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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 23001
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Nissan X-Trail: My nissan 03 2.5 petrol x-trail is still cutting

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My nissan 03 2.5 petrol x-trail is still cutting out. The throttle body has been cleaned, the fuel filter and pump have been cleaned and checked. Until the last cut out there was no ecu fault showing. However the last cut out resulted in an error message which was "crankshaft position sensor fault". After that the sensors were all checked and are perfect.Some one suggested that there may be a timing chain issue which can cause the same error message.Obviously a timing chain issue would be a huge job and with a car of this age and 87,00 miles I need to be as certain as I can before committing to such a repair.Have we missed another possible simpler (cheaper) reason for these cut outs? These cut outs occur both when the vehicle is on the move and, less frequntly when the vehicle comes to a halt they are intermittent and the vehicle runs perfectly otherwise. The vehicle has been "terra cleaned" to remove any unwanted carbon deposits and is regularly and expertly maintained. These petrol 2.5 X-trails are rather rare and it is difficult to find definitive advice. Aren you able to assist?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

I'm quite certain that you do have a bad crank sensor, or at least a problem with it's signal. The crank sensor is the main input needed for spark and without it you'll lose spark.

When a crank sensor code sets it is because the signal is lost but the ECM still knows the engine is turning. The problem could be the sensor, connection or wiring, but almost always it is a failure of the sensor.

Since the problem is intermittent I don't believe whoever checked the sensor did so during the time it needed to be checked. Testing the crank sensor would require having a labscope on it's signal only at the time it acts up, since the problem is intermittent I doubt this was done. If the car was running fine when it was looked at then there would be nothing wrong with the sensor at that time.

I would recommend doing a good visual inspection of the crank sensor wiring and connection, if all looks ok then replace the sensor.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I will pass on your reply to my mechanic (motor engineer). I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX your advice will cure the problem as the issue is worsening and rendering the vehicle unsafe to drive. I assume, hopefully, that you do not think it necessary to start taking the engine to pieces and looking at replacing timing chains etc.?