Updated: Feb 9
✔ This article has been fact checked.
The crankshaft position sensor is an important component of a vehicle's engine management system. It helps the engine control unit (ECU) determine the position of the crankshaft, which in turn helps the ECU control the ignition timing and fuel injection.
A faulty crankshaft position sensor can cause numerous problems with a vehicle, including engine misfire, stalling, and reduced fuel efficiency. Therefore, it's important to ensure that you're buying a good quality crankshaft position sensor when you need to replace it.
Table of Contents:
How to Make Sure You're Getting a Good Quality Crankshaft Position Sensor
There are several things to look for when choosing a good quality crankshaft sensor, such as those listed below.
1. Check the Manufacturer’s Reputation
It's always a good idea to buy from a reputable manufacturer. Do some research on the brand of crankshaft position sensor you're considering, and see what other people have to say about it. Look for reviews and ratings from customers who have used the product.
2. Consider the Price
It's tempting to go for the cheapest option when shopping for car parts, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A crankshaft position sensor is an important component, and it's worth investing in a good quality one.
Don't be afraid to spend a little extra if it means getting a sensor that will last longer and perform better.
3. Look For OEM Parts
OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are made by the same manufacturer that made the parts for your vehicle when it was built. These parts are typically of higher quality and a better fit for your vehicle than aftermarket parts.
When shopping for a replacement crankshaft position sensor, it's a good idea to look for one that includes an O-ring if applicable. The O-ring is a rubber seal that helps prevent leaks and protect the sensor from moisture and debris.
Some crankshaft position sensors are mounted on the engine and require an O-ring, so be sure to check if it's included with the sensor you're considering.
5. Heat Resistance Rating
It's also important to choose a crankshaft position sensor with a high heat resistance rating. The sensor is exposed to high temperatures in the engine compartment, and if it's not able to withstand the heat, it may crack or melt.
Look for a sensor with a heat resistance rating of at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get the Right Type of Sensor
It's important to make sure that you choose the correct type of crankshaft position sensor for your vehicle. There are two main types of crankshaft sensor.
Magnetic field sensors (also known as variable reluctance sensors)
Hall Effect sensors
Both types use magnetic fields to measure the position of the crankshaft, but they operate in slightly different ways.
How Often Should a Crankshaft Sensor Be Replaced?
The lifespan of a crankshaft position sensor can vary, but most manufacturers recommend replacing it every 50,000-100,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on the quality of the sensor, the make of the vehicle, and the conditions in which the vehicle is driven.
If you notice any of the symptoms of a failing crankshaft position sensor (discussed below), it's a good idea to have it checked out as soon as possible.
Why Do Crankshaft Position Sensors Fail?
There are several reasons why a crankshaft position sensor may fail. Some common causes include the following.
Wear and tear: Like any other mechanical component, a crankshaft position sensor can wear out over time. As it ages, it may become less accurate or stop working altogether.
Damage: The crankshaft position sensor is exposed to a lot of vibration and heat, which can cause it to fail. It can also be damaged by debris or water entering the engine compartment.
Electrical issues: If there are issues with the wiring or connectors for the crankshaft position sensor, it may not work properly.
Symptoms of a Failing Crankshaft Position Sensor
There are several signs of a failing crankshaft position sensor. These include the following.
Engine misfire: A faulty crankshaft position sensor can cause the engine to misfire, which can result in a loss of power and reduced fuel efficiency.
Stalling: If the crankshaft position sensor is not working properly, the engine may stall, especially when coming to a stop or when the engine is cold.
Check engine light: The check engine light may come on if there is a problem with the crankshaft position sensor.
Reduced fuel efficiency: If the crankshaft position sensor is not working correctly, it can cause the engine to run poorly, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency.
Difficulty starting the engine: If the crankshaft position sensor is not functioning properly, it may be difficult to start the engine.
Poor acceleration: If the crankshaft position sensor is not providing accurate information to the ECU, it can affect the timing of the fuel injection and ignition, resulting in poor acceleration.
Rough idle: A failing crankshaft position sensor can cause the engine to run rough or have an uneven idle.
Buying a good quality crankshaft position sensor is important to ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently. Make sure to do your research and consider the manufacturer's reputation, price, and whether the sensor is an OEM part.
If you notice any symptoms of a failing crankshaft position sensor, it's important to have it checked out as soon as possible. Regular maintenance and replacement of the crankshaft position sensor can help prevent issues and keep your vehicle running smoothly.