How to Start a Car, Causes & Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor 

Last updated on January 31st, 2023 at 10:24 am

What are the causes and symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor, and how do you start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor?

how to reset camshaft position sensor

The crankshaft position sensor is a variable resistance magnetic sensor that measures the position of four equal-spaced teeth 90 degrees apart on a toothed band attached to a car crankshaft. What can a bad crankshaft position sensor do?  

A bad crankshaft position sensor can stall your car or stop it abruptly.  If any problems develop with the wiring or the crankshaft position sensor itself, it can cut off the crankshaft or camshaft signal while the engine is running and when driving which in turn can lead to the stalling of your engine. 

 In this article, I will discuss what causes crankshaft sensor to go bad, signs of Bad crankshaft position sensor symptoms, how possible it is to experience a bad crankshaft position sensor no code, and lastly, how to start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor. So with that in mind, let right into them.


Error code for bad crankshaft position sensor (no code)

The P0335 error code is the diagnostic trouble code for “A”  circuit malfunction of a car crankshaft position sensor.  This code is what shows up on your OBD2 diagnostic tool and is triggered for many reasons, which I already discussed in the section below titled “What causes crankshaft sensor to go bad”? So, can a faulty camshaft sensor not show a code? Let’s find out below.

What are the Possibilities of having a Bad crankshaft position sensor no code

Normally, a camshaft position sensor fault may produce or show no code on your diagnostic tool. But this happens on a very rear occasion. So using the guide below on symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor, you’ll notice a change in the vehicle’s driving abilities and performance which will help you be sure that it is a faulty camshaft position sensor. 

What causes crankshaft sensor to go bad

Since the crankshaft position sensor is what relays information to your car’s computer if it goes bad, it will not be accurately telling the car computer how fast the engine is running and the position of the crankshaft and the cylinder at every given time. 

So basically, the crankshaft position sensor controls ignition timing and fuel injection operation. And there are a few common causes of crank sensor failure besides aging or wearing out over time.


And here are what causes the crankshaft sensor to go bad:

1. Excessive heat

An engine can be damaged by excessive heat. Excessive heat can cause engine problems due to poor lubrication, ventilation, or radiator problems. The heat buildup in the engine may reach a higher temperature than normal and cause the plastic crank sensor casing to melt or crack. This can cause the car to not start as the sensor is unable to relay the crankshaft information back from the computer.

2. Damaged Timing Belt   

The timing belt can become wrapped around the crankshaft, causing damage to many small parts. It is possible that the timing belt snapped and damaged the crank sensor. The wiring harness and sensor can be damaged. The sensor may still be damaged even after you have replaced the belt. Your vehicle might not start for a few seconds or turn off completely.  

3. Crankwalk

Crankwalk refers to the condition in which a crankshaft begins to move toward the belt side. A worn main thrust bearing is usually the cause. The crankshaft will move to a new position, which will cause the metal plate that runs through the crank sensor to strike the sensor repeatedly with each engine/belt rotation. As the belt turns, you will hear clicking. This can wear down or even break the crank sensor. This is the most common problem if your vehicle runs fine but suddenly cuts off.

4.Faulty Wiring Harness

A problem with the wiring harness causes most crank sensor failures. It could be due to improper voltage, ground, or return circuit problems. The wiring can be damaged by oil, debris, and loose wiring. This can lead to a disruption in voltage and wear on the wiring. The sensor may fail multiple times due to this. If this is the problem, your vehicle might not start but crank normally.

Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor Symptoms (Signs of the Faulty Sensor) 

The crankshaft sensor can transmit the gasoline engine’s ignition signal and speed parameters. The electronic control unit can detect a fault if it does not have the normal speed parameters and the ignition reference signal.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of a Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor that may becausing problems to your vehicle.

#1. Check Engine Light Illuminates

In most cases, when your car camshaft position sensor becomes defective or develops issues, the”Check Engine” indicator will pop up on your can dashboard. Though, the “Check Engine” lights is an indication of various other problem with your vehicle and not necessarily a bad or faulty camshaft sensor. This is why you need to reconfirm with an appropriate OBD2 Scanner that the camshaft sensor is the problem. This is one the most common Camshaft position sensor bank 1 symptoms.

To determine the problem, either use this OBD2 scanner tool to locate the stored diagnostic code(s), or call a professional mechanic to inspect the engine control module. The technician you hire will alsoneed to scan this car module to get a set of error codes to help them determine the true problem.

You must ensure that you scan your vehicle and inspect it at the Check Engine Light. Otherwise, your engine may be seriously damaged, which may require a new or for you to rebuild the engine.

#2. car Ignition develops Problems

The signal sent to the car’s computer weakens when a camshaft position sensor goes bad or developsproblems and is weak and faulty. This low signal will eventually become weaker over time to the pointwhere the car will not start because there is no or enough spark coming from the ignition to start your vehicle. 

Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor

#3. Your begins Car Jerking, or Surging

When the camshaft position sensor fails, your engine may lose power. Your car might jerk randomly or jerk if you’re driving it.

Both are caused by incorrect fuel injection into the cylinders. The PCM needs to receive correctinformation from the camshaft position sensor.

#4. Engine Idles Roughly

rough idle engine could indicate a defective camshaft position sensor. This problem is most apparent when the engine is idle. 


#5. Car Hesitates to Accelerate:

Another most likely Camshaft position sensor bank 1 symptoms is hesitation in acceleration, which can be a common problem that may occur with a bad Camshaft Sensor. This is because; since the camshaft position sensor Is not giving an accurate reading, a weak signal might be what the car computer gets, which causes the Faltering in acceleration

#6. Failed Engine Emissions Test.

When an engine isn’t working properly, it won’t be able to burn fuel efficiently. This could lead to higher emissions

#7. A Gas Smell 

 In rear cases, if the Camshaft Sensor is faulty, you may notice a gas smell from your vehicle. So what happens is that the Smell of Gas Unburned Fuel escapes through your car tailpipe, which you will smell or perceive occasionally and sometimes strongly. 

#8. Your Car Will Not Start. 

I touched on this briefly above. So, in this case, the signal that the engine control module receives from the camshaft position sensor gets weakened over time which makes the vehicle not start since your vehicle can only if the engine receives enough signal. 


#9. Engine Misfires 

A failed camshaft position sensor could cause an engine to fail. 

#10 – Problems shifting

Some cars with a defective camshaft position sensor can have a locked transmission. The lock will stay in one gear for certain models. You can only get out of this gear by turning off your engine and waiting for it to cool down before starting again.

It is temporary and the problem will return so replacement of the sensor may be necessary.

Your vehicle might also be put into ” limp Mode”, which prevents you from shifting gears or accelerating beyond a set speed.

#11. Bad Fuel Mileage or Poor Fuel Economy

This is the reverse of not providing enough fuel to your engine. This happens because the camshaft position sensor is not accurate, which will cause more fuel to be injected into your car engine, thereby causing fuel economy to drop.

#12 – Engine Stalling

Even worse than being unable to start your car, your engine shuts down or stops while you drive. 

This is because the fuel injectors have yet to be instructed to inject fuel into your engine cylinders.This situation probably needs to be more dangerous for us to mention.

#13 – Poor Acceleration

Your vehicle will not be able to accelerate fast if your camshaft sensor fails. This is in addition to jerking. In some cases, you might be lucky to reach 30 mph. Again, poor fuel delivery by injectors is responsible for the poor acceleration.

14. Transmission Shifting Issues:

Data sent to the engine control unit can prevent the transmission from shifting correctly. 

Some vehicles have a security feature that places them in ” limp” to protect them from major engine damage.

how to reset crankshaft position sensor no start

Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement Cost

You can expect to spend anywhere from $95-200 to replace a camshaft position sensor. Parts will cost between $25 and $100. And labor cost for hiring a professional to replace the part will cost between $70 and $100.

You can expect to pay more if your vehicle is a luxury model or if your local dealership performs the replacement. These costs will be topped up with additional taxes and fees.

Do You Have the Ability to Replace a Camshaft Position Sensor?

Yes. Yes. This is one of those jobs almost everyone can do. It is also a great way to avoid paying the minimum labor fee (often close $100) that a dealership or repair shop will charge. It should take between 5-10 minutes to replace the item.

How to start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor

So let’s say you are not ready to take your car to an auto shop to fix or repair your crankshaft position sensor, and you want to start for a temporary fix; here is how to start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor. Also read this on: Temporary Fix For Crankshaft Position Sensor (Scanner vs Manually Relearn)

Steps on how to start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor

If your engine doesn’t start due to a bad crankshaft sensor, likely, the engine isn’t getting enough fuel. The sensor controls how much fuel is injected into your engine.

It is recommended to drive your car with a good sensor. However, it is necessary to take it to the mechanic. These are the steps to get your car started

  1. Begin by locating your car crankshaft position sensor, which can be found towards the rear of the engine near the flywheel. It may sometimes be attached to the timing cover if it is not present near the flywheel. For this situation, to access the position sensor, you must take off the front passenger-side tire.
  2. You now have to get the sensor Unplugged or detached. To do this, grab the sensor and squeeze it, then pull to unplug it from the mounting or port.
  3. Next, you have to spray or apply a starter fluid/oil into the opening of the mount. This will allow the engine to ignite, and you can drive the vehicle to a mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

If you have done that and tried starting the engine while there is enough fuel in the car and the engine refuses to start, then know that; it could be a spark plug problem. You can try changing the spark plug or tow the vehicle to an auto store.

If you have done that and tried starting the engine while there is enough fuel in the car and the engine refuses to start, then know that; it could be a spark plug problem. You can try changing the spark plug or tow the vehicle to an auto store.

So far, we have discussed the various symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor, what causes crankshaft sensor to go bad, the if a bad crankshaft position sensor no code situation is even possible, and how to start a car with a bad crankshaft sensor. I really hope you find this article to be informative and that it helped resolve your crankshaft sensor problem. Please share this article if you find value in it.

Related Articles:

How to Start a Car, Causes & Symptoms of a Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor 

Camshaft Position Sensor Bank 1 Location and Meaning

How To Reset Camshaft Position Sensor, No Start & Without Scanner

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