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Error Code P0336 is defined as Crankshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Range/Performance, indicating a range and/or performance error.
This error code is a generic trouble code, which means it applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II, especially vehicles made since 1996 up to present.
The CKP or crankshaft position sensor, is usually made up of two wires, one for signal and one for ground. This sensor also usually comes with a permanent magnet sensor mounted in front of the reluctor (toothed) wheel mounted on the crankshaft.
Each time the reluctor wheel passes in front of the crank sensor an A/C signal is produced, which also varies to the speed of the engine. The PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicles) uses the A/C signal to understand the RPM of the engine. For some crank sensors, they use half-effect instead of permanent magnet sensors. The signal sent to the PCM is changed to provide an RPM signal.
The reluctor of the crankshaft comes with specified number of teeth, and the PCM can determine their position using the signature pattern of the signal. The PCM also uses the sensor to determine any misfire condition on the cylinder by measuring the locations of the reluctor teeth in the CKP sensor signal. In combination with the CMP or camshaft position sensor, the PCM also determines the spark timing and fuel injection. If the PCM determines CKP sensor signal loss through RPM signal, even moderately, then it activates the Error Code P0336.
Other related CKP sensor trouble codes are:
- P0335 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
- P0337 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Low Input
- P0338 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit High Input
- P0339 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Intermittent
Some of the most common symptoms of Error Code P0336 include:
- Hard or no starting
- Intermittent stalling or backfire
- Hesitation upon acceleration
- Intermittent misfire in one or more cylinders
- Engine vibrates or sputter
- Variation in acceleration, speed, and/or idling functions
- Excessive fuel consumption
There are many possible causes of Error Code P0336, which are:
- Broken or damaged reluctor wheel, worn down teeth or snapped
- Stuck CKP sensor magnet shavings on the sensor or reluctor wheel
- Defective CKP sensor
- Defective CMP sensor
- Defective or corroded CKP sensor, connections or wirings
- Short in the CKP sensor wiring harness
- Burnt or shorted circuits or wires
- Misfire engine
- Rough running
- Faulty PCM (rare)
How to Check
As with other error codes, technicians start their diagnosis for this trouble code with using OBD-II scanner .
Technicians will then proceed on visually checking the CKP sensor for signs of damage. Then, he will proceed on checking the breaks and look for signs of burns or shorts. Note that, the sensor wires must not be too close to the spark plug wires.
Then, they will inspect the connector for signs of corrosion, looseness or breakage. They will also check for signs of damages in the crankshaft harness wiring insulation.
They will also check the reluctor wheel and look for signs of damage. The wheel must be NOT too loose on the crankshaft.
They will ensure the reluctor wheel and the top of CKP sensor have ample gap between them.
Then, they will clear the trouble codes from the vehicle and then take it for a test drive.
While starting the vehicle, they will have the scanner beside them to check the RPM reading.
For scanners without the RPM reading, you can use the CKP sensor signal.
Next, they will use the VOM (volt-ohm meter) to test the CKP position sensor wiring for any resistance. They will also test the CKP sensor itself and check whether it’s within the specified specifications provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
They will then check the CMP sensor and its wiring. Since the CKP and the CMP work together, faulty CMP sensor and/or wiring can affect the operation of the CKP sensor.
For cases with engine misfires, it is important that they’re diagnosed and repaired first.
If all these diagnosis still can’t pinpoint and help resolve the problem, then it may be a case of a faulty PCM. It’s a rare condition, but possible.
How to Fix
Repairs for this error code are easy, but as with other error codes it requires a thorough diagnosis to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem. Some of the most common fixes include:
- Repair or replacement of the damaged CKP sensor wiring or circuitry
- Replacement of damaged reluctor wheel
- Repair or replacement of damaged or corroded CKP sensor connector
- Repair any cause of engine misfires, if necessary
- Repair or replacement of CKP sensor wiring harness
- Replacement of faulty CMP sensor
- Replacement of faulty CKP sensor
- Repair or reprogramming of the PCM (rare)
Vehicles with this error code are unreliable; they will be difficult to start or may not start at all.
Also, when problems with the CKP sensor go unaddressed for a long period of time, it will cause serious damage to other parts of the engine, which can be severe and ultimately expensive.