Understanding P0386: Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Malfunction

Having trouble with a P0386 trouble code? Fret not, dear reader! This guide will help you understand what it means, how it affects your vehicle, and how to tackle it.

What is a Crankshaft Position Sensor?

Imagine your vehicle as a symphony. The crankshaft position sensor is like the conductor, maintaining rhythm, coordinating all parts to play in harmony. It’s a little component, but without it, the whole performance could be out of sync.

Role of the Crankshaft Position Sensor

Primarily, the sensor monitors the speed and position of the crankshaft. It feeds this information to the Engine Control Module (ECM) which controls fuel injection and ignition timing. It’s safe to say, a smooth ride is all thanks to this little piece of tech.

What Does P0386 Code Mean?

Now, what happens when the symphony loses its conductor? That’s where the P0386 code comes in. It signifies that there’s a malfunction in the crankshaft position sensor B circuit. But what causes this?

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Causes of P0386

Faulty crankshaft position sensor

Like all tech, the sensor could fail. It’s usually due to wear and tear or damage.

Wiring issues

The wiring connecting the sensor to the ECM could be faulty or corroded.

Faulty Engine Control Module (ECM)

In rare cases, the ECM itself could be the culprit.

Symptoms of P0386

What are the signs that your car is singing off-tune? You might experience engine misfires, a lack of power, poor fuel economy, or even difficulties in starting the engine.

How to Diagnose and Fix the P0386 Error Code

Diagnostic Steps

The first step is to use an OBD-II scanner to confirm the error code. Then, visually inspect the sensor and wiring for any visible damage. If the error persists, consider consulting a professional.

Possible Fixes

Some potential solutions include replacing the sensor, repairing the wiring, or in severe cases, replacing the ECM.

Prevention of P0386

Regular maintenance of your vehicle and prompt attention to any warning lights can help prevent this error code.

What Happens If P0386 Is Ignored?

Ignoring P0386 could lead to poor vehicle performance, damage to theĀ 

engine, and even potential breakdowns. It’s best to address this issue as soon as possible.


To conclude, P0386 is not just another error code. It’s a sign that the conductor of your vehicle’s symphony – the crankshaft position sensor – is facing issues. The potential causes range from a faulty sensor to wiring problems, and even a defective ECM. By understanding the symptoms and causes, you can prevent further damage and ensure a smooth ride.


1. Can I drive my car with the P0386 error code?

Yes, you technically can, but it’s not advised. The code indicates a significant issue in your vehicle that could lead to severe consequences if ignored.

2. How much does it cost to fix the P0386 code?

The cost can vary widely depending on the cause. A crankshaft position sensor replacement can range from $100-$300. However, if the ECM needs to be replaced, the cost can go well over $1000.

3. How long does it take to replace the crankshaft position sensor?

In general, the replacement process can take about 1-2 hours, but this can vary based on the vehicle’s make and model. It’s recommended to consult with a professional mechanic for an accurate estimate.