How To Test The Crankshaft Position Sensor (1996 2.5L OHV Dodge Dakota)

The crankshaft position sensor on your 1996 2.5L Dodge Dakota can be tested with a simple multimeter. The test result can accurately tell you if it's defective or not.

In this tutorial, I'll explain how to test it in a step-by-step manner so that you can find out if the crankshaft sensor is behind your Dodge Dakota's no start problem

Contents of this tutorial at a quick glance:

  1. Symptoms Of A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  2. OBD II Trouble Code P0320: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM.
  3. Circuit Descriptions Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  4. TEST 1: Testing The Crankshaft Position Signal.
  5. TEST 2: Making Sure The Crank Sensor Has Power And Ground.
  6. Intermittent Failure Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  7. Where To Buy The Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  8. More 2.5L Dodge Dakota Tutorials.

Symptoms Of A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position (CKP) sensor is located on the transmission bell housing and when it fails, you'll usually see:

  1. Engine cranks but doesn't start.
  2. No spark at all spark plug wires.
  3. No fuel injector activation pulses.
  4. Trouble Code P0320: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM.

Even though the fuel injection computer is programmed to set a trouble code when the CKP sensor fails, it doesn't always. So, it's always a good idea to test it when the engine doesn't start.

OBD II Trouble Code P0320: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM

When the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor fails on your 1996 2.5L Dodge Dakota, you may see the following trouble code registered in the fuel injection's memory:

  1. P0320: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM.

Trouble code P0320 tells you that your Dodge Dakota's fuel injection computer is NOT seeing a crankshaft position sensor signal when the engine is being cranked.

Trouble code P0320 usually sets when the crankshaft position sensor fails internally and does not generate it's pulsing signal.

Trouble code P0320 may also set if the crankshaft position sensor is missing power or ground when the engine is cranking.

Circuit Descriptions Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor

Circuit Descriptions Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor. How To Test The Crankshaft Position Sensor (1996 2.5L OHV Dodge Dakota)

The crank sensor is 3-wire Hall Effect sensor. Below is a brief description of the three wires that connect to the crankshaft position sensor.

Crankshaft Position Sensor Connector
Pin Wire Color Description
1 Purple with white stripe (PPL/WHT) Power (5 Volts DC)
2 Black with light blue stripe (BLK/LT BLU) Sensor ground
3 Gray with black stripe (GRY/BLK) Crank Position Signal

NOTE: The color of the wires above apply to the wires of the engine wiring harness CKP sensor connector (since the wires of the CKP sensor itself are all black).

NOTE: The engine wiring harness CKP sensor connector has round female terminals. The connector on the crankshaft position sensor itself has round male terminals.

Alright, let's get testing...