Signs That Your Trailer's Crankshaft Position Sensor Is Failing

Posted on: 26 January 2016

Having a crankshaft position sensor in your trailer is essential. It provides data, which enables the computer system in your trailer to understand the cylinder that should be fired at the present position of the crankshaft. It also ensures that your engine cylinders are fired in the appropriate order. The data provided by the crankshaft position sensor is used in computing the revolutions per minute of your vehicle. In addition, this data is elemental for appropriate transmission of gear selection with the load and speed of your trailer. Detecting failure in this sensor is necessary, and here are a few signs to check for.

Acceleration Issues

When your engine speeds up, the fuel injection and spark timing have to be adjusted. If there's a problem with your sensor, the input to your engine control unit (ECU) can be inaccurate. In such a case, your ECU will not make these adjustments as accurate as it should, meaning that there may be a lag between the ECU receiving the data and applying it. When this happens, you can experience a slow or uneven acceleration.

Ignition Malfunction

Ignition malfunction or intermittent starting is another sign of a failing (or failed) crankshaft position sensor. When your crankshaft position sensor starts failing, the signals it transmits to your trailer's ECU will begin weakening. For instance, your engine needs fuel to start. Therefore, a failed crankshaft position sensor may not send signals to the ECU, meaning that it won't send fuel to the injector. This signal can switch off completely if left unattended. When this happens, the spark plugs can die out, damaging your engine. Therefore, if your trailer won't start, you might want the crankshaft position sensor checked by your auto mechanic.

Engine Sputter

The information relayed by your crankshaft sensor to your computer system is vital in determining the appropriate spark timing. For this reason, if your sensor is bad, wrong data will be relayed, and this will affect the process of fuel injection, leading to an engine sputter.


Constant backfiring and stalling of your engine is another sign of a malfunction. In such a situation, your engine may cut off periodically, stalling you for a couple of second as you drive. Your trailer will most likely start, and even run for some time, but shut down eventually. This is the same case for backfiring. Leaving the issue unattended may lead to engine exhaustion, making it die out eventually.

For more information, talk to a trailer parts professional.