How to Test a Hall Effect Sensor with a Multimeter (Guide)

Power loss, loud noise, and a feeling that the motor is blocked somehow are signs that either you are dealing with a dead controller or the Hall Effect crank sensors inside your motor have issues. 

Follow these steps to test a hall sensor using a multimeter.

First, set your digital multimeter to DC volts (20 volts). Connect the multimeter’s black lead to the black wire on the hall sensor. The red terminal should connect with the positive red wire of the hall sensor wire group. You should obtain a reading of 13volts on your digital multimeter. Proceed to check the output of other wires.

A Hall Effect sensor is a transducer that generates an output voltage in response to a magnetic field. In this article, you’ll learn how to test a Hall Effect sensor with a multimeter.    

magnetic field deflects

What Happens When Hall Sensors Fail?

Failure of hall sensors means that the controller (the board that powers and manages the motor) is missing critical information needed for proper synchronization of the motor’s power. The motor receives power through three wires (phases). The three phases require proper synchronization otherwise the motor gets stuck, loses power, and makes an annoying sound.

Do you suspect that your Hall Effect sensors are faulty? You can conduct a test with a multimeter using the following three steps.

1. Unplugging and Cleaning the Sensor

The first step entails removing the sensor from the engine block. Be on the lookout for dirt, metal shavings, and oil. If any of these is present, clean them out.

2. Locating the Camshaft Sensor/Crankshaft Sensor

Examine the engine’s schematic to locate the camshaft sensor or the crankshaft position sensor to the electronic control module (ECM) or the camshaft sensor. Next, touch one end of the jumper wire to the signal wire and the other end to the positive probe’s tip. The negative probe should touch a good chassis ground connection. Consider using a jumper with alligator clips when connecting the negative probe to the chassis ground – if need be.

3. Reading the Voltage on the Digital Multimeter

Next, set your digital multimeter to DC volts (20 volts). Connect the multimeter’s black lead to the black wire on the hall sensor. The red terminal should connect with the positive red wire of the hall sensor wire group. You should obtain a reading of 13 volts on your digital multimeter.

mechanic reading the multimeter result

Proceed to check the output of other wires.

Next, connect the multimeter’s black lead to the harness’ black wire. The red multimeter lead should touch the green one on the harness. Check if the voltage reads five or more volts. Note that the voltage depends on the circuit input and could vary from one device to another. However, it should be greater than zero volts if the Hall Effect sensors are okay.

Move the magnet at a right angle to the front of the position sensor, slowly. Check what happens. As you move toward the sensor, the voltage should increase. As you move away, the voltage should decrease. Your crank sensor or its connections are faulty if there is no voltage change.

Wrapping Up

Hall Effect sensors offer numerous benefits such as the much-needed reliability, high-speed operation, and pre-programmable electrical outputs and angles. Users also love it because of its ability to operate in various temperature ranges. They are widely used in mobile vehicles, automation equipment, marine handling equipment, agricultural machinery, slitting and rewinding machines, and process and packaging machines. (1, 2, 3)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.




References
(1) reliability – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-achieve-reliability-maintenance-excellence-walter-pesenti
(2) temperature ranges – https://pressbooks.library.ryerson.ca/vitalsign/
chapter/what-are-normal-temperature-ranges/
(3) agricultural machinery – https://www.britannica.com/technology/farm-machinery

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.