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Estimates Trouble Codes P0016

P0016: Camshaft Position A - Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1)

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What is P0016?

P0016 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that stands for “Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1).” Here the “A” points at the intake camshaft (intake cam), located on the intake side of the cylinder head. And “Bank 1” represents the engine bank containing the number 1 cylinder.

The P0016 OBD-II generic code is triggered to alert you that the camshaft position sensor (CMP sensor) for Bank 1 isn’t correlating with the crankshaft position sensor (CKP sensor).

The camshaft position sensor detects camshaft rotation, and forwards the information to your car’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The PCM then uses that data to control the fuel injectors used for ignition timing to keep cylinders firing correctly.

The crankshaft position sensor relays the crankshaft position and engine revolutions per minute (RPM) to the PCM. And again, the Powertrain Control Module uses the data to control ignition timing and fuel injection. 

If the signal from the CMP or CKP sensor is inaccurate or faulty, the PCM can’t manage engine timing efficiently, resulting in startup and idling issues. 

The P0016 code is stored when the PCM perceives that the Bank 1 intake camshaft and crankshaft aren’t in sync, based on the data feed from the CMP sensor and CKP sensor.

Common symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms you’ll likely notice when your car triggers a P0016 OBD-II trouble code:

  • The Check Engine Light will illuminate
  • The engine may hesitate, stall, or run rough
  • The engine may be hard to start 
  • The engine won’t start at all
  • Decreased engine performance
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Timing chain noise

There may also be no noticeable damaging conditions in some cases.

Can I still drive?

The DTC P0016 is severeThat’s because your camshaft and crankshaft aren’t lining up accurately. 

So stop driving immediately if code P0016 is triggered and get it fixed ASAP. 

Remember, driving your car for a prolonged period with the camshafts out of time can cause additional internal engine problems — depending on the failed part. So it’s best to get the code fixed, possibly the same day, to avoid internal engine damage.

Moreover, your car is likely to be hard to start, or the engine may hesitate and stall.

P0016 causes

Here are some of the causes of generic code P0016:

  • Stretched timing chain or timing belt
  • Camshaft timing is out of position because the timing chain jumped teeth
  • Defective or corroded wiring or connections
  • Bad sensor issue (crankshaft position sensor or camshaft position sensor)
  • Slipped reluctor ring on the crankshaft or Bank 1 exhaust camshaft
  • The camshaft phaser is out of position due to issues with the phaser
  • Hampered oil flow to the phaser due to incorrect oil viscosity or partly clogged passages
  • The Oil Control Valve (OCV) or VVT solenoid has a restriction in the OCV filter
  • Faulty timing chain tensioner
  • Low or dirty engine oil
  • Broken tone ring on the crankshaft or camshaft

Diagnosis

Your mechanic will use an OBD-II scan tool to verify a diagnostic trouble code like P0016. Here’s how they’ll go about the DTC P0016 diagnosis:

  • First, your mechanic will visually check for issues with the wiring, camshaft sensor (cam sensor), crankshaft sensor (crank sensor), and oil control valve.
  • They’ll ensure the engine oil is at capacity and that it’s clean with the correct viscosity.
  • Then they’ll scan the engine codes and view the freeze frame data. This will reveal when the code was activated.
  • Your mechanic will reset the Check Engine Light and perform a road test to see if the trouble code persists.
  • They’ll command the oil control valve to turn on and off. This will reveal if the camshaft position sensor alerts timing changes for the Bank 1 camshaft.
  • Finally, they’ll perform the specific manufacturer’s tests for the P0016 code to confirm the cause of the code.

Possible repairs for P0016 & Costs

For a persistent P0016 code, the following repairs may be necessary:

  • Fixing the wiring or connections to the components such as the cam sensor or camshaft oil control valve
  • Inspecting the timing chain and guides and replacing them if needed
  • Changing the engine oil
  • Replacing the camshaft oil control valve for the Bank 1 exhaust camshaft
  • Replacing the camshaft sensor on Bank 1 in case of intermittent internal problems caused by heat or vibrations

The actual cost of fixing the P0016 code depends on the severity of the problem and the required equipment.

You can expect to spend $30-$50 for a simple oil change if the problem is due to a stuck camshaft phaser or even because of a faulty wiring or wiring harness.

However, if the DTC is triggered due to a broken timing chain, timing belt, or tensioner, the cost can go up to $200-$1000 for parts and labor. It depends on the make, model, and parts of your car.

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