How to Change the Crank Sensor in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

A Vehicles crankshaft sensor sends a signal to the computer to tell it where the engine is in its revolution cycle. The sensor works by picking up the pulses in the magnetic field caused by the wheel that rotates just below it. This wheel has "teeth" or "windows" in its perimeter, making it resemble a gear, though the windows' function is strictly electrical. Replacing the crankshaft sensor on your Vehicles won't be too challenging, as all engine sensors are removed essentially the same way---only the location and necessity of removing the starter varies.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Crank Sensor in a Buick 3100

Open the hood and stand on the passenger side of the engine compartment. Look down at the rear of the crankshaft pulley; you'll see the crankshaft sensor mounted in the timing cover, behind the pulley.

Unplug the wiring harness connector. If you cannot pry the plastic tabs open, use a screwdriver to "help" them spread enough so you can pull the plug off the sensor. Remove the sensor retaining bolts and pull the sensor out of the timing cover using a wrench or socket. Take care to remove the O-ring with the sensor, and do not allow it to stick in the timing cover.

Slide the O-ring onto the new sensor (it should come with a new O-ring); fit the O-ring into the indentation on the base of the sensor. Carefully slide the crank sensor into the timing cover. Reinstall the bolts, using a wrench or socket, and plug in the wiring harness.

Plug a code reader into the data port under the dash. Press the "Erase" button to erase the code for the crankshaft sensor.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Sockets

  • Wrenches

 How Do I Change the Crank Sensor on a ZX2 Escort?

Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Set it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Raise the vehicle, using the floor jack. Support it with jack stands.

Remove the exhaust manifold, using the appropriate sockets to unbolt the manifold at the pipe and at the head. Unplug the crankshaft position sensor, using your fingers.

Remove the sensor's retaining bolts, using the appropriate socket, and then remove the sensor from the engine.

Lubricate the new O-ring for the sensor with clean engine oil. Install the O-ring on the sensor. Install the sensor and tighten the bolts to 60 inch-pounds of torque. Plug in the wiring harness connector.

Reinstall the exhaust manifold. Lower the vehicle off the jack stands, using the floor jack. Reinstall the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Set of sockets

 How to Replace a Crank Sensor in a 94 Park Avenue

Pop the hood on your Park Avenue and place the wrench around the nut on the negative battery cable. Twist the nut to the left until it loosens. Once it is loose remove the negative battery cable from the negative post.

Jack up your Park Avenue on the driver's side. Once it is raised about a foot off the ground, slide a jack stand under the frame and lower the car.

Find the position of the old crankshaft sensor. It will be mounted on the bottom side of the engine, near the driver's side wheel well.

Press in the two tabs to unlock the plastic plug from the back of the old sensor.

Use a 10 mm socket and turn it to the left to remove the old sensor. Set the new sensor in place and tighten the retaining bolt with the 10 mm socket by turning it to the right. Plug the plastic plug back into the rear of the new sensor.

Lower the Park Avenue down from the jack stands and floor jack.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

 How to Replace the Crank Sensor on a Dodge Truck

How to Replace a Dodge Truck Crankshaft Position Sensor

Disconnect the negative side of your truck's battery.

Find the crank position sensor. Dodge V6 engines use the same mounting points and procedures as the Magnum series V8. On Magnum engines, the sensor will be in the rear, behind the starter (requires starter removal). Hemi sensors are on the right side of the engine block. On 5.9L diesel engines, you'll find the sensor on the bottom front of the engine, near the harmonic balancer. And finally, for V-10 engines, check the right rear of the engine block.

Remove the black plastic electrical connector by prying the tabs away with a screwdriver. Be very careful here. The plastic tabs on older vehicles can harden with time, making them prone to snapping off.

Remove the starter if necessary. You won't need to remove the wire from the starter, provided it will move sufficiently to access the sensor.

Pull out the bolt (or bolts) that hold the sensor in.

Work the sensor gently out of the hole, being careful not to damage the sensitive electronics.

Reverse these steps to install the new sensor. Make sure to keep the sensor clean and free of grease when you're replacing it. Also, the sensor should be flush with the block; otherwise you can damage the mounting tang.

Items you will need

  • Full set of metric and standard sockets/wrenches

  • 6-inch, 3-inch and 8-inch extensions

  • 2 universal joints

  • 1/4-inch flat-head screwdriver

 How to Replace the Crank Sensor on a 2001 Chevrolet S-10

Lift the front of the truck with a floor jack, and support it on jack stands.

Locate your crankshaft position sensor. On the 4.3-liter engine, the crank sensor is readily accessible from the bottom, bolted to the bottom of the timing cover under and behind the crankshaft pulley. On the 2.2-liter engine, it's over the starter, between the top of the starter and the bottom of the manifold.

On the 4.3-liter engine, simply remove the one bolt securing the crank sensor to the bottom of the timing cover, and pull the sensor out. Unplug the sensor and inspect the flat, metal portion on the bottom of the sensor. If you see a semi-circular divot cut out of the middle, refer to the Tips section below. Otherwise, plug a new sensor into the hole, snug the bolt down hand tight, and plug the sensor in.

On the 2.2-liter engine, reach over the starter and feel for the sensor; you can find it by tracing the wiring to the sensor. Once you locate the bolt on the side, remove the bolt, and pull the sensor out of the hole. Unplug it from the wiring harness. Push a new sensor into the hole, thread the bolt in and snug it down hand tight. Plug the wiring harness in. Refer to the Tips section below if you prefer not to do this operation "blind," or have trouble locating the sensor.

Lower the truck. Start the engine and watch the check-engine light. If it doesn't turn off when the truck starts, drive down to your local auto parts store and ask to use the OBD-II scanner to clear the stored trouble codes.

Items you will need

  • Memory saver

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Crank Sensor in a 2000 Durango

Loosen the clamps on the air duct with the screwdriver. Remove the air duct. Then remove the air cleaner assembly with the appropriate socket. Unplug the crank sensor wiring harness connector.

Remove the nut that holds the sensor wire clip onto the fuel rail-mounting stud. Remove the retaining bolts and the clip on the sensor wiring harness. Then remove the sensor from the block.

Install the crankshaft sensor. Tighten the bolts firmly, but do not over-tighten them and damage the sensor. Plug in the crank sensor's wiring harness connector. Reinstall the clip on the wiring harness. Install the clip on the fuel rail-mounting stud and the clip mounting nut.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Set of sockets

 How to Replace the Crank Sensor on a '92 Buick Century 3.3 Liter

Disconnect the battery ground cable and lay it aside. Make sure that it doesn't touch anything metal. Using the appropriate socket, push the accessory drive-belt tensioner toward the engine to release tension on the belt. Lift the belt off the pulleys. Jack the Buick up with the floor jack abd support it with jack stands.

Remove the harmonic-balancer retaining bolt, using the appropriate socket and pull the balancer off the crankshaft snout. Disconnect the crankshaft sensor's wiring-harness connector by pushing the plastic tabs in and pulling the plug out of the sensor. Remove the sensor bolts, using the appropriate wrench, and pull the sensor off the block.

Bolt the new sensor to the block and tighten the retaining bolts to 8 foot-pounds of torque. Plug the wiring harness into the sensor. Reinstall the harmonic balancer, using the balancer installer No. J-29113.

Coat the threads of the harmonic-balancer bolt with thread sealer GM 1052080. Screw the bolt into the harmonic balancer and tighten it to 110 foot-pounds of torque. Lower the vehicle off the jack stands.

Route the serpentine belt around the pulleys according to the belt-routing diagram on the fan shroud or the underside of the hood, leaving the tensioner pulley for last. Push the tensioner toward the engine and slide the belt on the tensioner. Release the tensioner. Check that the belt is completely on all the pulleys. Reconnect the battery ground cable.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Set of sockets

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Crankshaft sensor checker No. J-37089

  • Harmonic balancer installer No. J-29113

  • Thread sealer GM No. GM 1052080

  • Torque wrench

About the Author

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