In some vehicle models, the passage of time or high-intensity operation may deteriorate a component. Amongst these, the crankshaft position sensor could give rise to several drawbacks that produce various symptoms.
This is why it is necessary to detect the failure or the inconvenience as soon as possible. In this case, you can use different tools, although a multimeter may be the best option. In particular, a digital multimeter allows you to check in a simple way and without major inconveniences.
Along with this, it is also essential to consider each of your vehicle’s electrical values in particular. In this way, you will have the possibility to identify the wires and locate the sensor quickly. You can then replace this sensor to get a vehicle in good condition.
Multimeter Testing Methods
Of course, not everyone has access to a scan tool (although they can sometimes be rented from parts stores), but there are a few ways you can test a bad crankshaft position sensor with one. A multimeter is a more common tool and a beneficial one for diagnosing many electronic components in your vehicle. A multimeter can measure voltage, current, and resistance.
You can remove the sensor and then test the resistance. Attach one end of the multimeter to each wiring lead of the sensor. The resistance of zero means that there is a short circuit. Infinite resistance means there is an open circuit. Either one of those readings indicates that the sensor is not working.
For any other reading, check it against the manufacturer’s specifications. If your reading is not close to the recommended resistance, then you should replace the sensor.
Another way to test the crankshaft sensor with a multimeter is by checking the output voltage with the engine cranking. You will need an assistant to do this. Be very careful around moving parts as you do this. Probe the wiring connectors and measure the output voltage in AC millivolts.
Typically, this reading is around 200 millivolts, but this can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Check the manufacturer’s specifications. If there is no output voltage, then, obviously, your sensor is not working.
These tests will help you pinpoint the source of your problem. They will either prevent you from making a repair you don’t have to or confirm that the repair you’re about to make is the one you need. If the testing has confirmed that your sensor has failed, check out this article to replace a crankshaft position sensor.
How to check if the camshaft position sensor is bad?
At some points, the camshaft position sensor may fail due to wear over time. For this reason, you may know some useful signals that will let you know if you need to repair or replace any component.
The vehicle stops repeatedly.
Here a vehicle may accelerate slowly, the engine power has decreased, or the fuel consumption is inadequate. Here when a vehicle has one of these signals, then the camshaft position sensor should be replaced. So also these drawbacks can be a sign of other different problems.
The check engine indicator is on.
As soon as the camshaft position sensor has specific faults, then the light of this indicator will come on. However, here you should note that this indicator can also light up for other reasons. That’s why a professional should scan your vehicle and detect what the particular fault is.
The vehicle won’t start.
If you have suffered the above problems, your vehicle is probably close to not starting. The camshaft position sensor can deteriorate, and that causes other parts of the car to deteriorate. Of course, this is the worst situation and can happen when you are driving or if your vehicle is parked.
How to Test a 3- Wire Sensor
- Locate the ground, the power, and the signal wires using your car’s repair manual. Set your multimeter to DC volts to test the sensor’s circuit.
- Turn the ignition key on, but let the engine stay OFF.
- Touch the black cable on your multimeter to the ground and the other probe cable to touch the power wire.
- Check the readings on the multimeter and compare them with the manual’s specifications.
- Let your helper start your car’s engine.
- Touch the ground wire with the black cable and the signal wire with the red probe.
- Check your readings and compare them with your car’s manual’s specifications.
- In case the voltage reading is lower than the specification of your car, or the absence of any signal from your vehicle, there are high chances that the sensor is faulty.
- Uninstall the sensor and diagnose it for symptoms of physical damage.
What are the signs of a faulty CMP? These symptoms include intermittent rough running, hesitation, bucking, unstable idle, prolonged crank time on a cold engine, stalling on acceleration, stumble, and lousy fuel budget.
Can you reset a crankshaft position sensor?
An effective way to do this is to use the negative battery terminal to disconnect the battery. After that, you should keep the battery disconnected for an hour and then reconnect it.
Here this procedure will allow you to reset the engine check light. After the process is done, the short-term memory must be cleared because the electronic power has been drained.
Is it hard to change a crankshaft sensor?
When it is necessary to change a crankshaft sensor, it is possible to encounter some inconveniences during the procedure. Here you will notice that among the components, there is a long stem. So, this component could get stuck in the block and hinder the task.
Therefore, it is necessary to hold the sensor once it is loose firmly. A turning movement is required to remove this part from the motor block. From there, you will have the possibility to replace the crankshaft sensor to avoid a lot of inconvenience in your vehicle.
As you may notice, using a multimeter to test the crankshaft sensor’s performance is essential. A malfunction of this component could result in a whole cascade of problems for your vehicle.
So you will be avoiding a lot of problems and failures in the future. In turn, this means nothing more than decreasing the amount of money you will need for future repairs.