Crank and camshaft sensor diagnosis

Hi everyone,

My '98 Accent was running fine until about three weeks ago. It started having trouble on startup, sounding like it was running on only 1 or 2 cylinders, then it would catch after about 3 seconds and run fine. This happened three times intermittently before it quit altogether and now it won’t start. The timing belt is fine, and there is a strong fuel smell when cranking, so I think the fuel pump is okay. I suspect the crankshaft or camshaft position sensors. Is there a way to test these sensors to see if they are working properly? I do not want to replace parts without knowing for sure. Thanks.

As a mechanic,

diagnosing crank and camshaft sensors can involve looking for a few key things. If your engine is cranking but refusing to start, that’s a common sign one of these sensors might be failing. Another clue is rough idling or a feeling of hesitation when you accelerate. While I can’t do a full diagnosis remotely, a scan tool that reads trouble codes can be a big help in pinpointing the problem. For DIY fixes, you can also try visually inspecting the sensors for damage and checking the wiring for any loose connections. Remember, these sensors are crucial for engine timing, so if you suspect an issue, it’s always best to consult a professional for a complete diagnosis and repair.

The issue might be due to faulty crankshaft or camshaft position sensors.
Start by checking their wiring and connections for damage or looseness. Use a digital multimeter to test each sensor’s resistance and scan tool to monitor signal output while cranking the engine.
Look for fault codes with a scan tool as well. If unsure, seek help from a mechanic for thorough diagnostics to avoid unnecessary part replacements.

Yes, there is a way to test them. You can use a multimeter to check the resistance of the sensors. Refer to your vehicle’s service manual for the specific resistance values for the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. Typically, these values are in the range of a few hundred ohms.