You can find information about the P0016 fault code on this page.
It is one of the most popular fault codes that people search for on this website (in the top 50).
We have given it a seriousness of 8/10 with 1 being the least serious and 10 being the worst.
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Fault code P0016 is logged when the powertrain control module (PCM) has detected an issue with the position sensors of both the camshaft and crankshaft. This happens when the two sensors are not indicating the correct alignment.
The crankshaft and camshaft need to be in perfect alignment so that fuel injection, ignition, and other timing factors are all synced.
This is done by both the crankshaft positioning sensor and the camshaft positioning sensor sending information to the PCM.
Other Signs of This Problem
Fault code P0016 comes with the typical symptoms of a timing issue. These can be very easily noticed depending on how severe the situation is.
The first sign will always be the Check Engine light being illuminated.
The engine will also behave strangely in almost every way. It will have a hard start. It is also possible that the vehicle will not start at all.
These issues carry over to the running of the engine as well. It will likely run very rough and have a reduction in power.
Fuel consumption may also be reduced.
There may also be other fault codes being logged. Codes like P0011, P0014, and P0336 all relate to the position of both of these important shafts and can be logged. Their mirror codes for bank 2 could also be logged.
What Could Be The Problem?
The causes for fault code P0016 can either relate to faulty positioning sensors or an actual desynchronization of these two shafts.
An error in either sensor could potentially lead to this fault code being logged. It will likely result in a fault code for that specific positioning sensor malfunction.
If the sensors are not at fault, there could be a timing issue. If the timing belt or chain has stretched or slipped, this can cause a misalignment between the shafts.
Oil flow also has the potential to cause this. If there is insufficient oil flow the two shafts may become misaligned. Incorrect oil viscosity can also lead to this.
The reluctor ring on either shaft could have slipped also, allowing the shafts to deviate from their desired positioning.
(You can view a visual explanation of the P0016 fault code along with 4 methods to fix it yourself in this YouTube video)
There are various fixes for the issue, depending on the instance in question.
On occasion, resetting the fault codes and performing a road test can resolve the problem.
As with any sensor problem, it is important to ensure that the wiring and connections are not damaged and fastened correctly. The sensors should also be tested for faults.
Additionally, the timing belt or chain should be checked for any signs of wear like stretching. It should also be checked for the right tension.
Oil should also be checked for the correct viscosity and any contaminants. If the oil does not have the desired viscosity or any other issues, it should be replaced with the correct type.
As with any camshaft or crankshaft issue, fault code P0016 should be considered very serious. These issues can quickly compound and cause severe damage to the engine and its various components.
If any of the signs of this issue are detected while driving, it is important to stop immediately.
If the code has been logged, be sure to address it as soon as possible.
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