This tutorial will help you test the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor on the 1996-2002 2.4L Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth mini-vans.
The crankshaft position sensor test I'm gonna' show you is done with a multimeter. With its test result you'll be able to conclude if the crankshaft position sensor is good or bad.
Contents of this tutorial:
- Symptoms Of A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor.
- What Tools Do I Need To Test The Crankshaft Position Sensor.
- Where To Buy The Crankshaft Position Sensor And Save.
- How The Crankshaft Position Sensor Works.
- TEST 1: Testing The CKP Signal With A Multimeter.
- TEST 2: Making Sure The CKP Sensor Is Getting Power.
- TEST 3: Making Sure The CKP Sensor Is Getting Ground.
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Probando El Sensor De La Posición Del Cigüeñal (1996-2002 2.4L Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth Mini-Van) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following mini-vans equipped with the 2.4L engine:
- 2.4L Chrysler Voyager: 2001, 2002.
- 2.4L Dodge Caravan: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.
- 2.4L Dodge Grand Caravan: 1996, 1997.
- 2.4L Plymouth Grand Voyager: 1996, 1997.
- 2.4L Plymouth Voyager: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
Symptoms Of A Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor
When the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor fails in your mini-van, the engine is not going to start. It will 'crank but not start'.
The fuel injection computer is designed to set a crankshaft position sensor diagnostic trouble code (DTC) when the sensor fails. If the computer does set one, you'll see the following trouble code:
- P0320: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM.
The two most important symptoms to look for, when the CKP sensor fails, are: no spark from all of the spark plug wires and no fuel injector pulses from all of the fuel injector connectors (as tested by a Noid light).
If you have spark, even if it's just from one spark plug wire, the crankshaft position sensor is not bad.
Tools You'll Need To Test CKP Sensor
You don't need any expensive tools to test the crankshaft position sensor on your 2.4L equipped mini-van. As a matter of fact, you don't even need a scan tool to test it.
Tools you'll need to test the crankshaft position sensor on your mini-van:
- You can use a digital multimeter or an analog multimeter although the digital one is the preferred one.
- If you don't have a multimeter or need to upgrade yours, check out my recommendation here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
- Jack stands
- 1/2 inch ratchet wrench and the necessary sockets to turn the crank pulley.
As you can see, the tools you'll need won't break the bank and more than likely you already own most of them.
Where To Buy The CKP Sensor And Save
The crankshaft position sensor is not an expensive component. The following links will help you comparison shop for the crankshaft position sensor and hopefully save you a few bucks on its purchase:
Not sure if the above crank position sensor fit your particular Dodge (Chrysler/Plymouth) mini-van? Don't worry, once you get to the site, they'll make sure it fits by asking you the specifics of your vehicle. If the above don't fit, they'll find the right one for you.
How The CKP Sensor Works
The crankshaft position sensor, on your mini-van, is a Hall Effect sensor with 3 wires coming out of its electrical connector.
Since the crankshaft position sensor is a Hall Effect type sensor, it produces an ON/OFF DC voltage signal that can be easily observed with:
- A multimeter.
- An oscilloscope.
- Or an LED Light.
This also means that there is no crankshaft position sensor resistance test to see if the sensor is bad or not. Only the 2 wire reluctor type crankshaft position sensor can be resistance tested.
As you turn the key and crank the engine, each one of the three wires that connect to the crankshaft position sensor have a specific job to do:
- One delivers power in the form of 8 Volts from the PCM.
- I've labeled this wire with the number 3 in the photo above.
- Another delivers Ground. This Ground is provided inside the PCM, too.
- I've labeled this wire with the number 2.
- The last remaining wire, delivers the ON/OFF signal, that the CKP sensor creates, to the PCM.
- I've labeled this wire with the number 1.
- The PCM uses the crank signal to activate the Auto Shut Down (ASD) Relay.
- The Auto Shut Down (ASD) Relay activates:
- The fuel pump relay and thus the fuel pump.
- The fuel injectors.
- The ignition coil pack and thus spark to each engine cylinder.
- Therefore, the crankshaft position sensor (and its signal) is critical for the engine to start.
The most important thing to know, is that if the crankshaft position sensor goes bad, your Chrysler (or Dodge or Plymouth) mini-van will crank but not start due to a lack of spark and fuel injection.