P0336 Code: Symptoms, Causes and Fixing

The crankshaft position sensor measures the rotational speed and position of the crankshaft. The powertrain control module (PCM) uses this information to sequence ignition timing and fuel delivery. The PCM triggers the P0336 code when it detects a problem with the signal coming from the crankshaft position sensor. This article deeply explains the P0336 code symptoms and causes.

P0336 Code Definition

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0336 stands for “Crankshaft Position Sensor “A” Circuit Range/Performance.”

What does the P0336 code mean?

The P0336 trouble code indicates that the PCM has detected an improper/irregular signal coming from the crankshaft position sensor. This can either be an electrical problem with the sensor or a mechanical issue with the reluctor ring from which the crankshaft position sensor reads the position.

P0336 code

Function of Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position (CKP) sensor records the rotation speed of the crankshaft, monitors the engine valves to ensure the pistons can operate properly, and monitors how well the engine is functioning.

The PCM uses the recorded information of the CKP sensor to make any necessary adjustments to the fuel injection process and ignition timing.

Crankshaft Position Sensor

When the CKP sensor and PCM are working properly together, they control the vehicle’s emission performance and power output. This mechanism allows the vehicle to be reliable with great driveability.

The crankshaft position sensor has two parts: a rotating disc (reluctor) and a stationary sensor. Most crankshaft position sensors have a voltage wire sensor, a ground wire, and a signal wire. These three-wire sensors work together to provide the PCM with a revolutions per minute (RPM) signal.

With this information and the information it receives from the camshaft position sensor, the PCM can determine how to adjust the ignition and fuel injection timing.

When the PCM stops receiving the proper signal from the crankshaft position sensor and is thereby unable to determine how to make necessary adjustments, it will store the P0336 code.

A faulty crankshaft needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Failure to do so for an extended period of time may cause damage to other engine components. Using an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part is recommended when replacing a crankshaft position sensor.

Read More: Symptoms and Causes of bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

P0336 Code Causes

The most common causes of the P0336 code are given below:

  • Wires and circuits have burned or shorted out
  • A faulty crankshaft position sensor
  • Bad crankshaft sensor connector plug
  • Broken crankshaft reluctor ring
  • A faulty camshaft position sensor
  • Crankshaft sensor wiring is misrouted near high voltage spark plug cables.
  • Engine misfire(s)
  • Loose or improperly installed crankshaft reluctor ring
  • A broken or corroded crankshaft position sensor connector
  • Open wiring in crankshaft position sensor circuit
  • Damaged powertrain control module (PCM)
  • The reluctor wheel has broken, snapped, or has worn down teeth

Symptoms of P0336 Code

  • Illuminated check engine light
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Difficulty starting
  • Car may hesitate upon acceleration
  • Intermittent stalling
  • Erratic idle
  • Engine vibration
  • Random or intermittent engine misfire

Read More: P0340 Symptoms and Causes

Tools required to diagnosis the P0336 Code

  • Basic Hand Tools
  • Multimeter
  • Electrical Contact Cleaner
  • Diagnostic OBD Scan Tool
  • Auto Repair Manual

How to diagnose the P0336 code?

  • Connect your OBD2 scanner and check for other related trouble codes. Follow procedures if you find any.
  • Visually inspect the crankshaft position sensor for obvious damage
  • Inspect the reluctor wheel for any damage (the reluctor wheel should not be loose on the crankshaft)
  • Inspect the wiring for breaks, burns, or shorts. It’s also important to make sure that the sensor wires are not too close to the spark plug wires
  • Inspect the crankshaft harness wiring insulation for any type of damage
  • Inspect the connector for breaks, corrosion, or a loose connector
  • Ensure the wirings to the crankshaft position sensor are not misrouted near any high-voltage spark plug cable.
  • Clear the trouble codes and performs a test to see if any return
  • Use the scanner to view the RPM reading (done while starting the car)
  • Without an RPM reading, use a scanner to check the crankshaft position sensor signal.
  • Use a volt-ohm meter (VOM) to test the resistance in the crankshaft position sensor wiring and the crankshaft position sensor itself (the manufacturer provided resistance specifications)
  • Check the camshaft position sensor and its wiring – since the crankshaft and the camshaft work together, a faulty camshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor wiring can affect the operation of the crankshaft position sensor.
  • Remove the faulty crankshaft position sensor and check the reluctor ring on the crankshaft for any damages. Spin the engine all the way around to make sure it is 100% functional.

Common P0336 diagnosis mistakes

  1. Replacing the crankshaft position sensor without inspecting the reluctor ring.
  2. The crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor work closely together, and for this reason, it is common for the crankshaft position sensor to be replaced when the actual problem is that the camshaft position sensor is faulty.
  3. Before replacing the crankshaft position sensor, it is also important to consider the possibility of there being an engine misfire or a wiring issue.

Repair Costs for P0336 Code

The repair or fixing cost of the P0336 error code varies according to labor cost and relevant parts. One or more below given repairs may be needed to fix the P0336:

PartsCost
Crankshaft position sensor$180 to $260
Reluctor ring replacement470$ to 2000$
Wiring repair/replacement$90 to $1100  

FAQ Section

How serious is the P0336 code?

Diagnostic trouble code P0336 is generally considered to be quite severe in nature. This is due to the fact that this particular fault code is often accompanied by one or more severe drivability-related symptoms.

In the most severe of cases, DTC P0336 can result in engine stalling, creating a potentially hazardous situation, especially if one is driving in heavy traffic when their vehicle stalls.

Additionally, a failure within the crankshaft position circuit has the tendency to produce a “no start” condition. This, in turn, can leave you stranded without recourse other than to call for a costly tow. This can also prove extremely inconvenient, especially when trying to commute on a timeline.

What repairs can fix the P0336 Code?

  • Repair any engine misfires if needed
  • Replace the damaged reluctor wheel
  • Replace the faulty camshaft position sensor
  • Inspect and fix the broken wires to the crankshaft sensor
  • Repair or replace the damaged or corroded crankshaft position sensor connector
  • Replace the faulty crankshaft sensor
  • Repair or replace the crankshaft position sensor wiring harness
  • Replace or reprogram the PCM

Where is the crankshaft position sensor located?

The location of the crankshaft position sensor can vary from one vehicle to another. Obviously, it must be close to the crankshaft, so it is most often located on the front underside of the engine. It can usually be found mounted to the timing cover. Sometimes it may be mounted at the rear or the side of the engine.

What causes P0336?

The most common causes of the P0336 code are a faulty crankshaft position sensor, faulty wirings to the sensor, faulty PCM, or a broken reluctor ring.

Will disconnecting the battery reset the crankshaft sensor?

Disconnecting the battery will not reset the crankshaft position sensor. The sensor is a mechanical device that doesn’t require power to function.

Can a crankshaft sensor be cleaned?

To clean the crankshaft sensor, simply unscrew 1 bolt holding it in. Remove the sensor and clean any metal or grease off of it. It is magnetic, so it will attract metal. When I cleaned mine, it made a world of difference for idle.

Will the crank sensor cause no start?

A crankshaft position sensor (crank sensor) is an important device measuring the engine RPM and tracing the crankshaft position. The car won’t start if the crankshaft position sensor doesn’t work properly. The crank sensor can fail, or its wiring can get damaged. This may cause the car to stall or not start.

How do you reset a camshaft position sensor?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to reset a camshaft position sensor. If you’re having camshaft issues (check engine light on, acceleration trouble, sputtering and stalling, etc.), you’ll have to replace the part entirely.

What happens when a crankshaft sensor doesn't work?

If your crankshaft sensor is not working properly, the powertrain control module (PCM) of your vehicle won’t be able to execute the changes to the fuel injection or to the spark timing whenever the engine speed climbs.

Can I drive with the P0336 Code?

It is recommended that you shouldn’t drive with the P0336 code because it is considered a severe code. Vehicles with this code are unreliable; they will be difficult to start or may not start at all. It can result in engine stalling, creating a potentially hazardous situation, especially if one is driving in heavy traffic.

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