Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Sensor

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A crankshaft sensor monitors the rotational speed of your crankshaft and sends this information into your car’s on-board computer. The on-board computer will then adjust fuel delivery and spark timing according to the information coming from the crankshaft sensor. This makes it an important part of your engine system; a bad crankshaft sensor affects not only the engine speed but also the fuel efficiency of your car. Aside from controlling the fuel injection process and ignition timing, crankshaft sensors are also responsible for your car’s emission performance, power output, reliability, and driveability.

A crankshaft sensor is composed of two parts—the rotating part and the static part. The rotating part is a toothed disc or wheel that rotates with the engine cam. The static part is the crankshaft sensor itself. There is also a crankshaft sensor equipped with LED lights and gets its reading as the LED light pass through the slots of a disc that is attached to a wheel.

Knowing the symptoms of bad crankshaft sensor is important since a bad crankshaft sensor is the first sign of engine failure.

Acceleration Problems

A crankshaft sensor is responsible for monitoring the rotation of the crankshaft. If the sensor is awry it will send the wrong information into your car’s on-board computer, resulting in the inability of your engine operating system to sync the engine systems together. This causes poor acceleration and makes your car fail to maintain constant speed.

Engine Sputter

Since the information relayed by the crankshaft sensor into your car’s on-board computer is used to determine the proper spark timing, a bad crankshaft sensor will relay wrong readings into the computer, affecting the fuel injection process and causing your car engine to sputter.

Increased Fuel Consumption

Incorrect crankshaft sensor readings leading to spark timing and fuel injection errors does not only cause engine sputter but will also affect the fuel efficiency of your car. Have your car checked for crankshaft sensor problems if it takes you four gallons of gasoline to get from your home to the office instead of the usual two.

Engine Stall

If your engine stalls at low speeds and you have difficulty in starting your car engine then your car is most likely having crankshaft sensor problems. This is because the crankshaft sensor is responsible for ignition timing.

Advantage of Having a Crankshaft Sensor

The advantage of having a crankshaft sensor in your car is that you can make do without a distributor, which means less moving engine parts that break down.

It is important to have your car checked by a professional auto mechanic when you experience symptoms like engine sputtering, increased fuel consumption, engine stall, and difficulty in acceleration. With a bad crankshaft sensor, your car engine cannot function efficiently and will eventually fail completely. A failing engine is not only costly to repair but dangerous, so it is in your best interest to recognize these symptoms quickly to get the problem repaired.