Broke crankshaft position sensor stuck in engine

Tiny
CHYANNE SHERIFF
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 CHEVROLET CORSICA
  • 3.1L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • 258,000 MILES
I was told I needed to have the oil pan dropped to remove CPS. I was told by one mechanic it would be a five hour job then another told me 2.4 hours to drop the oil pan and one hour to drill out CPS. Five hour job is $400.00, a 3.4 hour job $270.00. How long will it take to do this job on my car from the mechanics repair guide? Both mechanics were quoting from the guide (Mitchell or Alldata).
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 10:35 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The prices they gave you is cost we go by labor rate hour so what ever their rate is per hour is the really the answer and prices vary all over. But our book only gives us remove and replace. So the other is by hour and what they think it will take.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
According to Mitchell, replacing the crankshaft position sensor should take 0.8 hours, which is a lot compared to most cars, but that does not include setting the car up on the hoist, diagnostics, verifying the repair solved the problem, and things like that. The charges will also include a ton of environmental charges and other government-mandated regulations.

Removing a broken sensor is not part of a standard procedure, so it is not covered in the flat-rate guides. This type of job is normally billed by time and material. A mechanic with more experience or who has invested in expensive specialty tools and advanced training will work in a shop with higher hourly labor rates, but he will get the job done faster. A lower-paid inexperienced mechanic will take longer and may not know the most efficient way to do this repair. Also, the most efficient way might include damaging/removing/replacing other parts to gain access to the broken part. That is why there can be two or three totally different ways to solve the same problem. One way takes less time but additional parts are needed. Another method might save those additional parts from being needed, but will take longer. The lowest cost repair is not necessarily the best value.

You also must consider why the sensor is broken. If you tried to replace it yourself, and it broke, welcome to our world. If we break it, we still get paid for 0.8 hours to replace it, even if it takes all day. If you broke it, we have to gather a group of people to push the non-running car into the shop, set it up on the hoist, examine the situation, and prepare an estimate. We may have spent an hour on your car before the repair is even started.

It sounds like one mechanic wants to remove the oil pan so he can reach up with a pry bar to push the sensor out. That will take quite a bit of time, but may be the least strenuous approach. The other mechanic mentioned drilling it out from the outside. That could require removing the exhaust pipe, and its rusty bolts that will break and need to be drilled out and replaced. The generator or power steering pump bracket might be in the way. The firewall might be so close that a special right-angle drill is needed. That means he will not actually be able to see where he is drilling. How much will he have to drill before a stuck sensor can be removed, and what if some of the metal chips fall into the engine?

There are a lot of variables to consider, and some questions you need to answer, but it boils down to which mechanic you feel most comfortable with. It is highly likely your final bill will be different that either estimate because more time or parts will be needed that are not known yet.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
I do not know what is wrong with Mitchell doc. Alldata says 2.5 hours. I have done 3.1's before and they are a pain in the rear because of the front motor mount bracket being wrapped around the pan.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 1:04 PM
Tiny
CHYANNE SHERIFF
  • MEMBER
Thanks to all the replies. HMAC300, CARADIODOC and WRENCHTECH. WRENCHTECH, since you have done 3.1's would five hours be the norm for dropping the oil and removing the broke CPS? Also, is the front motor mount bracket removal included in the 2.5 hours? I was told by the mechanic that the mount mount removal and the hoisting was included in the 2.4 hours. Thank you
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Yes, the 2.5 will cover completely removing the oil pan. What it takes from there to get the sensor out could vary, depending how difficult it turns out to be to get it out. An additional hour seems reasonable but I would not be shocked if it turned out to be a lot harder than that.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 1:23 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I checked again, and Mitchell lists the crank sensor under "Engine Control Systems", and the cam sensor under "Tune-Up". Pity the poor mechanic who gives his customer an estimate based on their listing of 0.8 hours. It is a good thing mechanics do not mind working for free. I wonder why no one ever complains that they are are not charged enough.

Thanks Wrenchtech, for clearing this up.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Yes, the side Crank sensor is about.8 when it is replaced normally but we were looking for the time to remove the pan to push it out from the inside. That is where the 2.5 hour came from. This engine actually uses two crank sensors, but the other one reads off the harmonic balancer. The one that inserts into the side of the block is the one that breaks off in the block sometimes.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 3:28 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Thank you. I looked up the harmonic balancer on Rock Auto and did not see the toothed ring I was expecting to see. Goofed again.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 3:47 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
I stand corrected. This year only uses the one in the side of the block. I guess they did not start using two until later. It is in a tough place between the transmission and the side of the block.

http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa448/Wrenchtech/41844070.gif

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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 AT 3:56 PM

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