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Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

Discussion Topic: Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

If your crankshaft position sensor (CPS) is malfunctioning, you may be worried about finding a temporary solution. However, it’s important that you prioritize repairing this important part of your car’s engine as soon as possible. While there is no viable temporary fix for the CPS, don’t worry – the process of replacing it is relatively simple and the cost of a new sensor is reasonable. Ensuring that this component is always operating at 100% capacity is essential and should be replaced promptly if problems arise. In this blog post, Brad’s Car Tunes will discuss with you the steps to temporarily repair the crankshaft position sensor.

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What a crankshaft position sensor (CPS) is and how they go bad.

The crankshaft position sensor is a critical component in your engine management control units. It distinguishes itself from the camshaft position sensor as the most vital sensor. Without it, your engine will fail to start properly.

This sensor’s primary function is to monitor the rotational speed and position of the crankshaft, which, in turn, drives the camshaft. It communicates this information to the engine control unit (ECU) to regulate fuel injection, engine timing, and ignition, ensuring optimal performance.

Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

If your vehicle’s crankshaft position sensor malfunctions, it will fail to provide accurate information to the computer, resulting in various engine issues. Delaying its replacement can lead to costly repairs for other engine components. To save time and money, it is advisable to promptly replace it if any concerns arise. Below, we will delve deeper into the connection between your problems and the crankshaft position sensor.

What Does the Crankshaft Position Sensor Do?

The crankshaft position sensor is a crucial component that monitors the position of the crankshaft in both diesel and gas-powered internal combustion engines. Its role is essential in ensuring optimal engine performance and efficiency.

The sensor will transmit information to the vehicle’s computer, which will utilize the signal to regulate fuel injection and ignition timing. Working in conjunction with the camshaft position sensor, the crankshaft position sensor ensures the engine remains in perfect synchronization, optimizing performance and efficiency.

Crankshaft Position Sensor Location

The precise location of the crankshaft sensor is a critical piece of information for anyone who takes engine maintenance seriously. Typically found on the main crank pulley or the flywheel, the crankshaft sensor has a unique appearance that makes it easy to identify once you’ve seen it before.

Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

That being said, there’s no shame in looking up the location of the sensor if you’re uncertain. Thanks to the multitude of online resources available, including images and diagrams for nearly every vehicle, it’s easy to track down the location of this crucial component.

Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

As introduced above, there is no temporary fix for the crankshaft position sensor. Once the sensor is damaged, the only solution is to replace it.

Troubleshooting Intermittent Sensor Issues: In the case of intermittent sensor-related problems in your car, there are a few steps you can take to potentially debug the issue.

Avoid Resetting Error Codes: Resetting the error codes won’t provide a permanent solution. Restarting the car will either trigger the problem immediately or hide the code without resolving the issue.

Try Disconnecting and Reconnecting the Sensor Power Plug: To address the problem, you can attempt disconnecting and reconnecting the crankshaft position sensor power plug. Additionally, consider resetting the Engine Control Unit (ECU) during this process.

Assess Sensor Persistence: If the sensor issues persist after attempting the above steps, it is an indication that the sensor needs to be replaced.

Restart the car: When the car stalls while driving, it is important to pull over immediately. Allow the vehicle to cool down before attempting to restart it. This will allow the oil to fall off the crankshaft sensor. In some cases, it may be necessary to wait a full day. While this is only a temporary solution, it can be useful until the issue is resolved.

Remove and clean the bad crankshaft sensor: If you can safely locate the crankshaft sensor, follow these steps for a temporary solution in case of an emergency: Disconnect the wiring plug, wipe off any oil residue from the sensor, and then reconnect and reattach everything. This process can help improve the functionality of the sensor.

Add and check fuel and oil quality and levels: If your car abruptly stops due to insufficient fuel supply to the cylinder, you can resolve the issue by refueling it. Additionally, although unlikely, it is advisable to check your oil levels as low oil levels can result in elevated engine heat levels, potentially compromising various components such as the crankshaft position sensor and wires.

How to Replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor, vital for engine function, is relatively easy to replace.

With just one bolt or screw securing it, the process is straightforward.

Begin by disconnecting the power plug and removing the old sensor by undoing the bolt.

However, locating the sensor can be the most challenging aspect of the task, as it is often positioned deep within the engine bay.

Generally found between the transmission and the engine, around the flywheel, the sensor’s exact location may vary across different vehicles.

How Do You Test a Crankshaft Position Sensor?

To properly test the crankshaft position sensor, you’ll require a test lamp. There are two types of crankshaft sensors: 2-wire and 3-wire models, each with its own specific testing process.

Here’s how to test the 2-wire crankshaft position sensor:

  • Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor.
  • Connect the test lamp to the positive battery terminal.
  • Set the ignition to the “On” position.
  • Tap the sensor terminals with quick and repeated motion.
  • If you hear a spark plug click, it indicates that the sensor is functioning properly.

And here’s how to test the 3-wire crankshaft position sensor:

  • Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor.
  • Connect the test lamp to the ground battery terminal.
  • Set the ignition to the “On” position.
  • Tap the middle signal terminal.
  • If you hear a spark plug click, it indicates that the sensor is functioning properly.

These tests evaluate the response of the vehicle’s computer to the sensor signal. They are accompanied by a spark plug click and an injector pulse.

Remember to attach the test lamp to the positive terminal if you have a 2-wire sensor, and to the negative terminal if you have a 3-wire sensor.

Signs That Your Crankshaft Position Sensor Has A Problem

-Check Engine Light:

The engine warning light should never be ignored as it may indicate a problem with your vehicle. One common reason for this light to come on is a faulty crankshaft position sensor. This sensor is responsible for monitoring the position and speed of the crankshaft, and when it starts causing problems, an error code will appear. Initially, the code may read “intermittent crankshaft position sensor problem“, which is an early warning sign to replace the sensor. However, as other symptoms start appearing, the error will become constant. For proper diagnosis, an OBD2 scanner should be plugged in to read the error codes.

Note: It is important to tackle this issue right away to avoid further complications.


This sensor is responsible for syncing up valves, injection, and ignition timing, and if it fails, your engine can experience a number of problems, including poor performance, decreased fuel economy, and increased emissions output. If left unchecked for too long, misfire can even lead to serious engine damage. If you notice signs of a misfire, such as rough running or stalling, it’s important to have your vehicle checked by a trusted mechanic right away. Other indicators of a failing crankshaft position sensor include hard starting, rough idling, and stalling, so be sure to keep an eye out for these warning signs.

-Engine and vehicle shake strongly:

Mechanical vibrations can be extremely harmful for any machine, but they are particularly catastrophic for engines. A finely-tuned engine produces very small vibrations that are necessary for its smooth and efficient operation. However, if the crankshaft position sensor fails, these vibrations become magnified to a significant degree. As a result, the engine will no longer run in sync and may even shudder, shake or stall out altogether. Continued driving in this state will only exacerbate the issue and lead to increased component wear and damage.

-Performance Issues:

The symptoms described above are often associated with performance issues in an engine. When a crankshaft position sensor is faulty, several problems can arise. The engine may experience reduced power output, struggles to reach higher RPMs, and may produce a noticeable engine knock. This symptom should not be taken lightly, as it can lead to increased fuel consumption, emissions, and premature engine wear.

-The engine is suddenly hard to accelerate:

If the engine becomes difficult to accelerate, it may indicate a failing crankshaft position sensor. Inaccurate information sent by the sensor to the ECU can prevent proper adjustment of the air/fuel mixture. If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional to promptly inspect and address the sensor.

-Unable to start the car:

One common symptom of a faulty crankshaft position sensor is difficulty starting the car. When this sensor fails to function properly, it can hinder the transmission of signals to the ignition system, leading to challenging or even impossible engine startups. Another prevalent indicator is engine misfires, which may occur when the sensor malfunctions and causes the spark plugs to ignite at incorrect intervals.

-Engine stops suddenly

The crankshaft position sensor is a vital component of an engine, significantly influencing its performance. A damaged or faulty sensor can abruptly halt the engine or cause rough running and stalling. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to promptly have the sensor inspected. Ignoring the issue may result in severe engine damage.

What causes a crankshaft position sensor to go bad?

Common reasons for bad crankshaft sensors include:

Wiring issues: This can range from problems with the wiring harness, engine control unit, or even damage to the sensor’s wiring itself.

Rust-related concerns: Older cars, especially those exposed to salt, may develop rust that can compromise the connection of the crankshaft position sensor.

Heat-related damage: Excessive heat due to engine overheating can cause the crankshaft position sensor to melt or become damaged.

Wear and tear over time: Like all car parts, crankshaft sensors are subject to wear and tear, especially after covering hundreds of thousands of miles.

Casing cracks: The plastic casing of the sensor may become brittle and develop cracks. When this happens, the sensor may not accurately read the required information.

Disconnect the sensor:

  • For safety reasons, start by disconnecting the negative wire from your battery.
  • Next, locate the crankshaft position sensor and disconnect it.
  • Take care to inspect all wires, connections, the ground, and the complex wiring harness.
  • It’s important to note that the engine overheating can lead to the protective plastic melting and causing damage to the crankshaft position sensor.
  • In older cars or those exposed to winter salt, rust on connections is common.

If you encounter rust, consider using a wire brush or a cleaning solution (ensure the cleaning solution is completely dry before reconnecting the crankshaft sensor).

How to start a vehicle with a bad or faulty crankshaft position sensor:

Here are the steps to start a vehicle with a bad or faulty crankshaft position sensor:

  • Inspect the engine’s spark plugs and wires for wear or damage that may be causing the crankshaft sensor to fail.
  • Try starting the car with the engine’s throttle slightly open.
  • Have the engine’s computer system checked for codes.
  • Replace the crankshaft sensor.
  • Check the wiring harness for any damage or loose connections that could result in faulty wiring.
  • Have the car’s ignition system checked.
  • Optionally, you can try using starter fluid; if there is a spark, your car should start when using starter fluid.

FAQs About Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

Can a crankshaft sensor be bypassed?

No. The crankshaft sensor is crucial for proper engine function as it allows the ECU to determine the timing for injection and ignition. Under no circumstances should the sensor be bypassed, as it would result in poor engine performance, misfires, and stalling. It is vital to maintain the crankshaft position sensor’s integrity to ensure optimal engine condition.

Can you reset a crankshaft position sensor?

Yes. The sensor can be reset to re-learn and recalibrate with the crankshaft. This process is typically performed using a new sensor, although it can occasionally restore proper operation to an old sensor as well.

Is there a difference between the crankshaft sensor and the camshaft sensor?

The two sensors differ fundamentally in their operating principles and the parts they monitor. The camshaft position sensor is responsible for controlling the valves by regulating the camshaft. On the other hand, the crankshaft sensor tracks the rotational force produced by the pistons, which powers the vehicle, timing belt, and serpentine belt. By capturing and relaying this vital information to the ECU, both sensors play a crucial role in maintaining optimal performance.

How do I fix the error code p0340?

The P0340 trouble code indicates a malfunctioning crankshaft position sensor. To resolve this issue, you will need to replace the faulty sensor and then reset the ECU or use an OBD2 scanner to clear the error code. By following these steps, you can ensure optimal performance and functionality of your vehicle.

Can a broken crankshaft be repaired?

Repairing the crankshaft is typically not recommended due to its labor-intensive nature and high associated costs. It is generally more cost-effective and efficient to opt for the installation of a new crankshaft.

Is a crankshaft hard to replace?

Replacing the crankshaft is a challenging task in automobile maintenance. The process involves draining the oil and removing the drain pan to access the crankshaft from underneath the car.

Further steps comprise detaching the pistons, disconnecting the front portion connected to the serpentine belt pulley, and separating the back portion towards the transmission.

Reinstallation of the crankshaft demands precision and experience beyond the realm of a DIY mechanic. For crankshaft replacement, it is advisable to rely on the expertise of a professional.

How long does it take to fix a crankshaft pulley?

The crankshaft pulley removal and reinstallation can be done by a professional in under two hours. However, for DIY mechanics, it may take approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on the disassembly process.

How long does a crankshaft position sensor last?

The lifespan of a crankshaft position sensor is determined by its quality and level of maintenance. Typically, a CPS will require replacement after covering a distance ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Can I drive with a bad crankshaft position sensor?

Driving with a faulty or damaged crankshaft position sensor is not recommended. A bad CPS can lead to engine misfires, decreased performance, and engine stalls. If you suspect your crankshaft position sensor is failing, it is advisable to promptly test and replace it.

How do I test a crankshaft position sensor?

To test a crankshaft position sensor, follow these steps in a logical manner:

  • Obtain an ohmmeter or multimeter.
  • Remove the sensor from the engine and disconnect its wiring harness.
  • Connect one lead of the meter to each terminal on the CPS.
  • Measure the resistance value.
  • Determine if the measured resistance falls within the manufacturer’s specified range.
  • If the resistance is within the specified range, the sensor is functioning correctly.
  • If the resistance is outside of the specified range, it is likely that the sensor needs to be replaced.

How much does it cost to replace a crankshaft position sensor?

The replacement cost of a crankshaft position sensor varies based on the vehicle’s make and model, as well as the source of purchase. Typically, a new CPS ranges from $50 to $200. Ensure to verify the correct part number before ordering, as certain vehicles necessitate specific sensors for optimal performance.

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor”

  1. The crankshaft position sensor plays a crucial role in enabling your car’s engine to accurately adjust its timing and performance metrics. When there is a computer malfunction, these metrics can become imbalanced or maladjusted. However, a simple solution is to restart the engine, even for just a few moments, as this can effectively reset and restore the balance of these metrics.


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