What the OBD-II code p0016 means

Fault code P0016 – a step-by-step guide to diagnosing and fixing it

The meaning of error code P0016 – Crankshaft Position–Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A)
P0016
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P0016: causes, symptoms and repairs

The meaning of fault code P0016

DTC P0016 is triggered when the powertrain control module determines that the signal coming from the camshaft position (CMP) sensor does not correspond with the one from the crankshaft sensor. The camshaft and crankshaft should always be moving in synchronisation, and their positions directly affect the ignition and exhaust processes.

What causes the P0016 code?

  • A bad CMP or CKP sensor. If either of these devices are malfunctioning, they could send a false signal, disrupting timing calculations. It can be the result of wire damage and oxidation on the electrical contacts, etc.
  • Defective valve train components. For example, a stretched timing belt or chain, pulley misalignment, worn gears, and a faulty tensioner.
  • Clogged oil passages. This can occur if the motor oil or car oil filter isn’t changed on time. Contaminants build up and the oil will start to break down. A lack of oil can stop the camshaft from rotating properly and cause components to wear out quicker.
  • A faulty reluctor ring. The component is used to determine the crank angle.
  • A jammed phaser mechanism or control valve.
Symptoms of the fault

  • A decrease in engine power
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Difficulty starting the vehicle
  • A rough engine
  • A noisy timing chain or rattling sound
  • Stalling or hesitation
Recommended repairs

  • First check the DTCs using an OBD2 scan tool. Connect the diagnostic scanner via the vehicle’s data link connector and decipher each code to determine specific faults.
  • Check the condition and amount of motor oil left in the reservoir. The lubricant should be fairly clear with no visible contamination. If necessary, flush the system, replace the filter and change the lubricant. Make sure that the viscosity is correct.
  • It is possible that there is an issue with the reluctor ring. Make sure the component is secured in the right place and look for any signs of damage. Replace it if necessary.
  • Next, you will need to take a look at the wires and electrical connectors connected to the sensors. Cracked, burnt out or deformed parts will need to be replaced. If there are traces of oxidation around the contacts, they should be cleaned using a specialised cleaning agent. You can test whether the devices are working properly with a multimeter or an oscilloscope.
  • Replace any worn valve train components. You should also adjust the tension of the belt or chain if required.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the P0016 code mean?


The signals from the camshaft and crankshaft sensors don’t match, meaning that they are not working in synchronisation or there’s a technical fault.

How can I get rid of the code?


The best thing to do is to get to the root of the problem and fix it. Once the electrical connection is secure and damaged parts have been repaired or replaced, the DTCs can be reset.

Can I still drive my car if this error occurs?


This depends on the nature of the error. It could be due to something minor or a result of significant damage to the valve train components which can lead to severe and costly engine damage.

How much does it cost to fix the P0016 code?


This will depend on which parts need to be repaired and where you get it fixed. For example, in the UK, the average price that professionals charge for replacing a timing belt is roughly £350. This kind of repair is labour intensive and therefore costs more than usual.

Cars the fault code P0016 is most commonly found on

Fault code P0016 - Crankshaft Position–Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A) can occur with any car but is most often found on the following cars:

  • VW: Transporter, Crafter, Golf
  • Audi: A5, A4, A3
  • Ford: Focus, Fiesta, Transit
  • Peugeot: 308, Boxer, RCZ
  • Fiat: 500, Punto, Ducato
  • Toyota: Prius, Yaris

If you get the code P0016 on your car, make sure that the diagnostics are carried out correctly and the error is still relevant. Check for symptoms associated with the problem and explore options for resolving it.

What to do if the fault code p 0016 appears

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