Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

How can you tell if it is the sensor that is bad?

I was doing some reading and came across this for a Kia Sedona mini van which I have with 140,000 miles on it.

A worn timing belt can result in trouble codes from the camshaft or crankshaft sensors, causing a dashboard warning light to be lit.

Well I have my CEL on and it is giving a code that the crankshaft sensor is the problem. My van has 140,000 miles and probably is in need of a belt change. I purchased the van back in Aug of last year with 134,000 miles and have it scheduled for belt replacement this week. So how can the dealership who is doing the work can tell if it is the belt like the above says could cause the CEL and or it is a bad sensor?

Well, if I recall your van has an interference engine, which means you’re about 30,000-50,000 miles over what I’d consider a prudent replacement point for the timing belt so that your engine does not get destroyed. So, you need to replace that belt regardless. My advice would therefore be to have the belt replaced, and see if that makes the computer happy. If not, it’s time to also check the sensors.

Had appointment scheduled for replacement of belts already scheduled. Then CEL went off and according to dealership code is for bad Crank shaft sensor. At the time I had no idea that a possibly bad belt could send that same code or cause the sensor to act bad. Van goes in this friday, belts could be old, could have been replaced around 120,000 miles (should be replaced every 60,000) by previous owners, no way of telling. Just wondering if there is a machine they can use to see if sensor is good or bad or do they just go by CEL code.

A good mechanic will have a proper scanner tool that not only reads the codes, but can read the outputs of the individual sensors as the ECU is seeing them. These scanner tools are very expensive but much better at diagnosis than a $69 code reader.

Okay, so I am guessing a dealership reapair shop would have one. They are replacing my timing belts and the sensor is right in that area so I guess they can test it.

The belt itself can’t send a trouble code. It has no sensor. It is either functioning or it’s not functioning. The dealership is your most expensive option for repairs and maintenance…

Anyone can buy a OBD-2 to USB adapter cable and a software program, some free, that will turn any laptop computer into a sophisticated code reader and scan tool for under $40…

Unless you’re aware of a cable that I’m not, those adapter cable/software programs are nice, but do not read as much data as a full scan tool does.

Actually in my area they are either the cheapest or close to. Most of the places I have called that are non dealership moan and such when they hear it’s a Kia. I had 2 places basically say they wanted no part of doing a timing belt change on this vehicle. Other places wanted 150-200 dollars more to do it. Not sure why my area is like that.

If the new belt looks to be a half inch longer than the old belt, it may be the only way to know. If the old one looks thinner… If the new belt goes on and the code goes away for another 60,000 miles… You know. Sometimes there is no way to know everything.

Normally a faulty sensor is detected by the ECU by some sort of electrical fault. Either with the sensor signal or power connection to the sensor. Depending on the trouble code set, the trouble is indicated as a sensor problem or with the circuit to the sensor.

I just ordered an Equus 3140 scanner from Amazon. It will go to our daughter’s house in the McAllen area, and my wife will bring it back when she comes. It is $216 but that includes a serial to USB adaptor, and also a big book on the computer system. I got the 3140 because it will read some pre-1996 cars, and there are many here in the country in Mexico.

This scanner claims to have freeze frame, and live something or other. I will be spending a lot of time learning how to use it. good retirement project.

I have an older Actron which will give me codes, but want to be able to read the data and see what is actually happening.

If you have a windows XP laptop, CD drive, with a USB port, this cable and the included software will duplicate the performance of most stand alone scanners…I just grabbed this one, there are many others.

I have an Equus 3130 Irlandes. You are going to like it. You can view live data from the ECU. Things like engine RPM, coolant temperature, along with other things.