P0016 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes (& Repair Cost 2022)

The P0016 code means there might be an issue with your engine’s camshaft and crankshaft. These two vital components must be perfectly synchronized for your car’s engine to perform at the optimum level. This article mainly explains the P0016 code symptoms and causes.

P0016 Code Definition

The DTC P0016 stands for Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1). 

What Does Code P0016 Mean?

The P0016 code indicates that the camshaft position sensor (CMP) for bank 1, which detects camshaft rotation, is not corresponding to the crankshaft position sensor (CKP) signal. 

P0016 code

 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 and Crankshaft Position Sensor

The camshaft position sensor sends information to your car’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The PCM utilizes this data to control the fuel injection rate of the fuel injector and ensures efficient combustion inside the combustion chamber. 

The powertrain control module uses the engine speed and position of the crankshaft to control fuel injection rate and ignition timing. If the PCM detects that the bank 1 intake camshaft and crankshaft are not in the correct position, it will trigger code P0016.

Causes of P0016 Code

Following are the common causes of P0016 code:

  1. Worn timing belt
  2. The camshaft phaser is out of position due to problems with a phaser.
  3. Damaged or bad connections or wiring
  4. The failure of the mechanical oil system
  5. Bad CKP sensor
  6. The camshaft timing is out of position due to the timing chain jumped teeth.
  7. Bad camshaft phaser
  8. Bad CMP sensor
  9. Insufficient engine oil
  10. Damaged timing chain tensioner
  11. Dirty engine oil
  12. Oil Control Valve (OCV) has a restriction in the OCV filter.
  13. Stretched timing chain
  14. Bad PCM

Symptoms of P0016 Code

When the P0016 trouble code is activated, it produces one of the below-given signs:

  1. Excessive noise coming from the timing chain
  2. Check Engine Light starts illumination
  3. The engine runs erratically or feels rough while running.
  4. Poor engine performance
  5. Engine stalling or idling issues.
  6. The engine may have starting issues or will not start at all.
  7. Poor fuel economy
  8. Timing chain noise

Read More: Symptoms of bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

How to diagnose the P0016 Code?

There are multiple methods to diagnose the P0016 code. One of the best methods to diagnose the trouble code is to use an OBD-II scanner or book a diagnostic test with a trusted professional.

P0016 code diagnosis

Follow the below-given steps to diagnose the P0016 code properly:

  1. Visually inspect oil control valves, CMP sensor, CKP sensor, and wiring to find the main problem.
  2. Make sure the engine oil level is according to the engine requirements. The oil must be clean with sufficient viscosity. A low level of engine oil may cause P0016.
  3. Properly scan all other engine trouble codes and view freeze frame data to see when the code was triggered.
  4. Now reset the Check Engine Light and make a test drive to see if the trouble code still
  5. Now turn the oil control valve on and off to verify that the CMP sensor is warning about the bank 1 camshaft timing change.
  6. Perform the manufacturer’s tests for the P0016 code to determine the cause of the code

Note: Before starting the P0016 code diagnosing process, you should verify the code and the fault before attempting to repair it. This also includes a visual assessment of possible common issues, such as wiring and connections of the different parts.

How to avoid a P0016 trouble code?

The best way to stop the P0016 code is to maintain the car according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the below-given tips to avoid P0016:

  1. If the temperature begins to exceed 32°C, immediately park your car in a sheltered area because extreme heat may damage sensitive components such as timing and sensor parts.
  2. You must prevent your vehicle from extreme vibration. This can also damage sensitive parts. For example, avoid traveling at high speeds on bad roads.
  3. Regularly inspect the wiring for malfunction and corrosion, especially when changing the engine oil.
  4. Change the oil regularly to keep it clean, and always use the high viscosity oil according to the manufacturer’s
  5. Maintain sufficient oil level.

Common P0016 diagnosis mistakes

Following are the most common mistakes that you may make while diagnosing the P0016 trouble code.

  1. Error codes and problems not verified before diagnosis.
  2. No visual inspection for connections and wiring issues before their replacement.
  3. Use of inappropriate tools to inspect defective parts.
  4. Not doing all pinpoint test steps to help prevent misdiagnosis of good components
  5. You haven’t checked the engine oil level.

How much does it cost to repair the P0016?

The repair cost of the P0016 depends on many factors such as your living area, the labor cost, and vehicle type. The average repair cost of P0016 is from 70$ to $160.

To fix the P0016 error code, you may need to repair one of the below-given parts of your vehicle. The table below represents the repair and labor costs of the relevant part.

Timing Belt$310 to $410
Oil filter and oil change cost$16 to $67
Timing Chain$1,630 to $1,870
CKP sensor$160 to $245
Reluctor ring$210 to $700
CMP Sensor$160 to $230

FAQ Section

What repairs can fix the P0016 code?

  • Reset the fault codes and perform a road test
  • Replace the bad camshaft phaser
  • Replace the camshaft sensor on bank 1
  • Replace the camshaft oil control valve for bank 1 exhaust camshaft
  • Replace the crankshaft position sensor on bank 1
  • Replace the timing chain and guides
  • Repair the wiring or connection to the camshaft oil control valve or camshaft sensor
  • Replace or reprogram the PCM

How serious is the P0016 code?

  • The timing chain may have problems with tensioners or guides and can lead to major engine damage if the valves hit the pistons.
  • The engine can have stalling or hesitations along with hard starting.
  • Driving the vehicle for a prolonged time with the camshafts out of time may cause additional internal engine problems, depending on the failed part.

What are the Causes of the P0016?

Your car may show a P0016 trouble code due to one of the below-given causes:

  1. Stretched timing chain
  2. Worn timing belt
  3. Damaged or bad connections or wiring
  4. The oil control valve has a restriction in the OCV filter
  5. Insufficient engine oil
  6. Bad camshaft phaser
  7. Bad CKP sensor
  8. Jumped timing
  9. Dirty engine oil
  10. Bad CMP sensor
  11. Engine overheating
  12. Failure of the mechanical oil system
  13. Damaged timing chain tensioner
  14. Bad PCM

Can I drive with a P0016 code?

The P0016 code indicates a serious problem with your car. The proper alignment of the camshaft and crankshaft is very important for the efficient working of the vehicle. 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.

Can a car run without a crankshaft position sensor?

The crankshaft position sensor is the most important of all engine management sensors, and the engine will absolutely not run without it.

Where is the camshaft position correlation bank 1 sensor A?

The “A” represents the Intake Camshaft located on the intake side of the cylinder head. “Bank 1” indicates the engine side containing cylinder No.1.

Can low engine oil cause a P0016 code?

Yes, low oil levels or dirty oil may lead to a P0016 code. The engines with a timing chain always need a regular oil supply to lubricate the chain properly. Therefore, you must inspect your vehicle oil level before driving and replace it with fresh oil at least once a year.

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