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So you want to learn how to test 3 wire crank sensor with multimeter but find it too hard at first? Then you’ve come to the right place.
We know how annoying it is to spend several minutes trying to start up the vehicle, only to realize you’ve wasted half an hour.
Don’t worry, though. You’ll soon find out how to test a 3-wire, 2-wire crank sensor and a crankshaft position sensor with a regular multimeter. That way, you’ll know what’s wrong with the vehicle and fix the problem.
How to test a 3-Wire Crank Sensor With a Multimeter
If you like fixing stuff on your own, follow these steps to learn how to test 3 wire crank sensor with multimeter:
1. Ground the Black Lead
Before testing a 3-wire sensor, ground your black lead.
2. Set the Multimeter to DC Volts
Turn the wheel to DC volts to properly test the 3-wire sensor. After that, remove the wiring harness for your connector.
3. Identify the Constant, Ground, & Signal Wire
Find the constant wire. To do this, test each pin on the sensor. If the multimeter shows any voltage, it means that’s the constant wire.
Next, find the ground wire. Simply set the multimeter to ohms, and then insert the red lead into each pin. If the multimeter beeps, it means that you found the ground wire.
We can now assume that the remaining wire is the signal wire.
4. Set up the 3-wire Crank Sensor
Set the multimeter to DC volts. After that, get two paper clips. Now insert one of the paper clips into the ground wire and the other into the signal wire.
Now grab some alligator clips, and attach one to the paper clip inside the ground wire. After that, connect the other end of the alligator to the black lead.
Next, hook up the other alligator clip to the paper clip inside the signal wire. After that, attach the other end of the alligator clip to your red lead.
5. Start the Engine
Now the multimeter will show the voltage on the screen. The results won’t go up and down, as you’d typically see. But it will verify that you’re getting voltage from the sensor.
If you got stuck somewhere, watch this video:
How to Test a 2-Wire Sensor With a Multimeter
It’s critical to check the condition of the connector for your sensor. If there’s a problem with the connector, your sensor won’t work. So, before you throw it away, follow these steps:
1. Ground Your Black Lead
To ground your black lead, hook it up to your car’s battery. If you don’t want to use your battery, ground the black lead to your engine or chassis. Either way is fine.
2. Set Up Your Multimeter.
The black lead goes where it says “COM” and the red one on the “VΩ” side. Once that’s done, put the multimeter on resistance.
3. Connect the Sensor
In the final step on how to test 2 wire crank sensor with multimeter, you need to take your red lead and put it inside the connector for your sensor.
Now your multimeter will beep, indicating you got ground, and you’re good to go.
How to Test Crankshaft Position Sensor With a Multimeter
Here’s how to test crank sensor with multimeter:
1. Plug the Leads
As always, insert the black lead into the “COM” side, then put the red one where it says “VΩ.”
2. Set Your Multimeter to Resistance
To test the crankshaft position sensor, turn the wheel to resistance. The icon for resistance uses the famous Greek letter Omega or Ω.
3. How to Test Crankshaft Position Sensor With Multimeter
Grab your red and black leads and put them inside the crankshaft position sensor. Your multimeter will now display the resistance on the screen.
If you’re getting nothing on the screen, turn the wheel to a higher setting. Depending on your vehicle, your results might change. But for the most part, a suitable crankshaft position sensor should get anywhere from 200-2000 ohms.
If the screen isn’t showing any voltage, we can safely assume that you have an open circuit, meaning the sensor must be replaced.
For more information, check your manufacturer specifications. Compare your results, and determine if the sensor is still in great shape.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Need more information about crank sensors? Then check this out:
What is a cranking test?
- If you heard the engine turn over but noticed it wouldn’t start completely, despite all your attempts, then you might have a bad crankshaft sensor. To test the unit, use a multimeter.
Can you bypass a crank sensor?
- No, there’s no way around that. You have to test the sensor and find out what’s wrong with it. Perhaps, there’s something wrong with the connector, causing the crank sensor to malfunction. If it is faulty, replace it as soon as possible.
How can you tell if a crank sensor is bad?
- If you’re having trouble starting up the engine, there’s a high chance the crank sensor is no longer in great shape. Also, the check engine light might come on in other cases, indicating there’s something wrong with the crank sensor.
Can you check a crankshaft position sensor?
- To test your crankshaft position sensor, get a multimeter. First, check for resistance. After that, set the multimeter to DC volts, attach the leads to the sensor, and then start up the engine. The unit will display the voltage on the screen.
If you’re anything like us, you probably feared learning how to test 3 wire crank sensor with multimeter.
But if you’re short on money and don’t want to pay anybody to diagnose and fix your car, then learning how to use a multimeter will save a lot of money in the long run.
As you know by now, it doesn’t take any time. You just have to be confident enough to mess with the sensors, and you’ll be OK.