P0008: Engine Positions System Performance Bank 1

P0008 is a generic diagnostic trouble code that can be set on any vehicle that has an ODB-II system to explain why the check engine light is on. If you’ve plugged in your scanner and gotten this code, you’re likely asking: what does the code P0008 mean? Read on to find more information on the trouble code and how to fix it.

What Does the Code P0008 Mean?

P0008 is the result of a test run by the engine control module to check for misalignment between the camshafts in engine bank one and the crankshaft. The misalignment for this code would be at an idler sprocket in the bank or at the crankshaft. The test checks the positions of the camshafts and compares them against a reference value. The ECM will set this trouble code if the camshafts are out of range.

Bank one is the engine is the bank that includes cylinder one. P0009 is the equivalent code for bank two.

Although this code can be set by any OBD-II equipped vehicle, it is most common in Suzuki, GM, Cadillac, Buick, Holden, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles. All of these brands are owned by General Motors except for Suzuki, which has a joint venture with the American automaker. Some vehicles even have service bulletins related to this issue.

What Are the Symptoms of Code P0008?

The OBD-II scanner error code P0008 problem is improper timing, so it will cause the engine to run rough. These are some of the most notable symptoms:

  • The vehicle runs rough, especially when accelerating
  • Fuel economy is lower than normal
  • The engine does not produce as much power as normal
  • There is a noticeable noise coming from the timing chain

Of course, it will also turn on the check engine light. While it should be noticeable that the engine is running poorly, running a code scan is the best way to check that the problem is P0008 and not another timing-related issue.

What Are the Causes of Code P0008?

Trouble code P0008 is most likely to be set when there is an issue with the timing chain. These are a couple of the major causes of the issue:

  • The timing chain has stretched and is no longer under sufficient tension
  • The timing chain tensioner has malfunctioned
  • The crankshaft reluctor wheel is not referenced to top dead center

Beyond these mechanical issues, the code could be caused by a faulty ECM. However, if this is the case, the mechanical symptoms will not appear.

How Do I Fix Trouble Code P0008?

This problem is covered by manufacturer powertrain warranties. Therefore, if your vehicle is new enough to still be under warranty, take it to the dealer and let them perform the fix. If your vehicle is no longer covered, you can diagnose and fix the issue. The exact process is model-specific, so you should purchase the service manual for your vehicle. While the specific steps may vary, the diagnostic process should be similar to the following:

  • Visually inspect the timing chain and tensioner for wear or misalignment
  • Inspect the crankshaft reluctor wheel to ensure proper positioning
  • Replace any damaged or faulty parts
  • Reset the code and run the engine to see if the check engine light illuminates
  • If there are no damaged parts or the problem is not fixed, the issue may be the ECM. This is especially likely if there are no symptoms beyond the light and code

Keep in mind that some vehicles have known defects and may have service bulletins. Check all the information on your vehicle before trying to fix the issue yourself. While it is possible for a vehicle owner to correct this problem, doing so on a vehicle with known defects may be inadvisable, especially if there is a recall notice.

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