Crankshaft position sensor


Crankshaft position sensor

A crank position sensor is an electronic device used in an internal combustion engine to monitor the position or rotational speed of the crankshaft. This information is used by engine management systems to control ignition system timing and other engine parameters. Before electronic crank sensors were available, the distributor would have to be manually adjusted to a timing mark on the engine.

The crank sensor can be used in combination with a similar camshaft position sensor to monitor the relationship between the pistons and valves in the engine, which is particularly important in engines with variable valve timing. This method is also used to "syncronise" a four stroke engine upon starting, allowing the management system to know when to inject the fuel. It is also commonly used as the primary source for the measurement of engine speed in revolutions per minute.

Common mounting locations include the main crank pulley, the flywheel, or on the crankshaft itself. This sensor is the most important sensor in modern day engines. When it fails, there is a chance the engine will not start, or cut out while running.[citation needed]

Contents

Types of Sensor

Commonly a hall effect sensor is used, which is placed adjacant to a spinning ferrous disk. Alternatively, other detection principles can be employed i.e. optical or inductive.

Some engines, such as GM's Premium V family, use crank position sensors which read a reluctor ring integral to the harmonic balancer. This is a much more accurate method of determining the position of the crankshaft, and allows the computer to determine within a few degrees the exact position of the crankshaft (and thereby all connected components) at any given time.

Other Applications

Another type of crank sensor is used on bicycles to monitor the position of the crankset, usually for the cadence readout of a cyclocomputer.


Purpose

The functional objective for the crankshaft position sensor is to determine the position and/or rotational speed (RPM) of the crank. Engine Control Unit's use the information transmitted by the sensor to control parameters such as ignition timing and fuel injection timing. The sensor output can also be related to other sensor data including the cam position to derive the current combustion cycle, this is very important for the starting of a four stroke engine.

Physical location

The rotating disc of the sensor system does not necessarily have to be mounted directly on the crankshaft but can also be driven by a chain or toothed belt off the crankshaft as is the case in some Hondas where the crank position sensor is located in the distributor, effectively driven by the timing belt. Other locations include: The front of the crank on the engine block below or next to the water pump, on the main crank pulley or near the flywheel..

Problems encountered

Sometimes the sensor may become burnt or worn out. The most likely causes of crankshaft position sensor failure are exposure to extreme heat when you have a gasket or crank problem, corruption from oil or other engine fluids that leaked onto the sensor, or wear over a long period of time. When it goes bad, it stops transmitting the signal which contains the vital data for the ignition and other parts in the system.

Signs of a problem

A bad crank position sensor can worsen the way the engine idles, the pistons fire, or the acceleration behavior. If the engine is revved up with a bad or faulty sensor, it may cause misfiring, motor vibration or backfires. Accelerating might be hesitant, and abnormal shaking during engine idle might occur. In the worst case the car may not start.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • crankshaft position sensor — A sensor which sends information concerning the precise position of the crankshaft so that accurate ignition timing can be achieved …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • position sensor — See crankshaft position sensor throttle position sensor …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • Crank sensor — A crank sensor is a component used in an internal combustion engine to monitor the position or rotational speed of the crankshaft. This information is used by engine management systems to control ignition system timing and other engine parameters …   Wikipedia

  • reference mark sensor — A magnetic pick up attached to the flywheel for sensing the crankshaft position and transferring the signal to the electronic control unit, which calculates the ignition point; the reference mark sensor scans a pin or a hole in the flywheel and… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • Trionic T5.5 — Engine management system SAAB TRIONIC T5.5 Courtesy of: DrBoost Overview Saab Trionic T.5.5 is an engine management system that controls ignition, fuel injection and turbo boost pressure. The system was introduced in 1994 Saab 900 with B204L… …   Wikipedia

  • Engine control unit — An engine control unit (ECU) is an electronic control unit which controls various aspects of an internal combustion engine s operation. The simplest ECUs control only the quantity of fuel injected into each cylinder each engine cycle. More… …   Wikipedia

  • Mercedes-Benz M111 engine — The M111 engine family was a straight 4 automobile engine from Mercedes Benz, produced from 1992 to 2003. Debuted in the 1992 Mercedes Benz E Class (W124), this engine family is relatively oversquare and uses 4 valves per cylinder. Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

  • Fuel injection — Fuel rail connected to the injectors that are mounted just above the intake manifold on a four cylinder engine. Fuel injection …   Wikipedia

  • C16SE — is an automobile engine developed by Opel in the early 1990 s for its Astra model. General features The motor uses a 4 cylinder inline design with a displacement of 1598 cc, a single overhead camshaft and a multi point fuel injection system. It… …   Wikipedia

  • Ignition timing — in an internal combustion engine is the process of setting the time that a spark will occur in the combustion chamber (during the power stroke) relative to piston position and crankshaft angular velocity. Setting the correct ignition timing is… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.