P0016 Code Toyota: What is It & How to Fix It?

The camshaft position sensor of your vehicle monitors the position of the camshaft, while the crankshaft position sensor monitors the position of the crankshaft. The powertrain control module (PCM) of the vehicle utilizes the information of these sensors to regulate the air-fuel ratio. Your PCM triggers the P0016 code when it observes an issue with the camshaft and crankshaft alignment. This article describes the P0016 meaning, causes, symptoms, and repair costs.

P0016 Code Definition

The P0016 code stands for “Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1).”

What Does Code P0016 Mean?

The P0016 code indicates that the crankshaft and camshaft positions on bank 1 do not correlate based on the intake camshaft position sensor.

Code P0016

To ensure smooth and efficient engine performance, the Camshaft Position Sensor and Crankshaft Position Sensor are used to monitor the positions of the camshaft and crankshaft during rotation. This information is relayed to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) by the camshaft position sensor, which then uses it to regulate the fuel injection rate of the fuel injector, thereby ensuring optimal combustion within the engine.

In addition, the PCM also utilizes the engine speed and position of the crankshaft to control the timing of fuel injection and ignition.

If the PCM detects that the bank 1 intake camshaft and crankshaft are not properly aligned, it will trigger a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0016, indicating a potential issue with the camshaft-crankshaft correlation.

Causes of P0016 Code

  • Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor: A defective camshaft position sensor may cause incorrect readings, leading to a loss of synchronization between the camshaft and crankshaft.
  • Timing Chain Issues: Worn or stretched timing chains can cause the camshaft and crankshaft to be out of sync, leading to the trouble code.
  • Crankshaft Position Sensor: A faulty crankshaft position sensor may cause to P0016 trouble code.
  • Dirty or Low-Quality Oil: Low-quality or contaminated oil can cause problems with the camshaft-phasers and timing chain tensioners, leading to improper synchronization of the camshaft and crankshaft.
  • Wiring Issues: Wiring problems can cause incorrect signals from the camshaft or crankshaft position sensors.
  • Bad Camshaft Phaser: The camshaft phaser is responsible for adjusting the camshaft position. If it is faulty, it can lead to a trouble code.
  • PCM Issues: A defective PCM can cause a loss of synchronization between the camshaft and crankshaft, resulting in the P0016 code.

P0016 Code Symptoms

  • Check Engine Light: The most obvious symptom of the P0016 code is the illuminated check engine light on the dashboard.
  • Reduced Fuel Efficiency: A loss of synchronization between the camshaft and crankshaft can cause the engine to consume more fuel than usual, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency.
  • Poor Engine Performance: The engine may also experience a loss of power, hesitation, or stalling due to incorrect camshaft and crankshaft synchronization.
  • Hard starting conditions: The engine may be hard to start with this code, especially when the engine is warm.
  • Rough Idle: If the camshaft and crankshaft are not synchronized correctly, it can lead to a rough idle, which is typically most noticeable when the vehicle is at a stop.
  • Engine Misfire: A misfire may occur due to the engine’s poor performance, leading to uneven power delivery or engine vibration.
  • Poor emissions: The engine may produce excessive emissions, which can cause it to fail an emissions test.

Read More: P0017 Code Symptoms and Causes

How to Diagnose the P0016 Code?

The P0016 code is related to the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor correlation. This code indicates that there is a problem with the timing of the engine. Specifically, it means that the camshaft and crankshaft are not in sync.

To diagnose the P0016 code, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check for other DTCs: Before diagnosing P0016, check if there are any other diagnostic trouble codes stored in the engine control module (ECM).
  2. Inspect the timing chain or belt: The timing chain or belt connects the camshaft and crankshaft. A stretched or broken timing chain or belt can cause a correlation error. Inspect the timing chain or belt for wear and damage.
  3. Check the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors: The camshaft and crankshaft position sensors should be checked for proper operation. Use a multimeter to test the resistance of the sensors and compare the results to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  4. Inspect the wiring harness: A damaged or corroded wiring harness can cause a loss of signal to the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors. Inspect the wiring harness for any signs of damage or wear.
  5. Check the engine oil: The camshaft position sensor relies on the engine oil to operate correctly. Low oil pressure or dirty oil can cause the sensor to malfunction. Check the engine oil level and quality.
  6. Oil control valve: Now turn the oil control valve on and off to verify that the CMP sensor is warning about the bank 1 camshaft timing change.
  7. Test the ECM: If all the above steps have been performed and no issues were found, it may be necessary to test the engine control module for proper operation.

P0016 Code Diagnostic Mistakes

  • Ignoring other related codes: P0016 is often accompanied by other related codes, such as P0017, P0018, or P0019. Ignoring these codes can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of the issue.
  • Not checking for damaged wiring or connections: Faulty wiring or connections can cause P0016 to appear. Therefore, checking for damaged wiring or connections before replacing any parts is important.
  • Assuming the problem is with the timing chain: While a faulty timing chain can cause P0016, it is not always the root cause. Other issues, such as a faulty sensor or wiring problem, can also cause this code to appear.
  • Not checking the camshaft and crankshaft sensors: P0016 can be caused by a faulty camshaft or crankshaft sensor. Not checking these sensors can lead to a misdiagnosis of the issue.
  • Not checking the oil pressure: Low oil pressure can cause P0016 to appear. Therefore, it is important to check the oil pressure before assuming that the issue is with the camshaft or crankshaft sensors.

To avoid these common mistakes, a thorough diagnosis must be performed, including checking related codes, inspecting the camshaft and crankshaft sensors, checking the oil pressure, and inspecting the wiring and connections.

Read More: P0420 Code Symptoms and Causes

What repairs can fix the P0016 Code?

There are several repairs that can fix the P0016 code, depending on the underlying issue. These include:

  • Replacing the camshaft position sensor: Properly inspect the camshaft position sensor for damage. If it is damaged, replace it immediately.
  • Replacing the crankshaft position sensor: The bad crankshaft position sensor is a major cause of the P0016 code. If your crankshaft sensor is damaged, replace it.
  • Replacing the damaged wiring: Replace the damaged wiring and connectors.
  • Replacing the VVT solenoid: The VVT solenoid controls the oil flow to the camshaft phaser, which in turn controls the engine’s timing. If the solenoid is faulty or clogged, it can be replaced to restore proper timing.
  • Repairing or replacing the camshaft phaser: The camshaft phaser is responsible for adjusting the camshaft timing in response to engine load and speed. It may need to be repaired or replaced if it is faulty or damaged.
  • Repairing or replacing the timing chain or belt: If the timing chain or belt is worn or damaged, it can cause issues with engine timing and trigger the P0016 code. In this case, the timing chain or belt may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Checking the engine oil level and quality: Low oil levels or dirty oil can cause issues with the VVT system, leading to the P0016 code. Checking and changing the engine oil can sometimes resolve the issue.

Repair Costs for P0016 Code

To fix the P0016 code, you must repair one or more of the following parts of your vehicle.

CMP Sensor$150 to $240
Reluctor ring$220 to $710
Oil filter and oil change cost$15 to $70
CKP sensor$160 to $250
Timing Chain$1,620 to $1,880
Timing Belt$320 to $450

FAQ Section

How serious is the P0016 code?

The P0016 code can be a serious issue, as it indicates a problem with the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors, which are responsible for maintaining proper engine timing. If left unchecked, this can cause further damage to the engine and other components, leading to more extensive repairs.

In addition to causing drivability issues, such as rough idling or stalling, the P0016 code can also trigger the check engine light, which will cause the vehicle to fail an emissions test. This can result in the vehicle being unable to pass a smog check, which is required in many states for registration renewal.

Therefore, it’s important to have the P0016 code diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the engine and ensure the vehicle passes its emissions test.

What happens if you don't fix a camshaft issue?

Failing to repair or replace a faulty camshaft can result in various issues with the engine’s performance, including reduced fuel efficiency, increased emissions, and poor overall performance. In some cases, this can also lead to additional damage to other engine components, which can result in expensive repairs. Therefore, it’s important to address any issues with the camshaft promptly to avoid further damage and maintain optimal engine performance.

Can I drive with the P0016 code?

It is recommended not to drive with the P0016 code. It may cause your car to be hard to start and run rough. In some conditions, your car can’t be driveable with this code. Therefore, you need to fix this code as soon as possible.

Can I drive my car without a camshaft sensor?

The camshaft sensor is an essential part of a car’s electronic control system as it provides crucial information to the engine control module (ECM) about the camshaft’s position. Without this information, the engine may not be able to adjust fuel injection and ignition timing properly, resulting in poor engine performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and potential engine damage.

In some cases, a defective camshaft sensor can cause the engine to stall or prevent it from starting altogether, making it impossible to drive the car. Therefore, it’s crucial to have any issues with the camshaft sensor diagnosed and fixed promptly to prevent further engine damage and ensure optimal performance. In short, it is not advisable to run a car without a functioning camshaft sensor.

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