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2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Apr 2013, 04:13 pm
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Default 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

First off. I'm not the one working on the car. I barely know anything about car repair. But my father, who's working on it, is incredibly stubborn and won't seek out help. So I'm going behind his back to try and solve the problem he's having with my car. Hopefully something can be accomplished.

So, I own a 2001 PT Cruiser. About a year ago it just stopped running. Wouldn't start up or anything. My dad determined it wasn't the battery and used a diagnostic machine to try and figure out the problem. He 'thinks' it's the crank shaft position sensor but can't be sure till he puts in a new one and sees if it'll start. Well that's where the problem started. It took him about 3 months to even buy the part. And then another month or two to take out the old one. Apparently he had a really hard time removing the old one and had to force it out.

When he tried to put the new one in, he can't get it seated completely. About that time, winter hit and since there's no garage, he took a break until the weather improved. Cue about a month ago. He decides to try again with some oil. Says he can't get the proper leverage to force it in. Tried freezing the part to make the metal shrink so it would fit. Didn't work. Tried using a blowtorch to heat up the hole so it would expand. Didn't work. I searched the net and didn't find anything about this model being difficult to get the CSPS back into.

The other day, he brought in both the old and new part to the house and I got a chance to look at them. The looked different to me. The old one looked like this and the new one looks like this. The difference being the width of the indent on the metal shaft. I pointed it out and he said it didn't matter. A bit of googling on my part has shown both types as being compatible for the 2001 PT Cruiser, but I'm wondering how accurate that is.

Does anyone have any advice or anything? I've been out of a car for a year and I can't afford to pay a mechanic as I'm unemployed so I'm pretty much at the mercy of my dad to do this for me.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 04:26 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Did he try putting the old one back it to see if it would slip right into the hole? If it does, and then the new one won't, then the shaft of the new one has to be wrong.

The 2001 and 2002 PT's do have things different than later models such as the EGR valve that's not present for the 2003 and later models plus the CSPS was moved entirely to the other side of the engine under the starter in 2004. So, because the new one does look a little different than the old one, there could be a difference no matter what you found on Google.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 04:52 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

I'm not entirely sure if it can fit or not. I remember asking him but I can't remember what he said. If the old one can't fit anymore, I assume that's something bad.

The thing is, he's convinced the new one will fit if he tries hard enough. He keeps saying it's a tight fit and if he can just get the 'leverage' he can do it. But I'm thinking that if he hasn't managed to get it in by now, it's not going in.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 05:00 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Angelsoft,

Even if he forces the new one in...if he succeeds by expanding the hole or shrinking the part...once he gets it in...it may become faulty if something breaks or cracks b/c he's forced it in there. I really would not recommend him forcing it in there. However, sit tight, as others will post on here and give you suggestions and/or ideas on what could be the problem. We also have mechanics that view these posts.

Crewzin has given you excellent advice. What he has suggested is the first step of troubleshooting. Also, if it were me, I would try to find a replacement part that looks exactly like the "old" one. I'm a stickler for having something replaced, that looks (or same model) EXACTLY like what was taken out.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 05:06 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

how many miles are on the car? the timing belts break around 100k miles. if it's the timing belt, and it's taken him this long to replace a sensor, you might never get it running.

crank sensors don't normally go bad. cam-sensors commonly go bad. you pretty much never see a problem with a crank sensor.

you can see if the timing belt is broken by taking out the cam sensor and cranking the car. if the round piece doesn't turn, you'll know the belt broke.

-

good news is the cam sensor is right up top and it's easy to get to, easy to remove, and easy to see.

Last edited by rob342; 09 Apr 2013 at 05:12 pm.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 05:24 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teekypt View Post
Angelsoft,

Even if he forces the new one in...if he succeeds by expanding the hole or shrinking the part...once he gets it in...it may become faulty if something breaks or cracks b/c he's forced it in there. I really would not recommend him forcing it in there.
Yeah that's my biggest concern and I voiced it at some point. But he said it was fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
how many miles are on the car? the timing belts break around 100k miles. if it's the timing belt, and it's taken him this long to replace a sensor, you might never get it running.

crank sensors don't normally go bad. cam-sensors commonly go bad. you pretty much never see a problem with a crank sensor.

you can see if the timing belt is broken by taking out the cam sensor and cranking the car. if the round piece doesn't turn, you'll know the belt broke.

-

good news is the cam sensor is right up top and it's easy to get to, easy to remove, and easy to see.
The car's got about 80k miles on it. Awesome for a 2001, so I'm annoyed at the idea of it basically being reduced to scrap cause I can't afford to get it fixed professionally. I remember him mentioning the timing belt at some point but really, right now, nothing's going to be accomplished till he gets that darn sensor in.

My biggest problem is going to be relaying any information I find here to him. When I questioned if it was good to leave the car on jacks, hood open and not running at all for a year, he got very defensive. He doesn't take kindly to non-car people second guessing him (let alone a female) and my brothers have warned me that if I don't approach this the right way he might refuse to work on my car anymore. As if the car itself was enough of a problem!

Last edited by Angelsoft; 09 Apr 2013 at 05:32 pm.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 05:46 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Quick update. My brother stopped by and was able to get the old piece back in without any problem. So hopefully that means it's just the wrong piece. He's running to the auto shop to try and get another part.
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 06:07 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
you can see if the timing belt is broken by taking out the cam sensor and cranking the car. if the round piece doesn't turn, you'll know the belt broke.
-
good news is the cam sensor is right up top and it's easy to get to, easy to remove, and easy to see.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelsoft View Post
Quick update. My brother stopped by and was able to get the old piece back in without any problem.
is he able to take the cam sensor out to see if the part inside will spin? 2 little bolts. should take like 2 minutes. really. take the part off, crank it, see if the part inside spins

just in case he can: Engine light due to camshaft sensor...
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 06:42 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Problem with these is bore outside o-ring corrodes, then it becomes difficult to remove and install sensor.
Give him a little piece of sandpaper and tell him to wrap it around his little finger and get to it.

Sensor area that goes into block is same back to 1993, they changed to current connector in 1997. I don't know that the '03 & up sensor wouldn't physically fit- it is 3/16" shorter (and external area is noticeably different) so you don't have wrong one.

I'd agree with these guys that he's likely just throwing parts at it, and timing belt has likely broken
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Old 09 Apr 2013, 06:51 pm
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Default Re: 2001 Crank Shaft Position Sensor Problems

Yeah, my brother verified that the new part is the correct one but is slightly bigger (1/8th of an inch) than the original. He's planning on doing the sandpaper route on the sensor.

I'll mention the camshaft and timing belt ideas to him but unfortunately a lot is going to have to wait till I can get a new battery. There's no battery in there at the moment for reasons I won't go into. Luckily, if my dad hears this through my brother he might be more accepting of it.
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