Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Crankshaft Position Sensor

My An Arkie's Faith column from the March 28, 2018, issue of The Mena Star.

Last month as we were driving our Kia, the engine stumbled momentarily, and the tachometer dropped to zero. The Kia continued to run, but with limited power. We continued on our way but found that once we stopped the Kia and restarted it, the tachometer worked again and the engine had full power. We were traveling for several hours that day, and the Kia stumbled several more times. Each time we just had to stop and restart the engine for the Kia to operate properly again.

When we returned home, I had the trouble codes scanned and found that the code for a faulty crankshaft position sensor was present. As I researched the problem I was having, I found that many Kia owners had experienced the same problem. I decided to replace the crankshaft position sensor myself. I ordered a new sensor from a local auto parts store and installed it. When I finished installing the sensor, the car wouldn’t start. It exhibited some very crazy symptoms. The car engine would only turn over a couple of times and then it would stop. The tachometer would read 8,000 RPM’s even though the engine was not turning over. There was a buzzing noise coming from the engine until I would disconnect the battery. I was stumped.

Before I installed the new sensor, the Kia had been drivable even though the engine occasionally stumbled. But now it was disabled in my shop. I used the internet to research my problem, but couldn’t find anyone who had dealt with similar symptoms. I decided to put the old sensor back in so I could still drive the car, but nothing changed when I did. After spending several hours doing everything I could think of, I gave up and called a repair shop. I towed the Kia to the shop and dropped it off. When the mechanic called me, he told me that he had found a blown fuse, and the Kia was running again.

I decided to reinstall the new sensor. When I finished installing the sensor and tried to start the car, once again it wouldn’t start. I knew which fuse had blown, so I checked it, and sure enough, it was blown. I unplugged the sensor and then changed the fuse. The moment that I plugged the sensor back in, the fuse blew. The sensor must have a short in it, I thought. I called the auto parts store, and they ordered a replacement sensor. When I installed the replacement sensor, the Kia started right up and ran fine. My problems had been caused by a defective new part.

As I thought about all of the time and money I had spent on the Kia, I realized that part of the problem was with my troubleshooting. Of all of the things that I considered while I was trying to figure out the problem, I never considered that the new part might be bad. I assumed that because it was brand new, it couldn’t be the problem, so I looked elsewhere.

Sometimes in life, we do the same thing. We are so sure that some things are true that we don’t investigate them. I see this phenomenon on a daily basis on social media. People will repost articles that with a little research can be proven to be false. But because they believe the premise or agree with the slant of the article, they repost it without investigation. We have become a society of fake news.

Most Christians are a bit like I was while I was working on my Kia. They are so sure of a lot of their beliefs that they never investigate them. God wants us to believe. John 3:16 (NKJV) tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God wants us to believe, but it does make a difference what we believe.

When Jesus was talking with the Pharisees in Matthew 15:3 (NKJV) He asked them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?” He continued. “you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:6 (NKJV) The Pharisees were so sure of their beliefs and traditions that they would never even consider the possibility that they were wrong.

Jesus had some strong words for the Pharisees, and possibly for us, in Matthew 15:7-9 (NKJV) “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

I have noticed that many Christians believe very strongly in their traditions. Traditions are not inherently good or bad, right or wrong. Some people defend traditions because the church has practiced it that way for years. Christians should be neither "traditional" nor "non-traditional.” They should neither accept nor oppose a practice simply because it is a tradition. It doesn’t matter how long we have practiced something or when it began. What’s important is what God’s word says about it. If God's word requires it, then we must do it. If God's word forbids it, then we must oppose it even if it is a tradition. If God’s word is silent, then there is no problem with tradition, but I can’t expect all Christians to follow just because it is my tradition.

Gentle Reader, are you following God, or are you following human traditions and doctrines that differ from His word? Don’t just accept that everything you believe is true. All truth will stand up to close investigation. “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)

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