This article describes how an automotive crankshaft position sensor works.
information pertains to all vehicles except electric cars. A crankshaft position
sensor (CKS) is used to reference crankshaft rotation as the engine is running while
supplying feedback data to the main computer. This sensor is mounted near the crankshaft,
flywheel or in the engine block depending on manufacturer. As the crankshaft spins
it creates an electrical pulse pattern that changes with engine speed. This wavelength
controls computer output circuits such as fuel injector pulse width and timing adjustments.
The timer reluctor wheel is fastened to the crankshaft which is used by the sensor.
This sensor goes by different names depending on the manufacturer, crankshaft
angle sensor, CKS sensor, crankshaft position sensor but performs the same function.
When these sensors fail they can cause intermittent stalling, no start and random
misfires. Usually the sensor will start to work again once it has cooled. Some computer
controlled systems may have a difficult time detecting a failing sensor because
there are other reasons an engine can stop running such as stalling when the clutch
is engaged to quickly. Information is compiled from both crankshaft and camshaft
position sensors to output camshaft position adjustments performed by the
variable camshaft timing actuator-phaser
Crankshaft Angle Sensor
is used to detect
detonation-pinging to further input data for the computer while retarding ignition
timing to compensate.
A crankshaft position sensor uses a magnetic coil mounted inside a plastic housing
while supplying an electrical connector to transfer data to the computer. The computer
also uses this sensor to gather misfire data due to the temporary slow down of the
crankshaft while the
occurs. When the engine is being cranked over the computer uses the crankshaft positions
sensor to confirm the engine is cranking over. Once this confirmation is received
the computer will signal various relays and systems that the engine ready to start.
When replacing a crankshaft position sensor always use an OEM (Original Equipment
Manufacturer) part or equivalent, cheaper sensors do not not last as long or perform
Article first published 2016-02-04