The P0017 error 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. If they are not in sync, your engine could malfunction and may trigger the P0017 code on an OBD-II scan tool.
What Does the P0017 Code Mean?
Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0017 stands for “Camshaft Position B – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1).” Like P0016, this code indicates that your car’s powertrain control module (PCM) detects a misalignment between the crankshaft and camshaft positions. Bank 1 is the side of your engine that has the cylinder 1, while sensor B refers to the exhaust camshaft side.
Some car manufacturers have their own description of the P0017 code, such as GM (more specifically, Chevrolet).
P0017 on Chevy vehicles translates to Crankshaft Position – Exhaust Camshaft Position Not Plausible. Despite the varying names given by respective manufacturers, P0017 code simply means that the PCM believes the difference between the crankshaft position and the camshaft position exceeds specification.
Camshaft vs. Crankshaft
The crankshaft and camshaft are the two primary rotating parts of the engine. The camshafts allow the valves to open and close to let air (and fuel in a port injected fuel system) into the combustion chamber and release the exhaust gas out.
The crankshaft, on the other hand, converts the linear movement of the pistons into the rotational force that’s necessary to power your car. The crankshaft and camshaft are bound by a timing chain to ensure proper synchronization for optimal engine performance.
The PCM constantly monitors the positions of the two shafts using the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor(s). If the PCM determines the crankshaft and camshaft(s) are not in sync, it will set code P0017 and activate the car’s check engine light.
What are the Possible Causes of the P0017 Code?
These are some of the possible issues that can cause a code P0017:
- Damaged or stretched timing chain or timing belt
- Faulty camshaft or crankshaft reluctor wheel
- Bad crank sensor
- Bad cam sensor
- Loose wiring or connections
- Damaged timing chain/belt tensioners or guides
- Defective variable valve timing (VVT) actuator (a.k.a. phaser)
- Faulty variable valve timing (VVT) solenoid (a.k.a. oil control valve)
- Faulty PCM (check for any update)
- Low oil level
What are the Common Symptoms of the P0017 Code?
As with other trouble codes involving the engine, the Check Engine Light will switch on to warn you about the problem.
Other telltale signs of an error code P0017 include:
- Engine cranks up but doesn’t start
- Rough startups even though it runs after a few attempts
- Engine runs poorly despite starting up
- Rattling sounds from the engine
How to Diagnose the P0017 Code
Since P0017 has so many potential causes, it’s best to have a professional diagnose the code. But if you decide to troubleshoot the code yourself, here are a couple of videos to give you an idea of what might be involved:
How to Fix the P0017 Code
There isn’t a single guaranteed fix for code P0017. As previously mentioned, there are many possible reasons why the code might be set. That’s why you’ll need to do some diagnostic work to figure out a fix for the concern.
Should you decide to try to address the code yourself, it’s a good idea to have the factory repair information on hand. Repair databases, such as ALLDATA, provide repair and diagnostic procedures direct from the vehicle manufacturer.
Consider purchasing a single-vehicle subscription to ALLDATA DIY if you’re serious about fixing your car yourself.