Crankshaft Sensor : This is a sensor designed to tell the spark module or engine computer the position of the crankshaft so that it can help accurately know when to fire the sparkplugs and or injector pulse on a gasoline engine as well as adjust spark timing advance. These crankshaft sensors are also used to generate a tachometer signal for your instrument cluster to display. Some diesel engines use a crankshaft sensor signal to help determine injection timing for the diesel injectors.
There are several types of crankshaft sensors. A hall effect sensor is one of the most common types of crankshaft sensors. By reading a reluctor pattern on the harmonic balancer, crankshaft sprocket, crankshaft or flywheel these sensors create a low voltage signal for the engine computer or spark module which is used to determine the start and the end of the crankshaft sensor pattern. Other types of crankshaft sensors are optical or inductive serving the same purposes, just using a different electronic signal.
Crankshaft sensors can break leaving your car inoperable. Some crankshaft sensor problems happen when the vehicle is hot, the signal stops working and the vehicle stops running. Other crankshaft sensor problems cause the vehicle to not be able to accelerate properly due to the signal breaking up on higher rpms of the engine. Crankshaft sensor problems do not always set an engine code and in some cases an oscilloscope is necessary to determine the actual problem. When in doubt, call the pros at Guy’s Automotive for help getting your car, truck, van or suv back to running with a new crankshaft sensor today.