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Crankshaft Position Sensor Location

Dec 27, 2023      View: 1255


The Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) is a pivotal component in modern engine management systems, serving as the eyes and ears for the engine control unit (ECU). Its installation location plays a critical role in providing accurate data regarding the crankshaft's position and speed. This article delves into the various installation locations of the CPS, such as the front end of the crankshaft, within the distributor, on the flywheel housing, and in the middle of the cylinder block. Additionally, we explore the distinctive characteristics of signal plates, shedding light on how they contribute to the generation of essential signals for optimal engine performance.


Functions of Crankshaft Position Sensors

  • Injection Timing and Ignition Timing Control:

The crankshaft position sensor supplies critical information to the engine electronic control unit (ECU), enabling precise control of injection timing and ignition timing for optimal engine performance.


  • Engine Speed Signal

The 1° signal generated by the crankshaft position sensor serves as the engine speed signal, allowing the ECU to calculate the fundamental fuel injection amount in conjunction with data from the air flow meter.


  • Overall Engine Management

By continually monitoring the crankshaft position, the sensor contributes to the comprehensive management of the engine, ensuring efficiency, reliability, and proper combustion.


Types of Crankshaft Position Sensors


  • Magnetic Induction Crankshaft Position Sensor


Found in vehicles such as Lucky (SAIC-GM-Wuling), Changan Benben (Changan Automobile), F0 and F3 (BYD), Haval (Great Wall Motors), Excelle (Shanghai General Motors), and certain Honda models.

Operates based on changes in magnetic fields near the crankshaft.


  • Hall Crankshaft Position Sensor


Utilized in Wuling Rongguang (SAIC-GM-Wuling), Changan Star (Changan Automobile), MG, Roewe (SAIC Group), Polo (SAIC Volkswagen), Jetta (FAW-Volkswagen), Audi A6, Audi A4, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Lavida, Buick Regal (Shanghai GM), Yinglang (Shanghai GM), Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Teana, Nissan Sunny, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Reiz.

Utilizes the Hall effect to detect changes in magnetic fields, providing a digital output.


  • Photoelectric Crankshaft Position Sensor


Applied in Sonata (Hyundai, South Korea).

Functions based on the interruption of light beams, providing precise position information.

Understanding the functions and types of crankshaft position sensors is essential for diagnosing and maintaining modern engine systems, ensuring optimal fuel efficiency, combustion, and overall performance. The choice of sensor type may vary among different vehicle manufacturers and models, reflecting the diversity of technologies employed in the automotive industry.

The installation location and signal plate characteristics of a crankshaft position sensor play a crucial role in the proper functioning of an engine management system. Let's delve deeper into each installation location and discuss the distinctive features of signal plates:


Where is the Crankshaft Position Sensor Located

The exact location of the crankshaft position sensor can vary among different vehicle makes and models. However, it is typically situated near the crankshaft, which is a key rotating component in the engine. The sensor is strategically positioned to detect the rotational position of the crankshaft's main or accessory gear.


Locating the crankshaft position sensor is essential for diagnostic purposes and troubleshooting if issues related to engine performance, fuel efficiency, or starting problems arise. Knowing the sensor's location allows mechanics and technicians to inspect, test, and replace the sensor if necessary, helping to ensure proper engine functionality.


Front End of the Crankshaft


Located at the front end of the crankshaft, often in proximity to the crankshaft pulley.

Rotates with the crankshaft, providing information about the crankshaft speed and position.

Commonly used in modern engines for precise crankshaft position sensing.


In Distributor



Found inside the distributor for engines that utilize distributor-based ignition systems.

Distributes ignition spark to each cylinder based on the signals received from the crankshaft position sensor.


On Flywheel Housing

Positioned on the flywheel housing, close to the flywheel.

Monitors the rotational speed and position of the crankshaft, crucial for accurate ignition timing and fuel injection.


In the Middle of the Cylinder Block


Installed within the cylinder block, typically closer to the camshaft.

Offers information about the crankshaft position and speed, essential for engine control.


Signal Plate Characteristics

Regardless of the installation location, the signal plate, also known as the reluctor wheel or tone ring, determines the type of signal produced by the crankshaft position sensor. The characteristics include:


  • Cylinder Signal


Generated when there is only one tooth or optical hole on the signal plate.

Hall-type sensors may have a single window.

Used to provide information specific to the firing of a particular cylinder.

Often installed in the distributor or on the camshaft for accurate cylinder identification.


  • 1° Signal


Produced when there are multiple identical teeth, optical holes, or windows on the signal plate.

Provides a more frequent signal, allowing for precise measurement of crankshaft position.

Important for applications requiring high-resolution data for tasks like fuel injection timing.

Understanding these installation locations and signal plate characteristics is vital for proper engine management, enabling the engine control unit (ECU) to optimize ignition timing, fuel injection, and overall performance based on real-time data from the crankshaft position sensor.


Final Words

The proper placement of the Crankshaft Position Sensor is integral to the seamless operation of an engine. Whether situated at the front end of the crankshaft, within the distributor, on the flywheel housing, or in the middle of the cylinder block, the CPS provides indispensable data for the ECU to fine-tune ignition timing and fuel injection. The signal plate characteristics, determining the type of signal produced, further emphasize the sensor's role in ensuring precision in engine control. As automotive technology continues to advance, understanding and optimizing the Crankshaft Position Sensor's installation location remains paramount for enhancing overall engine efficiency and performance.



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