Battery or fuel problems are often blamed if a car won't start. However, they aren't the only reasons a car's engine may fail to start. Your car is equipped with numerous sensors, and some of them are so critical that you may experience difficulty in starting the car if they malfunction. Here are three examples of such critical sensors:

Crank Angle Sensor

The crank angle sensor is also known as the crankshaft position sensor. As the name suggests, it measures the position and speed of the crankshaft (which transmits power from the engine to other parts of the car) for proper timing of the pistons. This is necessary so that combustion takes place when the pistons are in their correct positions.

If the crankshaft position malfunctions, the engine won't get adequate fuel at the correct time. In fact, complete failure of the sensor means the engine won't get any fuel at all. As a result, the engine won't start at all. Other things that should make you suspect crankshaft position sensor include uneven acceleration, engine misfire, stalling, and reduced gas mileage.

Mass Airflow Sensor

This sensor measures the volume of air entering the engine. The engine needs both air and fuel, in their correct proportions, to combust properly. Information from the sensor helps the Engine Control Unit (ECU) to control the air entering the engine. If the sensor is faulty, it may send the wrong signals or even fail to send any signal at all. The ECU will fail to control and the amount of air entering the engine, and the engine won't have enough power. An engine with inadequate air is difficult to start, stalls easily, and experiences hiccups if it manages to start.

Oil Pressure Sensor

Another sensor that has a role in the ease of starting the engine is the oil pressure sensor. The sensor tells the ECU the level of oil pressure lubricating the engine parts. Sufficient oil pressure is necessary o prevent the metal parts from touching. Significant damage can occur if these parts rub against each other; it may even lead to complete engine failure.

For this reason, some car models will not start if the oil pressure reading is extremely low. A faulty oil pressure sensor may give an indication of low oil pressure, even if the pressure is optimal. However, the ECU will use the (faulty) reading to prevent the engine from starting. You should suspect a faulty sensor if the oil pressure light is on or if it keeps coming on and going off despite optimal oil levels in the engine.

As you can see, you should ignore your car's sensors; whenever they start acting up, contact a mechanic for a diagnosis or solution. Otherwise, your car might fail to start the next time you shut off the engine. Contact a business, such as the Gwizz Auto Group, for more information.