What Scanner Can Relearn Crankshaft Position Sensor? All You Need To Know

The crankshaft position sensor is a crucial component in modern vehicle engines. It provides essential information about the position and rotational speed of the crankshaft, allowing the engine control module (ECM) to synchronize fuel injection and ignition timing. However, there may come a time when the sensor needs to be relearned. 

In this article, we will explore the role of a scanner in relearning the crankshaft position sensor and discuss common scanners capable of performing this task.

Table of Contents

What does a crankshaft sensor scanner do?

What Scanner Can Relearn Crankshaft Position Sensor? All You Need To Know

Scanners have become indispensable tools in automotive diagnostics, aiding technicians in identifying and resolving various issues within a vehicle’s electronic systems. 

When it comes to relearning the crankshaft position sensor, scanners play a crucial role in accessing the necessary functions to initiate and complete the relearning process. These scanners communicate with the vehicle’s ECM and provide the interface needed for sensor relearning.

Different types of scanners are available in the market, ranging from basic code readers to advanced diagnostic tools with comprehensive functionality. When choosing a scanner for relearning the crankshaft position sensor, selecting one that supports your vehicle’s specific make and model is essential.

How to relearn the crankshaft position sensor?

Before relearning the crankshaft position sensor, preparing the vehicle for the process is important. This typically involves ensuring the battery is fully charged, and all accessories are turned off. Once the vehicle is ready, the scanner needs to be connected to the onboard diagnostic (OBD) port, usually located under the dashboard.

After establishing a connection, the scanner’s menu or interface needs to be navigated to access the sensor relearning function. Depending on the scanner and vehicle model, this option may be found under various menus, such as “Special Functions” or “System Reset.” Once located, the relearning process can be initiated.


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Sensor diary

What Scanner Can Relearn Crankshaft Position Sensor?

Indeed, numerous scanner options are available in the market, each with its own features and capabilities. Here are a few examples of reputable scanner brands known for their diagnostic tools:

Launch X431

Launch X431 scanners are widely recognized for their extensive vehicle coverage and advanced diagnostic capabilities. They offer a range of scanners suitable for professional use, with features like sensor relearning and real-time data monitoring.

Autel MaxiSYS

Autel MaxiSYS scanners are known for their comprehensive diagnostic functions and user-friendly interfaces. They often provide specialized functions for sensor relearning, including the crankshaft position sensor.

Snap-on Tools

Snap-on Tools offers a variety of professional-grade scanners renowned for their durability and accuracy. Their scanners are designed for efficient sensor relearning processes, along with extensive diagnostic capabilities.

Bosch Automotive Diagnostic Tools

Bosch is a trusted name in the automotive industry, and their diagnostic tools are known for their reliability and accuracy. They provide a range of scanners suitable for sensor relearning, compatible with a wide range of vehicle makes and models.

Remember, it is crucial to consider your specific needs, such as the vehicle make and model, budget, and desired features, when selecting a scanner for relearning the crankshaft position sensor. It is also beneficial to consult with automotive professionals or read customer reviews to decide on the scanner that best suits your requirements.

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Tips for successful relearning

To ensure a successful relearning process for the crankshaft position sensor, consider the following tips:

Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions and the scanner’s user manual for accurate guidance on the relearning process. This will help you understand your particular vehicle’s specific requirements or precautions.

Ensure a stable power source: Having a stable one during relearning is crucial. Connect the vehicle to a battery charger or ensure the battery has sufficient charge to avoid interruptions or malfunctions during relearning.

Allow sufficient time for relearning: Depending on the vehicle and scanner, the relearning process can take several minutes. Being patient and allowing the scanner to complete the procedure without interruption is important. Rushing through the process may lead to inaccurate or incomplete sensor relearning.

How to relearn the crankshaft position sensor without a scanner?

Relearning the crankshaft position sensor without a scanner can be a bit challenging, as it typically requires access to specific diagnostic functions that scanners provide. However, in some cases, you can perform a basic relearning procedure without a scanner. 

Here’s a guide on how to attempt relearning the crankshaft position sensor without a scanner:

  • Step 01: Disconnect the Battery

Start by disconnecting the vehicle’s battery to reset the ECM. Locate the battery in the engine compartment and use a wrench to loosen the negative (-) terminal connection. 

Once loosened, remove the negative cable from the battery and securely position it away from the battery terminal to prevent accidental reconnection.

  • Step 02: Locate the Sensor

Identify the location of the crankshaft position sensor in your vehicle. Refer to the vehicle’s repair manual or online resources for specific guidance. In most vehicles, the sensor is situated near the crankshaft pulley or flywheel.

  1. Step 03: Remove and Inspect the Sensor

Carefully remove the crankshaft position sensor from its mounting. Depending on the vehicle, this may require disconnecting electrical connectors or removing fasteners. 

Once removed, visually inspect the sensor for any signs of damage, such as loose connections, frayed wires, or corrosion. Clean the sensor using an appropriate electrical contact cleaner and a soft cloth if necessary.

  • Step 04: Reinstall the Sensor

Position the crankshaft position sensor back into its mounting location. Ensure that it aligns correctly and securely fits into place. 

Reconnect any electrical connectors and fasteners removed during removal, ensuring proper alignment and tightness.

  • Step 05: Reconnect the Battery

Reconnect the vehicle’s battery by attaching the negative (-) cable back onto the terminal. 

Use a wrench to tighten the connection securely, ensuring good electrical contact. Double-check that the positive (+) cable is still disconnected during this process.

  • Step 06: Rev the Engine

Start the engine and allow it to idle for a few minutes. Then, gradually increase the engine speed by gently pressing the accelerator pedal. Take the RPM to a higher range and then allow it to return to idle. 

Repeat this process a few times to help the ECM adapt to the newly installed or repositioned crankshaft position sensor.

  • Step 07: Test Drive

Take the vehicle for a short test drive to assess the engine’s performance. Drive under various conditions, such as city streets and highways, while paying attention to the engine’s behavior. 

Listen for any abnormal sounds or vibrations and monitor the engine’s responsiveness. If everything appears normal, the relearning process without a scanner may have been successful.

It is important to note that while this method may work in some cases, it may not be as effective or precise as using a scanner specifically designed for sensor relearning. If issues persist or if you want to ensure the most accurate relearning process, it is recommended to consult with a professional technician or utilize a scanner.

What happens if you don’t relearn the crankshaft position sensor?

If the crankshaft position sensor is not properly relearned, it can lead to various engine performance issues. The engine may experience misfires, poor fuel efficiency, difficulty starting, or even stalling. 

The ECM relies on accurate data from the crankshaft position sensor to synchronize fuel injection and ignition timing. Without a proper relearning process, the sensor may provide incorrect readings, disrupting the engine’s timing and overall functionality. 

Therefore, it is essential to ensure the crankshaft position sensor is relearned correctly to maintain optimal engine performance and prevent potential drivability problems.


The crankshaft position sensor plays a vital role in engine performance, and relearning this sensor is essential in maintaining optimal functionality. With the help of a suitable scanner, technicians can easily access the necessary functions and complete the relearning process efficiently. By following the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring a stable power source, and allowing sufficient time for the relearning process, successful sensor relearning can be achieved, leading to improved engine performance and overall vehicle reliability.

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