My car experienced a few random cut-offs due to P1361: Top Dead Center Sensor 1 Intermittent Interruption. The first instance happened during a warm day when I turned the AC for the first time in over a year. Did not think much of it, to be honest, I suspected that the car overheated even though the temperature gauge pointed below 90C. Since that moment it keeps happening randomly. I purchased a new TDC sensor but before engaging in stripping off the engine cover I want to check if there is any other method to verify the fault. Some publications show how to verify the TDC sensor using DMM. Usually, it consists of two stages:

TDC port verification to confirm that supply voltage and GND are ok. Sensor verification by measuring the impedance.

Would tapping to signal pin be a good idea to verify that the hall-effect sensor produces the signal when the engine is running? Lastly, assuming that I am able to verify the sensor without taking the engine cover and the sensor is ok. Could Intermittent camshaft position error indicate stretched timing belt?

1 Answer 1


Anecdotal evidence; my GM 3.0L V6 engine uses a crank and camshaft sensor. Both produce different error codes. The camshaft sensor failure will not kill the engine but the crankshaft sensor failing (intermittently or completely) simply kills the entire EFI system. The crank sensor provides the precise electronic clock signal allowing the engine computer to operate; fuel pump, injectors and ignition system. The camshaft sensor helps fine tune the EFI system. Theoretically, a faulty camshaft sensor should not kill the engine.

Depending on your engine, you may have both. A faulty camshaft sensor may upset the EFI system while the crank sensor failing kills the engine. I love (not) Honda's use of interchanging the cam and crank shaft sensors that simply confuses anyone. The simplest way to test/diagnose both sensors is a resistance measurement. Heat, cold and vibration are enemies of electronics. My familiarity with an intermittent crank sensor/intermittent engine die off was verified by measuring the crank sensor after the (hot) engine died; higher resistance than specified in service manuals. After engine cool down, resistance lowered with restarting the engine successfully until engine heat once again killed the sensor and engine. Replacement of the crank sensor fixed the problem. Bench testing revealed heat raised resistance above specs. Vibration and cold would affect its operation too. Normal range of resistance from specs should be compared to values when immersed in boiling water (hot engine), ice water (freezing conditions) and rapping the sensor against a bench edge (engine vibration).

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