Modern automotive engineering has made the crankshaft position sensor an important part of the automobile engine. This small device helps monitor multiple components of the engine through the car’s computerized engine management system. The sensor tracks the crankshaft speed, monitors the engine valves associated with the pistons, and observes the overall operation of the engine.
The crankshaft position sensor is usually mounted on the crankshaft near the main pulley. It transmits information and, like any other part of the engine, requires immediate attention as soon as problems begin to develop. Ignoring the symptoms of a malfunctioning crankshaft position sensor can lead to rapid wear and tear on engine components and quickly lead to engine wear and tear. Fortunately, the warning signs of a damaged crankshaft position sensor are easy for drivers to spot. Read the following points and keep an eye out for any warning signs.
Flashing “check engine” light
The simplest and most obvious symptom of a faulty crankshaft position sensor is a blinking ‘check engine’ light on your car. Fortunately, the light will come on early, allowing you to fix the problem before the car becomes undrivable and you get into trouble. Once the light comes on, be sure to contact a mechanic for a quick inspection or take your car in for service.
When the crankshaft position sensor begins to malfunction, the signal it transmits to the vehicle’s computer will begin to weaken. If ignored, the signal will shut off completely. This, in turn, will cause the car’s spark plugs to go out, which will cause the engine to stall. If you are having trouble starting your car, this could indicate a problem with the crankshaft position sensor.
Stalling and backfiring
Another sign of a faulty sensor is persistent engine stalling and backfiring. In this case, the engine easily stalls and stops for a few seconds from time to time as you drive the car. Unlike an ignition failure, the car may start and even run for a while, but will stall somewhere along the way. The same goes for engine backfires. If you keep ignoring these warning signs, the engine may run out of energy and stall.
As mentioned above, the sensor transmits the crankshaft position to the car’s computer. Once the position sensor starts to malfunction, you will notice a significant increase in engine vibration. This, in turn, can ruin your mileage and engine power.
Other Failures in Engine Functions
One of the most common effects of a faulty crankshaft position sensor is the engine function of your car. As the sensor’s utility declines, it affects normal functions such as acceleration, ignition, idle, and RPM fluctuations. Each of these functions can appear in an abnormal pattern, which is caused by operations that are not initiated by the driver. If you are experiencing any of these automotive malfunctions, such as sudden interruptions in acceleration, it may be time to replace your crankshaft position sensor.