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Temporary Fix for Crankshaft Position Sensor (Explained)

Updated: 53 minutes ago

✔ This article has been fact checked.


If the crankshaft position sensor (CKP) malfunctions, it can lead to a range of potentially severe issues with your vehicle, such as reduced fuel efficiency, misfires, hesitation during acceleration, and even engine stalling or failure to start.


Some people may want to try a temporary fix for the crankshaft position sensor as a way to get by until they can do a permanent crankshaft sensor fix. There are a few options you can try such as cleaning the sensor and resetting the ECU.


In this article, we will explain if it's possible to temporarily fix the crankshaft sensor and the different ways you can do this. We'll also explain the signs and causes of a sensor failure and what happens if you don't fix it.



Table of Contents:


mechanic holding a crankshaft position sensor

How to Temporarily Fix the Crankshaft Position Sensor

If a crankshaft position sensor malfunctions, some people try performing a temporary fix for the crankshaft position sensor to get by until they can make a permanent repair.


However, it is essential to note that a temporary fix for a crankshaft position sensor is generally only a short-term solution and will only partially fix the problem. Furthermore, these quick fixes are not guaranteed and may not work.


A temporary fix can involve cleaning or realigning the sensor, applying an electrical contact cleaner to the electrical connector, and resetting the ECU and sensor.


However, these measures will only provide a short-term fix and will not address the underlying issue causing the crankshaft sensor to malfunction.



Switch Off the Vehicle and Restart It

Sometimes simply switching off the vehicle and restarting it may be a way to quickly fix the crankshaft sensor. Follow the steps below to see if this method works.


  1. Switch off the ignition.

  2. Exit the vehicle and lock the doors.

  3. Wait 15-30 minutes for the computers to reset.

  4. Try and restart the vehicle.


If this fixed the issue then it was a temporary issue with the sensor.



Reset ECU (Disconnect Battery & Clear Codes)

Resetting the ECU and clearing its memory by disconnecting the battery may be able to temporarily fix the crankshaft position sensor.


  1. Clear all trouble codes using a professional OBD scanner.

  2. Disconnect the negative (ground) terminal on the battery (negative terminal outlined with a red circle in the image below).

  3. Wait 15-30 minutes for the ECU to reset.

  4. Connect the negative (ground) terminal of the battery.

  5. Start the engine and observe for issues.


If no issues arise test drive the vehicle for 15-30 minutes, check for fault codes using an OBD reader. If fault codes reappear or issues arise then the crankshaft sensor will likely need replacing.


car battery with negative terminal outlined with a red circle

Clean the Crankshaft Position Sensor

Sometimes the issue with the crankshaft sensor may be as simple as a dirty connection or a dirty sensor. Follow the steps below to see if cleaning the sensor fixes the issue.


  1. Disconnect the battery (ground / negative terminal).

  2. Unplug the crankshaft position sensor connector.

  3. Remove the sensor by unscrewing the bolt.

  4. Use compressed air or a clean brush to remove any loose debris.

  5. Use electrical contact cleaner to clean the sensor and the connector.

  6. Allow 5 minutes for the sensor to dry.

  7. Reinstall the crankshaft sensor.

  8. Plug the sensor connector back in.

  9. Reconnect the battery.



What the Crankshaft Position Sensor Is

The crankshaft position sensor keeps track of the crankshaft's location and rotational speed.