Timing is a key factor when it comes to keeping an internal combustion engine running properly. In the highly complex engine processes, the purpose of camshaft and crankshaft sensors is to provide the engine’s ECU with the most essential information needed to run the engine. Consequently, exact timing of fuel injection and ignition is essential for smooth and efficient engine operation.
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Connected to the pistons and, via flywheel and clutch, to the gearbox, the crankshaft converts the linear up and down movements of the pistons to rotary motion. This turning of the crankshaft is what powers the engine and makes the vehicle move. The crankshaft sensor keeps track of this rotational speed as well as the crankshaft position.
The camshaft, driven by a timing belt or chain by the crankshaft, rotating with half of the crankshaft’s speed, opens and closes the valves. Installed nearby, the camshaft sensor is responsible for measuring the position of the camshaft. This signal, in conjunction with the crankshaft position, is used to determine which cylinder is currently in its power stroke. The ECU needs this signal to determine when to inject fuel and to operate the spark plug.