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Crankcase Pressure Sensor – A Key Part Of The Internal Combustion Engine

Crankcase Pressure Sensor

The crankcase pressure sensor is designed to detect the amount of overpressure within the engine oil in the crankcase. The overpressure is often due to a diesel leakage in the engine oil, causing too much pressure within the system. Let’s see why this part is such a key component of the engine system and how it relates to the crankcase. 

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What is the crankcase?


A crankcase is the housing for the crankshaft in the internal combustion engine of a vehicle. In most engines in modern cars today, the crankcase is usually integrated within the engine block. Two-stroke engines usually utilize a crankcase-compression design, causing the fuel and air mixture to pass through the resulting crankcase before entering the engine cylinders. This design of the particular engine means that there is no oil sump within the crankcase or the crankcase pressure sensor.


The two-stroke engine is a type of internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle with two strokes of the piston only during one crankshaft revolution. The cylinders that are receiving the fuel and air mixture through the crankcase pressure sensor are the space in which the engine piston travels.


In a four-stroke engine, there is generally an oil sump at the bottom of the crankcase,and the majority of the oil within the engine is held within this space in the crankcase, which contains the crankcase pressure sensor. The fuel and air mixture does not go through the crankcase, however, in the four=-stroke engine. The only amount of exhaust gasses that enter the crankcase pressure sensor within this four =-stroke engine only comes through blow-by from the combustion chamber.


The combustion chamber is a part of the internal combustion engine that houses where the fuel and air mixture is burned. In this space within the engine, the fuel, air, pressure,and electricity all mix together to create the explosion that powers the car’s pistons, causing them to move up and down, generating the power needed to move the car forwards or backwards. 


In a vehicle, the crankcase usually forms the lower half of the main bearing journals, with the bearing caps completing the other half. Within the crankcase, you have the crankcase pressure sensor. The main bearing journals that hold the crankcase are the bearings that hold the crankshaft in place and allow it to rotate within the engine. 

What is the Crankcase Ventilation System?


In an internal combustion engine, the crankcase ventilation system removes any unnecessary gases or the prevalence of too much gas for the crankcase, thereby saving the crankcase pressure sensor from misreadings. The system usually consists of one tube, a one-way valve, and a vacuum source, like the intake manifold. The intake manifold is the part of the engine in your car that supplies the fuel and air mixture to the cylinders within the engine. 


These unwanted gases, also called “blow-by”, are gases from the combustion chamber that have leaked past the piston rings. Piston rings are rings attached to the outer part of the piston in an internal combustion engine and seal the combustion chamber to prevent a loss of gases to the crankcase and prevent any misreadings by the crankcase pressure sensor. 


Positive crankcase ventilation systems, also known as PCV systems, were first used in modern engines, sending the crankcase gases back to the combustion chamber to reduce air pollution and increase fuel efficiency. 


This positive crankcase ventilation system utilizes a PCV valve. This valve allows the intake manifold vacuum to be applied to the crankcase and the crankcase pressure sensor. The manifold vacuum is the internal combustion engine’s difference between the engine intake and the air of the earth. 


The airflow through the crankcase and the engine gets rid of any byproduct gases and additional gases that are not needed within the crankcase or the engine. In some PCV systems, the oil baffling occurs in an engine place called the oil separator.


The opening of the PCV valve during conditions where there is a greater flow rate of intake air, adding blow by gasses to the intake system, allows the crankcase and the crankcase pressure sensor to draw the gases away from the intake. 


In addition, the second function of the PCV is to prevent positive pressure from inside of the intake system from entering the crankcase. This can happen when backfire takes place and prevents the pressure from reaching the crankcase and the crankcase pressure sensor. 

What is the P05IB code? 


Regarding the crankcase pressure sensor, there is a certain code that it can pertain to and directly influence, deciding whether or not it comes to aim a vehicle and causing the issues that can turn the code on in the first place. This is one of the most frequent OBD-II trouble codes. 


The crankcase pressure sensor can cause this common trouble code to come on in your vehicle. You will often see this trouble code appear on Ford cars, Dodge, Ra, Jeep. Fiat, and other similar vehicle makers. 


To understand why this trouble code might appear, we must know why and how trouble codes work. Your vehicle has dozens of sensors that are connected to the electronic control module. This module, or the ECM, is basically the computer of the car, monitoring all of the engine functions to keep things running smoothly and functioning well in your car. 


The crankcase pressure sensor is in charge of providing the electronic control module with the right data to keep it working at the right level within the engine crankcase. Since engines produce fumes during the normal running of a car, this means it is absolutely crucial for the electronic control module to be able to obtain an accurate crankcase pressure value and receive one from the crankcase pressure sensor. 


This correct reading and data given can ensure that the pressure does not get too high and damage the seals and gaskets. This is also crucial for recycling the fumes back into the engine by means of the positive crankcase ventilation system. This all depends on the proper working of the crankcase pressure sensor and the status of the crankcase. 


The fumes from the crankcase that are not used or utilized by fuel in the engine can get directed back to the intake valve for the engine to use and burn away doing other activities. This efficiency function ensures that the emissions are not wasted and the fuel economy is the highest it can be. The crankcase pressure sensor increases the fuel economy of your vehicle by making sure nothing gets wasted. 


Now that we know this, we must know why the code appears. The P05IB crankcase pressure sensor circuit range and performance codes turn on by the electronic control module. This occurs when the electronic control module measures one or many of the electrical values that are outside of the correct operating range. When it notices these discrepancies, it shows an issue from the crankcase pressure sensor, where the values are originating from.


Once the electronic control module notices the crankcase pressure sensor is working incorrectly, this illuminates the check engine light, and requires your vehicle to be checked as soon as possible. 

Causes of the Code


Some causes of the P05IB code in your car from the crankcase pressure sensor is that the CCPS has an internal electrical issue or the ECM issues a code for the positive crankcase ventilation as defective. The positive crankcase ventilation involves recycling gases through a valve, the PCV valve, to the intake manifold. Once they are here, they are transferred to the cylinders for another chance at engine combustion. It isn’t the best to have these gases held in the cylinders, since they might be mostly air and the mixture might be too lean, and might not create effective combustion. 


In addition, another cause of the code that shows the issues with the crankcase pressure sensor is physical damage to the PCV, such as broken runners, damaged tubes, disconnected tubes, or chafed lines. 


Furthermore, a clogged PCV system, with tubes containing thick oil, carbon buildup, or too much moisture or condensation in the crankcase can cause issues with the crankcase pressure sensor. 


Lastly, a crankcase pressure sensor can be influenced by a water intrusion within the crankcase or your engine being filled too much with oil. 

Symptoms of Faulty Crankcase Pressure Sensor


If you are wondering what you might see when you have the P05IB trouble code,we have broken down some symptoms that will show up when you have a faulty pressure sensor within your car. 


First, your gas mileage is lower than usual. This means that you will not be able to drive the same amount in your car with an equal amount of gas. The fuel economy will be lower and your car efficiency will be declined.


Second, there might be gasket leaks. A head gasket leak can cause numerous problems with your car, with the biggest problem being a loss of coolant with your vehicle, causing water and pressure to erode the metal of your head and engine block.


Third, there might be a strong smell of fuel and oil in the exhaust. Drivers will be able to notice this classic symptom and be able to tell there is something wrong right away when you smell this. In addition, the check engine light might be illuminated – this is a sign that you need to get your car checked right away, although this can be due to various reasons in your vehicle, ranging from very serious to menial. 


Fourth, your engine will not run smoothly and there will be rough engine idling in your car. There are many reasons for a rough idle that can show why your crankcase pressure sensor is not working well, like dirty fuel injectors, clogged air filters with debris, bad spark plugs or damaged plugs, and various other exhaust issues with your vehicle. 


In addition, your engine oil might be sludgy and thick, containing debris and another carbon buildup, instead of smooth and free flowing. This can cause issues with the pressure sensor and be also one of the main symptoms that the crankcase pressure sensor is damaged.


Next, black smoke can come out of the exhaust. Lastly, there might be too high or too low crankcase pressure readings, showing a discrepancy with the crankcase pressure sensor and the ability to read the data correctly. 

Crankcase Pressure Sensor Prices


If you are looking to purchase a new crankcase pressure sensor for a replacement in your vehicle to keep it running smoothly, then you might look online or to your local mechanic to find the best price. 


One example of a crankcase pressure sensor that can work well for your vehicle is the Dorman, HD Solutions sensor for $41. This sensor offers a restoration of proper vehicle operation and provides a longer service life of your car’s parts. This crankcase sensor is used with a direct replacement, prevents further vehicle damage to the engine, doesn’t require any special tools, and is tested to meet quality standards so you can rest assured of this crankcase pressure sensor’s value. 

Crankcase Replacement


Within the realm of the positive crankcase ventilation system, there are certain parts that can be replaced in order to keep the air and fuel mixture filtering in working order and in good ratios. 


Regarding the crankcase vent filter replacement, there are a few different key models which we have pulled prices for, so we can give you a good idea of how much you will spend on this repair and fix. For the 2007 BMW Z4, the replacement total cost is $195, including around $88 for the total parts and $80 for labor. The next cheapest option is the 2014 Infiniti WX70, with the total cost being just slightly more at $195.69, with the parts costing just over $88 and the labor costing $80 as well. 


The more expensive crankcase vent replacement costs is the 2010 Dodge Caliber and the 2008 Dodge Viper, both coming in at almost $210, with the parts cost of just over $102 and the labor costing $80. 


Neither of these repalcements require changing out the crankcase pressure snensor, as this would only be done with teh full crankcase replacement or repair. 

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