Meaning of P0016 OBD2 Code
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The technical definition is: Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation Bank 1 Sensor A.
Now this sounds daunting to the average Joe, but the meaning is quite simple.
This means the ECM is detecting a faulty signal from the crankshaft and camshaft. Both components are tied together via the timing chain. This basically means the crank and cams should be timed together. Any deviation to the precise timing configuration will trigger the P0016 generic OBD2 trouble code.
The ECM reads the signals from both the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft sensor. If the computer detects the signals to be out of time by any degree, you can expect a check engine light along with poor engine performance.
If you own a Chevy or GM vehicle, this is a very common issue to experience. If you’ve replaced the oil and still getting this code, hook up a vacuum gauge to see if you’re getting low pressure.
Learn more about Camshafts and Crankshafts here
What causes the P0016 fault code?
This DTC code can be caused by something as trivial as dirty oil to something more complex like a damaged timing chain. Since the crank and cam sensors are interlinked with the timing chain or timing belt, misalignment or advanced wear can also cause the same problem.
In some cases, the DTC can be caused by faulty sensors, particularly the crank and/or crank sensors. It could also mean damage to the wiring on both sensors, or broken tone rings on the crankshaft or camshaft.
In the absence of serious engine issues, the P0016 OBD2 code can also be caused by dirty oil or using oil with the wrong viscosity. Since the camshaft phaser relies on oil pressure, clogged passages due to dirty engine oil will result in a stuck phaser and bad engine timing.
What are the symptoms of P0016 DTC code?
The three common symptoms of this issue are:
- Hard or No Start
- Drop in Fuel Economy
- Rough Idle
The main symptom is hard starting or a no start scenario, which is accompanied by a check engine light in the console. You will notice the motor cranking but refuses to start even after repeated and prolonged starting. If the engine does start, you will notice rough idling and significantly diminished engine performance. Engine stalling and hesitation is also a common symptom.
In some cases, you will hear a persistent rattling sound in the motor. This indicates damage to the tone ring. But remember that the symptoms will vary depending on the type of failure.
How much does it cost to fix a P0016 OBD2 Trouble Code?
The actual cost of fixing this depends on the severity of the problem.
You can expect to pay the cost of a simple oil change ($30-$50) if the problem is the result of stuck camshaft phasers. The same holds true if the problem is only caused by faulty wiring or frayed wiring harnesses.
But if the problem has something to do with a broken timing chain, timing belt, and/or tensioner, you can expect to spend around $200 for parts and labor depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
The mechanic will also check the cam and crank patterns to rule out a broken sensor or tone ring. Replacing a broken or slipping tine ring in the crankshaft, camshaft, or both will also cost more than the usual oil change.