Have you gotten the check engine light and diagnosed a P0336 code? Well, if that is the case, then you are in the right place. Because in this article, there will be quite a lot to cover on this trouble code and how to tackle the problem in no time.
- Car Diagnostics
- Crankshaft Sensor
- The Problem
Doing your own research on a problem is always a good idea, especially when we are talking about simple jobs such as the trouble codes that are concerning some sensors. At least sensors are really easy to tackle. You only need an OBD2 scanner and a multimeter to diagnose a bad sensor or wiring.
This is why we always encourage people to work on their cars when it comes to problems such as this. But don’t worry, we will cover everything. First, we are going to learn more about car diagnostics in general and see what diagnostics is.
Then we will cover the crankshaft position sensor and its location. Once we clear that out of our way, we will start discussing the P0336 code. We will learn the meaning, causes, symptoms, and how to diagnose it correctly. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Before we jump into the code P0336 and learn more about what is a crankshaft position sensor, let’s first introduce ourselves to car diagnostics a little bit. There are a lot of people struggling with similar issues and some of them do not have the grasp of knowledge needed when it comes to solving these problems.
Modern car diagnostics are much more different than old car diagnostics. Nowadays problems are often diagnosed by diagnosticians and then the problems are sorted by the mechanics.
Even though in some cases, the diagnostician is also a mechanic. Every car produced after 1996 has been standardized to the OBD2 standard. So, every car nowadays comes with an OBD2 port for computer diagnostics. And every car has some generic DTC codes for certain problems.
They are called generic since they can occur in every vehicle with an OBD2 port. But there are some of these codes that are manufacturer specific. Luckily, the P0336 code is a generic code, which means that it can happen on any vehicle.
Nevertheless, the main tools for diagnosing problems in cars are the OBD2 scanner and the multimeter. The scanner is a relatively cheap tool, it costs around $30 and you can find it on Amazon. The multimeter is also very cheap and costs almost the same amount of money.
With the scanner, you can scan the car for codes, and then with the multimeter you measure electric properties. So, in order to test a specific sensor, you have to measure the properties and see if the readings are up to the factory’s recommended spec.
And if they are not, either the wiring is bad, or the sensor itself is faulty. This is why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions without testing the component first.
Crankshaft Position Sensor
Now that we covered the basics of car diagnostics and learned more about this procedure, we can now slowly move on and learn about the crankshaft position sensor. Why this sensor? Well, because it is the component that we are interested in this article. Later on, when we will discuss the P0336 code, we will understand why this is essential.
So, what is a crankshaft position sensor? This sensor or any other sensor in your car is an electronic device that helps the engine work properly.
More specifically, the crankshaft position sensor plays a big role to determine the position of the crankshaft, as well as the rotational speed, also known as RPM. So, without this sensor, you will not be able to tell what RPM the engine is running at.
Well, each sensor has to get a reading from somewhere, whether is from fluid, gas, or in this case rotational speed. So, this sensor monitors the rotation of the crankshaft. But it cannot take a reading from a smooth surface.
This is why there is a reluctor ring with grooves on it. This reluctor ring is also known as a tone ring. And is very common when it comes to wheel speed sensors, camshaft sensors, and crankshaft sensors. Basically, if you want to measure the speed of a rotating shaft, you need to have a reluctor ring.
But where is this crankshaft position sensor located? Well, let’s cover more about that in the following chapter before we cover the diagram and the P0336 code.
P0336 Crankshaft Position Sensor Location
Let’s cover the location of the crankshaft position sensor (aka the crank sensor) before we cover the P0366 code. Where is this sensor located on your engine?
As you probably are familiar, the engine has one crankshaft that has two ends, one at the front of the engine and one at the rear.
The crankshaft position sensor is mounted at one of these places. It really depends on where the carmaker has installed this sensor. This is why you should not be very confused about it.
Crankshaft Sensor Diagram
Another thing that we would like to cover when it comes to the crankshaft position sensor is the diagram. The diagram is really important when it comes to testing these sensors.
There are two wire sensors that work with the help of a magnet. So, there is only a ground wire and a signal wire. The reluctor ring is basically stimulating this sensor while it rotates and then the sensor starts producing a signal that is then sent to the PCM (powertrain control module).
There are also three wire sensors. This sensor implements three wires. A ground, a supply line to power the sensor, and a ground wire.
Overall, these are the main types of sensors that are found on cars. But what about the P0336 code? What does this code mean? Let’s elaborate more on that in the next chapter.
P0336 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range Performance
Now we can get to the point and learn more about the meaning of this code before we elaborate on the code itself. So, what does the P0336 code means?
Well, the definition of this code is “P0336 – Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range Performance”. But what do all these words mean in reality?
Well, in reality, this means that your sensor has a problem. It doesn’t record voltage in the recommended range. For example, between 1v to 5v.
Or if the sensor is magnetic, it doesn’t create enough current or it makes too much current so the computer is confused and throws this error. There are plenty of other OBD codes that relate to a faulty crankshaft position sensor, such as P0335.
In general, this code means that the sensor has problems with reading the reluctor wheel. As we noted, the reluctor wheel is the wheel with teeth that the sensor is using to get the data from and then send a signal to the PCM. So, the PCM is able to adjust the work of the engine.
But what are the causes behind this problem? What could be causing this issue on your car? Well, more on the answers, we are going to elaborate in the following chapters in detail and see what could be the reason behind the problem.
Now that we covered the P0336 code meaning, let’s move on and learn more about the causes of this code.
As with every problem out there, the P0336 code can be triggered by a few different things. This is why you should not always jump to conclusions. So, follow us carefully while we cover the possible causes of this code. And once we clear out the causes, we will dive into the symptoms. So, you definitely don’t want to miss that.
1. Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor
The first and most common cause for the P0336 code is a bad crankshaft position sensor. As we stated, this sensor in older applications is magnetic. And frankly, these sensors are far more durable.
Newer sensors that are 3-wire with voltage supply can break more often and cause problems like in our case with the trouble code.
So, a lot of people opt to replace this sensor with a new one right away. But we would advise that you shouldn’t rush because later on, we are going to explain why.
Now let’s continue with the next symptoms and learn more about what can you expect when it comes to the causes of this problem with the P0336 code.
2. Bad Reluctor Wheel
The second most common cause for this problem with the P0336 code and the situation when you have a signal out of range is the bad reluctor wheel.
The reluctor wheel as you probably know is the wheel from which this sensor gets the reading. As the reluctor spins, the sensor records. This wheel is known as a tone ring or reluctor ring. So, if you hear somebody call it this way, you shouldn’t be surprised.
And if this wheel is bent, missing some teeth, or in between the teeth the wheel is filled with oil sludge or other debris, this means that you have a bad reluctor wheel.
This is why we recommend inspecting the reluctor wheel and cleaning it well before you replace the sensor. Since the problem can be fairly simple to solve.
Just grab some brake cleaner and clean the sensor and reluctor wheel. If the problem was because of debris, you should no longer have issues. If not, move on to the next probable cause.
3. Misplaced Reluctor Wheel
The next probable cause on our list of causes for the P0336 code is a misplaced reluctor wheel. And this is also a fairly common problem.
People buy a new wheel or they’re rebuilding an engine and forget how to install this component. They either do not install it properly or they don’t align it properly.
And when this happens, the sensor could record a signal out of the recommended range. Just imagine that you have a wobbly reluctor wheel. The sensor would probably freak out as in this case.
This is why if you have installed the reluctor wheel recently, you should definitely check this out and make sure that you installed the component properly. Now let’s move on to the next cause for the P0366 code.
4. Problems With Wiring
The next in our list of causes for the P0336 code is the problem with the wiring. As you probably know, there is a connector that is plugged into this sensor.
And the wires go through very hot spaces. And what can happen is that the insulation can fail at some point and cause the wires to short out.
When wires short out, there is a problem inside the circuit itself and this could trigger some of these codes. So, wiring is always useful to check and make sure that every wire is good. Let’s jump to the next probable cause for this problem with the P0336 code.
5. Corroded Connector
The next cause, also quite common for this problem is a corroded connector. Connectors are really important when it comes to sensors.
So, if there is corrosion development or there is some kind of oil sludge inside the connector, there could be a problem with the sensor.
This is why we don’t recommend washing engines with hoses and whatnot. Connectors are very sensitive and prone to failure. So, make sure that your connector is in good condition.
6. Bad PCM
And the last in our list of causes for the P0336 code is the situation with the PCM. Sometimes PCM (Powertrain Control Module) can be defective and trigger strange codes. You might also notice other OBD codes, such as a P0603 code.
So, if you really think that these codes are triggered because of some bug in the computer, it is definitely worth considering this and taking your car to a shop to test the computer. If so, you might also have to account for the cost of reprogramming the PCM.
But what about the symptoms? More about them we will learn next. Now that we covered the causes for the P0336 code and we learned what could trigger this code. We think that now it is time to dive into the symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor.
You are probably familiar with the check engine light. Since this is why you are here, this is the first symptom that you will notice. But what about the rest of the symptoms of this code?
Well, another really important symptom is the situation when the car is really difficult to start or does not start at all.
This is very common with both, crankshaft and camshaft sensors. If one of these sensors is malfunctioning, it will get extremely difficult for you to start the engine. And also the engine could stall if the sensor again malfunctions. And when the engine dies, it will not be able to start again.
And this could be a real pain, especially if you are on a trip. Another very common symptom is the situation when you have erratic acceleration, as well as the symptom when you experience an engine misfire. If your engine is misfiring, you might notice additional OBD codes on top of that, such as:
- P0300 Code (including make/model-specific ones, like P0300 Chevy and P0300 Nissan)
- P0301 Code (a cylinder 1 misfire)
- P0302 Code (a cylinder 2 misfire)
- P0303 Code
- P0304 Code (a cylinder 4 misfire)
- P0305 Code
- P0306 Code
This would be the case because the engine timing will not be the best if the sensors are not communicating well with the PCM. So, some of these issues can be a consequence of the problem with the crankshaft position sensor on your car.
But how can you diagnose this code on your car? What you can do in this case in order to sort out the problem? Well, let’s elaborate more about that in the following chapter.
Diagnosing The P0336 Code
Now that we covered the P0366 code and we learned more about what this code means and the causes and symptoms. Let’s now take a look at the ways you can diagnose this problem.
The first thing you want to do in this situation is to check the reluctor wheel on the engine. You need to make sure that both the sensor and reluctor are clean. You can do this by applying some brake clean spray and cleaning the debris from the component.
Also, inspect if the reluctor wheel is bent or has some similar damage done to it, like missing teeth for example. If everything is good with the reluctor wheel. You want to check the wiring of the sensor and the connector. You need sure that there is no short in the system and that all wires and connectors are good.
And the last thing you want to do is to check the crankshaft sensor and test it with a multimeter. What is good about these sensors is that you can bench-test them. Just remove the sensor and grab a multimeter. With the multimeter, you can measure the resistance of the sensor, as well as the voltage.
In the video above, you can see how the procedure is done. As we noted, you only need a multimeter. If it’s a 2-wire sensor, the process is much simpler and you need to measure the resistance, which is usually between 2000 and 2500 ohms, but if you have a 3-wire sensor, you can backprobe this sensor.
You need to backprobe the ground and signal wire and then turn the multimeter to measure volts. Then check how many volts the sensor is making. The voltage should go up and down depending on the throttle that you give.
Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Price
So, we learned more about the P0336 code and how you can diagnose this code on your car or truck. Now let’s take a look at the costs involved in this type of work. How much money can you expect to pay to sort this problem out?
Well, the part itself is not that expensive, it can cost anywhere between $75 and $250. It really depends on the carmaker and the availability of this part.
The replacement for the part is between $100 and $200. So, overall, it shouldn’t cost you more than $350 to replace this sensor. And if you decide to replace it at home, you will avoid paying all this money on labor. Or else, more serious damage might prompt you to require more extensive crankshaft repairs.
P0336: In Conclusion…
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the P0336 code. First, we learned the basics of car diagnostics and then we covered what this code means.
In the second part, we discussed the causes, symptoms, and how to diagnose the problem on your car. Lastly, we learned how much can you expect to pay to sort this problem out.
FAQs On The P0336 Code
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is A CKP Sensor
A CKP sensor is a crankshaft position sensor. This is a special sensor installed on cars that monitors the position of the crankshaft, as well as the engine RPM. So, we can say that this is a really important sensor.
What Causes Crankshaft Sensor To Go Bad
The most frequent cause for these sensors to go out is probably age. They can malfunction internally and simply stop working. In some cases, the wiring can be damaged, or the reluctor ring from which the sensor gets the readings. That’s why check this reluctor before you diagnose a bad sensor.
What Can A Bad Crankshaft Sensor Cause
A bad crankshaft sensor can cause your car to have trouble starting, or not to start at all. This sensor can basically leave you stranded. This is why if you notice the first symptoms, you should just replace it since you never know when it will fail completely.
What To Do After Replacing Crankshaft Sensor
After replacing a crankshaft position sensor, you probably want to remove all of the DTC codes with your scanner and enjoy driving. The check engine light will disappear if the new sensor is working properly.
How To Test A 3 Wire Crankshaft Position Sensor
You can do this by backprobing the sensor. Just install two metal clips from behind the connector to the signal wire and the ground wire. Then connect these clips to your multimeter with alligator clips, tweak the multimeter to measure volts, and start the car. A good sensor should make voltage.
What Sensors Can Cause A Car Not To Start
There are a few critical sensors that can cause your car not to be able to start. The most common causes for this problem are the crankshaft and camshaft sensors. Also, the MAF or MAP sensors can cause similar problems and prevent the car from starting.