How to Test Crankshaft and Camshaft Position Sensors - Duration: 7:08

Crankshaft and Camshaft Rotation Sensors

23731-6N21A GENUINE Nissan Crankshaft/Camshaft Position Sensor, Nissan Sentra/Altima/Frontier/X-Trail

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  • PHYSICAL INSPECTIONS
    After preliminary testing, the next step in diagnosing intermittent crankshaft and camshaft position sensor performance is to physically inspect them for loose, chafed or broken wires, loose connectors or loose mounting screws, or indications of damage.

    This 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. A is used to detect detonation-pinging to further input data for the computer while retarding ignition timing to compensate.

  • The engine computer takes the data from both the crankshaft sensor and the camshaft sensor to evaluate how the engine is performing. Since the camshaft regulates the opening and closing of the combustion chambers through the valves it manipulates, the rotation of the crankshaft is reflective of the rate at which the pistons are firing. Consequently, for the engine to operate properly, the rates of the crankshaft and the camshaft need to be in sync with each other. If the rates begin to differ, the "check engine" light in your car will come on.

    Typically, the camshaft sensor is located at the top of the engine to the front and mounted near the crankshaft in front of a wheel. The wheel has windows or slots that allow the sensor to count each revolution of the camshaft. The sensor is readily accessible if it needs to be changed. However, some imported cars, including Hondas, have the crankshaft and camshaft sensors inside of the distributor, requiring replacement of the entire distributor for this type of vehicle.

    Crankshaft and camshaft position sensors are two different sensors. The crankshaft position...
    MarcW - 5 years ago

  • Basic Description

    Crank or camshaft position sensors and engine speed sensors are similar devices that operate based on pulse detection and counting. The fundamental components of these sensors include a toothed disc mounted on the shaft, a stationary detector and electronic circuitry (Fig-1). The disc has teeth or marks distributed evenly around the circumference. When the shaft spins, teeth or marks pass by the stationary detector and generate a series of electrical pulses. The frequency of these pulses is detected and converted to the corresponding shaft rotation speed. The relative angular position can be obtained by counting the number of pulses. Additional reference markers are required to sense the absolute position of the crank or camshaft. The Crank position sensor is usually mounted in the crankcase over the toothed wheel on the crankshaft. The Camshaft position sensor is usually mounted in line with the toothed wheel on the end of the camshaft. It is usually hidden under the timing chain cover on the front of the engine. Some sensors have two sets of discs with a constant phase shift in order to determine the direction of the rotary motion.

    Generally, there are four types of crankshaft or camshaft position sensors: magnetic pick-up coils, Hall-effect sensors, magneto-resistive element (MRE) sensors, and optical sensors. The first three utilize the metal teeth of a wheel to generate a series of electric pulses, based on changes in the magnetic field, as the teeth come into the proximity of the sensor. Optical position sensors use a light-emitting diode (LED) light source and a photodiode to detect optical marks on the shaft or slots in a disk as they move past the detector. Optical sensors have a good degree of accuracy and are suitable for both high-speed and low-speed applications, but the optical components and disc must be kept clean to ensure an accurate reading.

    Manufacturers
    Bosch, BWD, Continental, Delphi, Denso, Duralast, Methode Electronics, NAPA Echlin, Standard, Tamagawa Seiki
    For More Information
    [1] Crankshaft Position Sensor, Wikipedia.
    [2] Rotary Encoder, Wikipedia.
    [3] Crankshaft Position Sensor, YouTube, Sep. 28, 2007.
    [4] How to Test Crankshaft and Camshaft Sensors 1,YouTube, Dec. 9, 2007.
    [5] Automotive Crank Sensor Operation ,YouTube, Jan. 26, 2008.
    [6] How to Test an Inductive / AC Generator Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP),YouTube, Sep. 23, 2011.

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