bad Crankshaft Sensor

You might be tempted to ignore the symptoms of a bad crankshaft sensor, especially if they seem minor at first. However, this can lead to more serious problems down the road. Here's why you shouldn't delay addressing a faulty crankshaft sensor:

  • Engine Damage: A bad crankshaft sensor can lead to improper fuel delivery and ignition timing, which can put excessive stress on your engine components and potentially cause internal damage.
  • Safety Concerns: Engine stalling, especially at high speeds or critical moments, can create dangerous driving situations.
  • Increased Repair Costs: Ignoring the problem can lead to more extensive repairs later on, as the faulty sensor continues to cause damage to other engine components.

Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions

If you're experiencing symptoms consistent with a bad crankshaft sensor, here's what you can do:

  • Confirm the Diagnosis: Use a scan tool to check for trouble codes or consult a mechanic for a professional diagnosis.
  • Replace the Crankshaft Sensor: Once confirmed, replacing the faulty sensor is the solution. PartsHawk.com carries a wide variety of crankshaft sensors for various vehicles. Our user-friendly website allows you to search by your car's year, make, and model to find the exact sensor you need. Replacing the crankshaft sensor can be a DIY project for experienced mechanics with the proper tools and repair manual. However, if you're unfamiliar with car repair, it's best to leave the job to a qualified mechanic.

Keeping Your Car on the Road

A faulty crankshaft sensor can cause a variety of problems, but with proper diagnosis and repair, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your car running smoothly. PartsHawk.com can be your partner in getting your car back on track. We offer a wide selection of high-quality replacement crankshaft sensors at competitive prices. Visit PartsHawk.com today and find the perfect crankshaft sensor for your car!

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