How To Test 2 & 3 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter

How To Test Crankshaft Position Sensor

2 Minutes Read

The crankshaft position sensor measures the position of the crankshaft in the engine. It performs many important functions in a vehicle, such as deciding the timing and amount of the fuel injection into the vehicle’s combustion chamber.

The crank sensor can get damaged and need a test to verify the proper functioning of the oxygen sensor. In this powerful guide, you will learn how to test the crankshaft position sensor in two minutes.

How To Test Crankshaft Position Sensor

3 Wire Crank Sensor Wiring Diagram
3 Wire Crank Sensor Wiring Diagram

There are two most common types of crankshaft position sensors, inductive and hall-effect. The inductive or pick-up crank sensors have two wires while the hall-effect crank sensors have three wires. Below is the step-by-step procedure of testing inductive and hall-effect type crank sensors.

How To Test Crankshaft Position Sensor With Multimeter

Below is the procedure for two and three-wire crank position sensor testing with a multimeter.

How To Test 2 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter

How to Test 2 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter
How to Test 2 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter

The inductive or magnetic pick-up crank sensors have two wires. Here is the method of testing a two-wire crankshaft position sensor is as given below:

  • Set the Digital Multimeter to DC voltage settings of a low range.
  • Start the engine of the vehicle ON.
  • Identify the signal wire of the circuit to check the presence of power in the wire.
  • Connect the red cable of the Digital Multimeter to the signal wire of the sensor’s circuit and the black lead of the Digital Multimeter to the ground wire of the crank sensor to check the voltage of the crank sensor. If no reading is shown on the Digital Multimeter, then the circuit of the sensor has failed.
  • Commonly you will get any reading between 0.3 volts to 1.5 volts.
  • If the signal or the reading is zero then the Crankshaft Position Sensor is faulty.
  • You can also check the resistance of the sensor by putting the Digital Multimeter knob to the ohm scale and connecting both leads of the Digital Multimeter to the crank sensor wires.
  • You will get a resistance reading of the crank sensor between 200 and 2000 ohms. You can find the specific reading of your car in the repair manual.

How To Test 3 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter

How to Test 3 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter
How to Test 3 Wire Crank Sensor With Multimeter

The hall-effect type crank sensors have three wires. Here is the method to test a three-wire crankshaft position sensor is as given below:

  • Use the vehicle’s repair manual to locate the ground, reference volt, and signal wires among the three-wire Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  • Convert the settings of the Digital Multimeter to Direct Current Voltage.
  • Turn the ignition switch of the vehicle ON without turning the engine of the vehicle on.
  • Connect the red lead of the Digital Multimeter to the reference wire of the sensor and the other lead to the ground wire of the sensor. You will see 5, 7, or 12 reference volts depending upon the car. It means your ground and reference volt wires are Ok.
  • Then start the engine of the vehicle.
  • Connect the red lead of the Digital Multimeter to the Signal wire of the Crankshaft Position Sensor and the black or negative lead to the ground terminal of the battery. You will gain approximately 300 millivolts.
  • Compare the obtained readings with the ones present in the manual. If the obtained readings are lower than the given readings or if the obtained reading is 0, then your sensor is bad.
  • Remove the sensor from the harness and check for any physical contamination of the sensor.

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