What is a crankshaft position sensor?

The crankshaft position sensor tells your vehicle’s computer where the crankshaft is at any given time. This sensor works with the camshaft position sensor to control ignition timing—these sensors tell the computer when to inject fuel or provide a spark.
This electronic sensor will only be found in modern cars with computerized engine management systems. Due to its placement in the engine, the crankshaft position sensor can easily become damaged by extreme heat or leaking oil.
When the crankshaft position sensor is not working correctly, the engine is more likely to misfire or run at a lower capacity.

When do I need to replace my crankshaft position sensor?

If your crankshaft position sensor needs replacing, the Check Engine light should turn on.
Another indicator that it’s time to replace your crankshaft position sensor is if your car won’t start or if the engine regularly misfires.
You’ll want to get your crankshaft position sensor replaced as soon as you realize there is an issue. Without a functioning crankshaft position sensor, your engine can become damaged and your car may stop running.

How to replace a crankshaft position sensor

Here’s how a mechanic will replace your crankshaft position sensor:
  • The crankshaft position sensor will be located on the front of the motor
  • The bolt keeping the sensor in place will be removed
  • The broken sensor will be removed
  • The new sensor will be installed—the mechanic will need to twist the new crankshaft position sensor into place
  • The bolt will be reinstalled to keep the sensor secure
Once the sensor is installed, the car will be tested to ensure the new crankshaft position sensor is working properly.

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