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Nissan Maxima Crank Position Sensor

Issues with the Crankshaft Position Sensor of a Nissan Maxima

The crankshaft position sensor is the engine component that records the rotation speed of the crankshaft. The internal computer of the vehicle then uses these data for proper fuel injection and ignition. The well-being of this little piece of equipment contributes to the overall efficiency of the engine that even one mishap will cause massive performance problems. Therefore, it is better to know what you're up against when dealing with issues about the crankshaft position sensor of the Nissan Maxima.

Service engine light glows

Many troubles could make that service engine light glow. This could definitely be considered a setback for you because you have to consider a lot of scenarios and predicaments. The crankshaft sensor may fire up the service light once it stops working due to high temperatures. However, once the car cools down, it won't light up anymore.

Misfiring cylinders

Although spark plug problems cause this more often than the crankshaft sensor, a bad sensor could make one or more cylinders misfire. This happens when the computer fails to get the right information on the position of the piston.

Hesitation in acceleration

When the car seems to hesitate or late in responding to the accelerator, the crankshaft sensor might be at fault. The lag between the pressing of the gas pedal and the acceleration Is caused by a slow, if not missing, communication between the crankshaft position sensor and the ECU.

Erratic start-ups

Once the crankshaft sensor completely gives up, the ECU will give out a malfunction code that will not let the car start or make starting very hard. Most of the time, an electrical problem causes this behavior. There might be problem with the circuitry of the crankshaft sensor.

Vibrations, backfiring, and stalling

The engine will have strong vibrations because of the unsynchronized pattern of the cylinder brought about by a bad crankshaft sensor. You can also observe a wrong recording of mileage. These vibrations will be followed by backfiring and stalling of the engine. Backfiring and stalling will inconveniently be frequent. All these things happening all at once can also damage the spark plugs and other sensitive engine components.

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  • Methods of Maintaining A Good Crankshaft Position Sensor in a Nissan Maxima 04 March 2014

    The crankshaft position sensor input is utilized by the engine control module (ECM) for ignition and fuel injection timing. This sensor emits a signal that works in tandem with the camshaft position sensor to compute the ignition timing. The crankshaft position sensor has moving parts such as the sprocket that can get broken. Any damaged component will impair the function of the crankshaft sensor then eventually, the engine. That's why maintaining a critical part such as this is imperative, even if it seems very low maintenance. These are the methods you can use to make a crankshaft position sensor last.

    • Examine the frequency of the crankshaft position sensor.
    • With a digital multimeter, you can test the frequency of the crankshaft position sensor. Since it sends out signals, hertz will be the mode of measurement used. Refer to the service manual for the correct figures.The next thing to do is to probe the wiring that powers the crankshaft sensor. The multimeter must be in DC mode. Usually, 12 volts is enough to power this sensor, while others provide 9 volts. Again, check the manual for the proper voltage. Last but not the least, probe the ground path wire for voltage ranging from 9 to 12 volts. Any deviation from the recommended numbers is an indication of an already failed crankshaft sensor. Change the sensor as soon as possible.
    • Check for trouble codes.
    • Most shops have specialized scanners that test various engine components with the help of the onboard computer system of the vehicle. Each component sends out a signal that is interpreted by the scanner with codes. You can bring your Nissan Maxima to a mechanic or go to a local automotive parts store and check if they scan at no cost. These codes have different meanings and it's up to you to decode them. Refer to your manual for the interpretation.
    • Clean your crankshaft position sensor.
    • Finding the crankshaft sensor could prove to be the most challenging part here as it can be found in various locations in various engines. For the Maxima, the sensor can be found in front of the transmission, colored black, and secured by a 10mm bolt. Removing it will be very easy; and a quick rub of a rag will do the job. Make sure the sensor doesn't get wet. The water will mess up the circuitry inside.