Where Are the Most Common Crank Position Sensors?


Quick Answer

Hall effect, optical and inductive sensors are the three basic types of crank position sensor. The most common type in modern automobiles is the Hall effect sensor, which is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to a magnetic field.

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Full Answer

Crank position sensors help time the ignition system’s sparking and the fuel system’s fuel injection, enabling the engine to start and run smoothly. These sensors are connected to a vehicle’s onboard computer either directly or through an ignition control module, sending a signal to these onboard electronics to coordinate the different electrical and mechanical systems of the engine.

The exact mechanism of a crankshaft positioning sensor begins when the sensor triggers the ignition module to switch on the ignition coil primary current using a triggering signal. This triggering signal prompts the onboard computer to send a corresponding switching signal to the ignition module to prompt the ignition to start sparking after the fuel has been injected.

Data from the crank position sensor is also used to display the rotational speed of the crank in rpm. The output positional data can also be used to derive the timing of the entire combustion cycle. Common sensor failures include burnout or wear from heat exposure.

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