Many internal combustion engines are equipped with a vibration damper attached to the front. Excessive thermal loads on the viscous damping element occasionally lead to damper failure, which in turn causes excessive torsional oscillation amplitudes in the crankshaft, and subsequent damage to the engine if the damper failure is not recognized immediately. Two non-contacting magnetic sensors at the engine front and flywheel detect the speed at both locations, and the torsional crankshaft strain. A digital circuit, which includes a microprocessor, samples and processes the raw engine speed speed data. The transducer concept provides for stable operation independent of motor speed and varying ambient temperatures. Experimental data were recorded on an eight-cylinder Diesel engine with and without damper. The measurements, made under steady state operating conditions, show that the speed oscillation amplitudes at the engine front more than double when the damper fails. The torsional amplitudes also increase more than twofold. A PROM resident program monitors continuously the engine speed and torsional oscillations. If excessive speed or torsional oscillation amplitudes are detected, a warning message is displayed immediately, so that engine damage is avoided.