Intermittent Failure Of The Crankshaft Position Sensor

I can tell you from personal experience that the crankshaft position sensor can fail intermittently. To be a bit more specific, the crankshaft position sensor works perfectly most of the time and keeps the engine humming along.

All of a sudden, the crankshaft position sensor stops working and the engine stalls. This can happen without any warning. When the engine stalls, it will not restart for a period of seconds or minutes. Once the CKP sensor cools down, the engine restarts as if nothing ever happened.

These types of intermittent failures are sometimes the hardest to troubleshoot and resolve. Since these intermittent crankshaft position sensor failures are quite common, I'm gonna' offer some suggestions as to how to troubleshoot them.

TIP 1: Check for CKP sensor failure trouble code P0320. If it is stored in the fuel injection computer's memory, and the engine stalls intermittently, replace the CKP sensor (even if it tests good) and the camshaft position (CMP) sensor.

TIP 2: Use a USB oscilloscope connected to a laptop or tablet to test the CKP sensor as you road test it.

Using an oscilloscope to test the CKP sensor is the most accurate way of confirming if it's bad or not. What I've done is to road test the vehicle with an oscilloscope connected to the CKP signal wire. I have a helper drive while I observe the CKP signal waveform. If the waveform starts to break up into an erratic signal just as the engine starts to stall, I then know that the CKP sensor is defective without a shadow of a doubt (and causing the intermittent engine stall problem).

Where To Buy The Crankshaft Position Sensor

Checkout the following links and comparison shop the crankshaft position sensor:

More 2.5L Dodge Dakota Tutorials

You can find a complete list of tutorials here: Chrysler 2.5L 4-Cylinder Index of Articles.

Here's a sample of the tutorials you'll find there:

  1. How To Test The MAP Sensor (1996-1999 2.5L OHV Dodge Dakota).
  2. How To Test For A Blown Head Gasket (1993-2002 2.5L Dodge Dakota).
  3. How To Test The TPS (1996-1999 2.5L OHV Dodge Dakota).
  4. How To Test Engine Compression (1993-2002 2.5L Dodge Dakota).
  5. Oxygen Sensor Heater Test -P0141 (1996-1997 2.5L Dodge Dakota).
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