Typically located in the timing cover or directly inserted into the lateral portion of the main block of an engine, the crankshaft sensor establishes the ignition timing for a vehicle. It also determines engine speed.
As part of an engine monitoring system, the crankshaft sensor is essential in supplying the RPM signal to the vehicle's dashboard. Excessive heat can damage crankshaft sensors. A malfunctioning sensor can lead to the vehicle stalling or not being able to start at all.
A crankshaft sensor works in conjunction with a camshaft sensor in order to establish the proper injector synchronization and coil firing sequence for the vehicle.