What Does Subaru Outback Code P0016 Mean?
- Subaru Outback P0016 definition: The correlation of the camshaft and crankshaft positions on bank 1 is incorrect based on the intake camshaft position sensor.
- Issue Severity: SEVERE – Stop driving immediately
- Repair Urgency: Fix this code immediately (same day if possible) to avoid internal engine damage.
- Diagnosis: 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.
In order for the engine to run smoothly and efficiently, it has to know exactly what positions the camshaft and crankshaft are in their 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.
Most Likely Repair And Cost For Subaru Outback P0016 By Year
The chart below shows the most likely repair and cost range for Outbacks for all of the years that FIXD has data on.
|Year||Most Likely Repair||Cost Range|
|2013||Engine Oil Level w/P0011, P0017, P0018…||$50 – $150|
|2008||Timing Chain w/P0301, P0303||$1046 – $1615|
|2006||Engine Oil w/P0011, P0018||$50 – $150|
Subaru Outback P0016 Causes
There are many potential causes 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
- P0016 is not one of the top 5 trouble codes for the Subaru Outback but, it is still a common one.
Subaru Outback P0016 Symptoms
- 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
How Do I Fix Subaru Outback Code P0016?
With a cam or crank position sensor fault, the first step is to get it diagnosed to figure out what is causing the problem.
If your vehicle has this fault and you’re not comfortable diagnosing this issue at home, we recommend finding a RepairPal certified shop nearby to pinpoint the problem and give an accurate estimate for repairs.
These shops can not only help you figure out what’s going wrong before you waste time and money on the wrong parts, but they also offer a minimum 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and stand behind all their estimates with guaranteed fair pricing.
> Find a RepairPal Certified Shop Near You
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Subaru Outback Code P0016?
P0016 can be caused by anything from a stretched timing belt or chain to a bad sensor to dirty oil. It’s impossible to give an accurate estimate without properly diagnosing the issue first.
If you take your car to a shop for diagnosis, most shops will start with an hour of “diag time” (the time spent in labor diagnosing your specific issue). Depending on the shop’s labor rate, this typically costs somewhere between $75-$150. Many, if not most, shops will apply this diagnosis fee to any required repairs if you have them perform the repairs for you. From there, a shop will be able to give you an accurate estimate for repairs to fix your P0016 code.
Other Possible Repairs for Subaru Outback Code P0016
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.
- Engine oil and filter change $20-$60
- Camshaft position sensor: $176 to $227
- Crankshaft position sensor: $168 to $224
- Reluctor ring $200-$600
- Timing belt: $309 to $390
- Timing chain: $1,624 to $1,879
DIY Steps to Diagnose Subaru Outback Code P0016
Engine code P0016 could be caused by a number of things, including a stretched timing belt or chain, a bad sensor, or even dirty oil. If you’d like to try to fix code P0016 at home without throwing money at parts, you’ll want to follow the steps below for proper diagnosis. Keep in mind this is an advanced-level diagnosis and repair and not recommended for beginners. Diagnosis requires more specialized equipment beyond what the FIXD Sensor can provide and it can be a time and labor-intensive process for inexperienced DIYers.
DIY difficulty level: Advanced
This repair requires mechanical knowledge and is not recommended for beginners.
- Basic Hand Tools
- Vehicle-Specific Service Manual
STEP 1: USE FIXD TO ENSURE NO OTHER ENGINE CODES ARE PRESENT
Use FIXD to scan your vehicle to verify P0016 is the only code present.
STEP 2: CHECK ENGINE OIL LEVEL
Check the oil level and if incorrect, correct to the proper level. If it’s dirty, replace the engine oil and filter. Clear the code, and see if it comes back.
STEP 3: CHECK FOR TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS
Check for any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for your make and model vehicle. For example, certain General Motors vehicles (GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac) have a known issue with stretched timing chains, which can cause this fault. If a TSB applies to your vehicle, perform this service first.
STEP 4: COMPARE SENSOR DATA USING AN OSCILLOSCOPE
This code requires an oscilloscope for proper diagnosis. Not all shops are equipped with this but many are. Using the O-scope (oscilloscope), 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 a slipped reluctor ring is the issue. Replace the necessary parts to resolve the concern.
Common Subaru Outback P0016 Diagnosis Mistakes
Not checking for TSBs before starting diagnosis.
Still Need Help Fixing Subaru Outback Code P0016?
If you’ve followed the steps above and are still experiencing Subaru Outback check engine code P0016, please contact the FIXD Mechanic Hotline if you’re a FIXD Premium subscriber or find a RepairPal certified shop near you to get the right repairs at a fair price.
Fixed It But The Check Engine Light Is Still On?
Check engine light sometimes need to be reset manually, check out our article:
How to Reset Your Check Engine Light | 4 Ways To Clear It (With or Without a Scanner)
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.