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How to test your crankshaft position sensor

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A crank sensor plays a vital role in measuring the position and the speed of the crankshaft, and essentially, the engine. 

A misfire, trouble starting the car, or a rougher sounding idling engine could be the first signs that there’s an issue with the sensor. 

Pick up some tips on the proper procedure of how to test a crank position sensor with this video from the experts at Delphi. We’ve chosen the Kia Rio to demonstrate: 

• The two main types of crank sensors
• How to test crank position sensor with a multimeter 
• All the equipment needed to carry out a successful test
Sensors Vehicle Electronics & Engine Management How to Technicians 1 min read

When should I test a crank position sensor?

There are numerous things to indicate that you might have an issue with your crank sensor. Firstly, the warning engine light might be illuminated on your dashboard. Has your engine been stalling? When you’re sat idling, does the engine sound rough? Is the engine not delivering the power you’re used to, and is your fuel efficiency not as good as it once was? Does your engine crank but not start? If you experience any of these, it’s worth testing.

Are there different crank sensors?

There are two main types of sensors – an inductive sensor, and a Hall effect sensor. The general rule is that an inductive sensor has two wires, and a Hall effect has three. However, some two-pin inductive sensors have an extra wire for shielding so please check carefully before carrying out any test.

What equipment do I need to test a crank position sensor?

In our video we carry out the tests using the Delphi VTI platform, a multimeter and an oscilloscope.


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