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  • The P0016 code stands for “Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1)”, which means your crankshaft and camshaft are not in sync.
  • Some of the common causes of the P0016 code include a damaged timing chain or belt, a faulty camshaft or crankshaft reluctor wheel, and a bad camshaft or crankshaft sensor. 
  • Other symptoms related to the P0016 code are rattling sounds from the engine and poor engine performance.

The P0016 error code concerns the camshaft and crankshaft. If your vehicle develops an issue that causes these two shafts to fall out of sync, the ECM/PCM may set a P0016 DTC.

What Does the P0016 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0016 stands for Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1). The P0016 code indicates that your car’s primary computer, which is also known as the powertrain control module (PCM), perceives the difference between the crankshaft position and camshaft position to be greater than specification. 

The PCM determines the position of the two shafts using information from a crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor(s). If from the sensor data, the PCM determines the crankshaft and camshaft(s) are not in sync, it will set code P0016 and turn on the Check Engine Light.

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For more information on how the camshaft can trigger OBD codes like P0016, read our technical discussion about the camshaft and crankshaft.

An understanding of variable valve timing (VVT) systems could also help you address P0016. Read our advanced technical discussion about VVT systems.

Otherwise, you may continue reading for the possible causes of code P0016.

Mechanic using laptop to diagnose car problem
Because P0016 has so many potential causes, It’s best to have a professional technician diagnose the issue.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0016 Code?

When the PCM issues a code P0016, the car may be experiencing one of these issues:

  • Stretched or damaged timing chain or timing belt
  • Damaged camshaft or crankshaft reluctor wheel
  • Bad crankshaft sensor
  • Bad camshaft sensor
  • Damaged wiring or loose connections
  • Damaged timing chain/belt tensioners or guides
  • Defective variable valve timing (VVT) actuator (aka phaser)
  • Faulty variable valve timing (VVT) solenoid (aka oil control valve)
  • A problem with the PCM, such as software in need of an update
  • Low oil level

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0016 Code?

As with other OBD-II trouble codes involving the engine, the Check Engine Light will switch on to warn you about the problem.

Other signs of a code P0016 include:

  • Engine cranks up but doesn’t start
  • Engine experiences rough start-ups, even though it runs afterward
  • Engine runs poorly despite starting up
  • Rattling sounds from the engine 
See also  How to Replace a Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor
broken timing belt
A stretched or damaged timing belt can trigger code P0016.

How to Diagnose the P0016 Code

Because P0016 has so many potential causes, it’s best to have a professional technician diagnose the issue. Technicians have the skill, experience, and equipment to quickly determine what’s triggering the P0016. 

For example, they have oscilloscopes that can check the cam and crank patterns for signs of a bad sensor or a slipped tone ring.

However, if you have confidence in your auto repair skills, you can look for the cause of the P0016 code yourself. Here are a couple of videos to help you get an idea of what is involved in a P0016 OBD-II code diagnosis:  

How to Fix the P0016 Code

OBD-II trouble codes rarely (if at all) have a one-size-fits-all solution—the same goes for the P0016 code. Therefore, possible fixes will depend on a variety of factors.

If you’re unsure about DIY repair skills, it’s best to consult with a mechanic. However, if you are confident in your know-how and want to attempt the fix on your own, repair manuals, such as those from Chilton, are a good resource. 

You may also want to get an ALLDATA subscription if you’re serious about DIY auto repair. They have single-vehicle subscriptions for DIYers that provide detailed factory repair information.

Also, remember that every vehicle is different, so make sure to check your owner’s manual before attempting any repairs.

Where To Buy Parts to Fix the P0336 Code

To resolve the P0336 code, you’ll often need to replace either the crankshaft position sensor or the camshaft position sensor. Failing to do so can cause your engine to stall, stop, or guzzle more gas than usual, costing you both time and money. That’s why it’s good to address the problem as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can find both these sensors at

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Don’t drive with faulty parts. Order your new sensors at today and get your car back on the road!

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About The Authors
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Reviewed By Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

CarParts Research Team
Written By Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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