Trouble Code P0016: Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A)

If there’s an issue with your fuel injection and spark timing, it’s essential to find the cause and work toward a solution. When you discover trouble code P0016 with your OBD-II scanner, you need to know how do I fix trouble code P0016? Here are some general steps to take with most vehicles to repair this generic powertrain code.

What Is Error Code P0016?

This error code is signaled when your powertrain control module detects that your crankshaft and camshaft are out of time. Both of these shafts must work in complete harmony for safe and efficient operation of your vehicle.

The camshaft and camshaft sensor work together to deliver the precise amount of fuel. Similarly, the crankshaft sensor triggers the ignition system to give a controlled spark at precisely the right moment. These two systems are synchronized with your timing chain or belt. If they are found to be out of time for any reason, your powertrain control module will signal trouble code P0016.

Even a minor timing difference should be inspected immediately. This issue could damage your engine or cause it to not start. This trouble code could be the result of electrical or mechanical damage, so there’s a range of components to inspect to find the cause.

Likely Symptoms

Now that you understand the importance of your crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor, what does the code P0016 mean? Look for these possible symptoms to begin to identify the cause of this error code:

  • Check engine light turns on
  • Your engine cranks, but doesn’t start
  • Your engine runs with reduced performance
  • Your engine rattles near the harmonic balancer
  • Your engine experiences poor running performance

The severity of the symptoms can help you determine the source of the trouble code. Look for the following causes to quickly diagnose and repair your vehicle. If the following repairs don’t solve these symptoms, check for other error codes or damage to your ignition system.


The basic components you’ll need to inspect are the timing chain and the sensors and tone rings for both the camshaft and crankshaft. These components will all lead to trouble code P0016.

As your timing chain or belt wears, it may loose teeth or begin to stretch out. This could cause a simple misalignment between the crankshaft and camshaft. Any damage or misalignment to the two tone rings could cause a similar situation.

If there are no mechanical issues, the source of the trouble code may be bad sensors. Look for frayed wires, unresponsive sensors or other electrical issues.

Repair Solutions

The easiest causes to identify and solve are the mechanical ones. Visually inspect your timing chain for any alignment issues. You may need to replace or realign your timing belt or chain. Your tensioner may also be damaged, causing your belt to become misaligned.

Use a scope to check the camshaft and crankshaft patterns. Inspect the crankshaft harmonic balancer and tone rings for any visible damage or misalignment. Repair as necessary and replace your restored components.

Finally, inspect your sensors. Both the camshaft and crankshaft sensors should be free from any visible signs of damage, as well as any electrical issue. If you find any wiring that is short circuited, frayed or burnt, replace or repair the wiring and connectors to restore power to your sensors.

Because of the many components related to your OBD-II scanner error code P0016 problem, you may also see other crankshaft sensor codes. Look for codes such as P0017, P0018 or P0019 and look for the causes and solutions for these codes as well. Clear your code and start your engine. If you’ve found the right repair solution, the code should remain clear and your vehicle should have restored engine performance.

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