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Pelican Technical Article:

Crankshaft Position Sensor Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$30

Talent:

***

Tools:

5mm Allen head socket, small screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Crankshaft position sensor

Hot Tip:

Remove the oil filter for better access to the mounting bolt.

Performance Gain:

No more starting problems

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil

The crankshaft position sensor (CPS) is responsible for providing the vehicle's computer (DME) with an input signal needed to insure that the ignition fires correctly in relation to the crankshaft position. The CPS is essentially a Hall effect sensor, meaning that it detects a magnetic field to send a signal to the DME. The CPS is mounted over the side of the crankshaft and "looks" for the field created by a magnet and/or a ferrous plug mounted in the crankshaft as it rotates through 360 degrees of rotation.

Based on the position of this plug on the flywheel (typically Top Dead Center (TDC) on cylinder number one), the DME can divide the signal by four and thus have the correct timing for each cylinder in the AVH 2.0 engine. This same method is used on almost all modern engines, changing the parameters in the DME to account for the number of cylinders or other variables.

If the crank sensor fails completely, the engine simply won't run, as the DME has no reference point to calculate from. Often times, a failing CPS can manifest as an engine that cranks and cranks for an extended period before firing, more so when the engine is hot. Often times, this will trigger a check engine light. I recommend using a scanner to check for any codes. Typically, this makes the diagnostic procedure much easier.

I also recommend removing the oil filter from the engine to gain better access to the mounting bolt. Please see our article on Changing Engine Oil for more information.

Shown here is a new crankshaft position sensor for the AVH 2.
Figure 1

Shown here is a new crankshaft position sensor for the AVH 2.0 engine. Replacement can be a bit tedious due to the location, but can be performed by the layman with a little patience.

Shown here is the crankshaft position sensor mounted on the side of the engine block, directly behind the oil filter cooler/housing.
Figure 2

Shown here is the crankshaft position sensor mounted on the side of the engine block, directly behind the oil filter cooler/housing. Loosen and remove the 5mm Allen head bolt (green arrow, directly above sensor) and carefully pull the sensor out of the block.

Once the sensor is removed, follow the electrical harness back to the connector.
Figure 3

Once the sensor is removed, follow the electrical harness back to the connector. Use a small screwdriver to press the tab (green arrow) on the connector and pull it apart. The new sensor installs in the reverse order of removal.

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Page last updated: Sun 8/20/2017 03:16:46 AM