P0016 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

Code P0016 Definition

The correlation of the camshaft and crankshaft positions on bank 1 is incorrect based on the intake camshaft position sensor.

What Does P0016 Mean?

In order for the engine to run smoothly and efficiently, it has to know exactly where the camshaft and crankshaft is in its rotation. It does this by monitoring them using the Camshaft Position Sensor(s) and Crankshaft Position Sensor. If the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects that the bank 1 intake camshaft and crankshaft are not in the correct position, it will trigger code P0016. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0016?*

  • Check Engine Light
  • Rough running engine
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Decreased engine performance
  • Timing chain noise
  • Hard/extended start
  • No start

*No noticeable adverse conditions in some cases

What Is The Cause Of Code P0016?

  • Stretched timing chain
  • Jumped timing
  • Slipped reluctor ring on the crankshaft
  • Slipped reluctor ring on bank 1 exhaust camshaft
  • Faulty timing chain tensioner
  • Low/dirty oil

How Serious Is Code P0016? – Severe 

This trouble code can cause the vehicle to be hard to start and run rough. In some cases, the vehicle may not be driveable. It should be addressed as soon as possible. 

Code P0016 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

Not checking for TSBs before starting diagnosis

Tools Needed to Diagnose:

  • FIXD
  • Basic Hand Tools
  • Vehicle Specific Service Manual
  • Oscilloscope

How To Diagnose And Repair Code P0016?

Difficulty of Diagnosis and Repair (5 out of 5)

  1. Check to see if there are any other codes along with P0016 and clear your Check Engine Light with FIXD.
  2. Check the freeze frame data in order to pinpoint the issue.
  3. Check for any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) General Motor vehicles (GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, Suzuki, Cadillac, Holden) specifically have a known issue with stretched timing chains. If your vehicle applies to a TSB, perform this first.
  4. Check the oil level and if incorrect, correct to the proper level. If it’s dirty, replace the engine oil and filter and see if the code comes back.
  5. This code requires an oscilloscope for proper diagnosis. Not all shops are equipped with this but many are. Using the O-scope (oscilloscope), you would connect to the signal wire for the crankshaft position sensor and bank 1 and bank 2 (if equipped) camshaft position sensors and compare the three (or two) to each other. If they are offset from their proper locations, a stretched timing chain, jumped timing or slipped reluctor ring is the issue. Replace the necessary parts to resolve the concern. Below is an image of what this test should look like on an O-scope screen. 

Estimated Cost of Repair

For error code P0016, one or more of the below repairs may be needed to solve the underlying issue. For each possible repair, the estimated cost of repair includes the cost of the relevant parts and the cost of labor required to make the repair. 

  • Timing chain $600-$1200
  • Reluctor ring $200-$600
  • Engine oil and filter change $20-$60

Was this post helpful?

Comments 12

Peter Sywensky

December 13, 2018

Need to try and locate where sensor wiring is

Ara

August 23, 2020

Hello I have a jeep Compas a check for a code and it says my camshaft position sensor need to be replace I replaced it and the check engine light is still on what do you think it could be

Edward Gordon Bryan

January 16, 2019

On the 2007 E350 Mercedes the camshaft position sensor bank 1 sensor A where is it located

Mario

June 14, 2019

Not to sure but I have a Clk350 is a very similar engine is located on the front of the engine on the right hand side as you seated on the car as 2 sensors exactly the same

Michael

July 21, 2020

Hi Edward,

Have you solved the P0016 problem ? What was the cause and solution ?
I have the P0017 code; is the same only for sensor B.

Many thanks for your answer,

Michael.

Pete

January 25, 2019

2008 Ford Expedition xl, camshaft position sensor bank 1, where is located? Code p0016

carlos

February 17, 2019

you will have a waveforms p0016 correlation good and bad

Cerrone

May 28, 2020

The information was quite helpful. Many thanks and best wishes.

Leslie Otts

May 26, 2019

Can this be expensive to fix ?

Everett Roland Boatwright

November 22, 2019

How Expensive is This to Fix

John Porter

January 30, 2020

can anyone tell me what size socket to use on the crankshaft sensor for a 2010 chevy cobalt? can barely get to the sensor let alone see the bolt to gauge its size.

Blair Stelter

June 2, 2020

I have a trusted mechanic that recommended leaving this alone on my 2008 Avalanche. His reasoning: The repair would likely run $1100. He said it might fix the issue but he had no way of knowing now if there was internal engine damage due to the problem. Replacing the engine could be done for about $3000. If there is already damage, the $1100 repair was for nothing and I still need a new engine. He said it could run for a week and clunk out or go for a long time. I chose to run it til it blows up. A year later, still runs fine. Only problem (besides the annoying engine light) is my autostart doesn’t work when there is an engine fault. I am not a mechanic and don’t necessarily recommend my strategy but that is what I did.

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