Simple Fix for P0336 Crank Sensor Error

Couple of days back I posted a video on YouTube regarding a simple fix in my car that saved a lot of money and I thought its worth sharing here on my blog as well. Problem with the car was that it would sometime randomly show sign of engine shutting down and then coming back on its own. This was scary as losing engine power in the middle of the road means losing power brakes as well and getting stranded. I have a cheap ELM327 knockoff Bluetooth car scanner at home that I bought from eBay that I use to scan my car whenever I encounter any problem with it and it works quite well with my Hyundai Accent. It works with almost all Hyundai cars except Santro. On scanning it showed a DTC P0336 which translates to problem with crank sensor. Now it was obvious that any problem with crank sensor will shut down the engine immediately and it was exactly what was happening. Crank sensor detects the position of the cam and tells the car ECM to trigger spark plug coils accordingly so if there is no input from crank sensor, there will be no spark generated in spark plugs and engine will not fire up. My car mechanic suggested changing the crank sensor and while I was almost ready to give him the money for the new sensor I thought why would a bad sensor work for most of the time and stop working randomly for few seconds? So I took this work in my hands and first searched the internet on how to check the sensor itself. A famous YouTube mechanic Scotty Kilmer has a nice video on how to check this in which he suggest tapping the sensor lightly with a hammer. If engine stalls when you tap the sensor, the sensor is bad. In my case even after multiple taps, engine was running fine. So my next step was to trace any bad wiring and it did not took very long to find the culprit. It was one of the cam sensor wire near the coupler, the wire was broken from inside but its outer rubber shielding was intact making it look just fine. To fix the problem I removed a small portion of this bad wire and soldered a fresh piece of good quality fire retardant automotive quality wire. Till date I have driven more than 500 KM’s after clearing the DTC and it has not come back which means the problem is fixed.
Most of the sensors in the car are quite robust and don’t easily fail, so it’s better the check the sensor with some tool (you can check many sensors using just a simple digital multimeter) and check the wiring as well before changing the sensor. Sensors like O2, cam position, and oil pressure are near exhaust manifold which means their wires are subjected to extreme heat most of the time so there is a greater chance of just external wires failing in them which can be fixed easily. Some sensors can be made to work again just by cleaning them with throttle body cleaners. I will be posting more articles on fixing issues related to cars and their sensors.

Mohd. Hashim Khan

I work as a freelance web designer and developer and enjoys fiddling with machines and electronics stuff. I am also working as a part time computer teacher at Aligarh Muslim University. I share my knowledge on various topics here so that others can make use of it and take benefit from my experiences.

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