P0017 code — how to fix error fast
The P0017 code isn't mere digits; it's a signal. Explore what it signifies for your vehicle's operation.
If something’s off with your car’s engine operation or timing, getting the code P0017 and similar powertrain-related codes can be terrifying. To help you get a grasp of the core of the issue, our team will guide you on the P0017 code meaning, the main causes of the problem, and what you can do to figure it out and fix it.
We’ll also discuss a few helpful things like the car models that are most affected by it, and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again in this comprehensive guide.
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What does code P0017 mean?
The P0017 code indicates an issue with the crankshaft and camshaft position correlation. The camshaft and crankshaft work together to control the timing of the engine’s valves, which is crucial for proper engine function. When the P0017 code appears, it means that the correlation between the camshaft and crankshaft is off, which can lead to issues with engine performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions.
It’s essential to understand the code, as ignoring it can lead to more significant problems down the line. If left unaddressed, the code can lead to engine damage, which can be costly to repair.
What causes the P0017 code?
While the main reason why code P0017 occurs in your vehicle is quite complex, it’s pretty demanding to figure out the exact cause of the problem. You can do this by following a few of our tips on the most frequent underlying issues that may lead to the code showing up:
Faulty crankshaft or camshaft position sensors
The code P0017 usually reflects on the vehicle’s engine timing and an issue with the crankshaft or the camshaft position. Both components have their respective sensors to monitor the position, so if one of these sensors fails, it could lead to code activation.
If the crankshaft sensor is faulty, it may cause the engine to misfire or stall. This is because the engine management system relies on the crankshaft sensor to determine the position of the crankshaft and pistons. Similarly, if the camshaft sensor is faulty, it can cause issues with the engine’s timing. The camshaft sensor tells the engine management system when to open and close the valves, so if this information is incorrect, it can cause the code.
Timing belt or chain issues
The timing chain or belt can become stretched or damaged, which can cause the camshaft and crankshaft to become misaligned. As you might have guessed, this also leads to a poor correlation between the crankshaft and the camshaft, and that further leads to the coed P0017 being displayed on the scanner tool.
Bad or dirty engine oil
Dirty oil can cause issues with the camshaft and crankshaft, leading to a misalignment. Low-quality or dirty engine oil can cause problems with the engine’s timing chain or belt, which in turn can cause the camshaft and crankshaft to fall out of sync, therefore leading to the code.
More complex engine problems
Various engine mechanical problems, such as worn bearings, can cause the P0017 code to appear. In this scenario, you’ll likely hear rod-bearing noises and rattles coming from the engine bay, and in the worst-case scenario, you may even need to rebuild the engine to fix the issue and remove the code.
What car models does the P0017 code affect the most?
The P0017 code can affect various car models, but some are more prone to the issue than others. Some of the car models that are most affected by the code include:
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Chevrolet Equinox
- GMC Terrain
- Buick Verano
- Buick Regal
- Cadillac ATS
These particular models tend to have issues with the timing chain or belt, which can cause the code to appear. There are also some cars that often experience rod knock issues such as Mazda vehicles powered by a DIsi 2.3-liter turbo engine like the CX-7 or the Mazda 6 MPS.
How to diagnose the P0017 code?
Diagnosing the code P0017 on your own may be a bit more difficult since you need the proper diagnostic tools that usually a mechanic will have. These include the diagnostic scanner, scope, and multimeter, and all of these are used to test for various causes of the code.
So, most of the diagnostic measures should be done by a professional mechanic, but here’s an overall list of the necessary steps to take:
Check the camshaft and crankshaft sensors
Inspecting these two sensors can be your first lead in the investigation of what causes the code P0017. If any of the sensors is malfunctioning, it could be the reason behind the sensor’s activation.
Inspect the timing chain or belt
The timing belt or chain may also need to be replaced from time to time, especially if you own a car with a timing belt. In this case, it could get stretched easily and therefore compromise the engine timing cycle, therefore affecting the crankshaft and camshaft rotation.
Such scenarios will require you to conduct a thorough inspection of the belt or chain, and eventually replace it if needed.
Check the oil pressure and flow to ensure there are no issues.
We’ve already discussed how low oil pressure or contaminated engine oil could lead to the code P0017. So, it doesn’t hurt to check the oil pressure and make sure it’s not the thing causing the code.
Use a scope to check the camshaft and crankshaft position correlation
Finally, an experienced mechanic may use a scope to check if the camshaft and crankshaft are rotating accordingly to the combustion cycle. One of the most common reasons behind the code is if one of these components fails to correlate to the other, their rotation cycles get affected which directly reflects on the engine’s performance.
How to fix the P0017 code?
The specific steps to fix this code will depend on the cause of the issue. Here are some potential fixes:
Replace the camshaft or crankshaft position sensors
If the code P0017 is caused by a faulty camshaft or crankshaft position sensor, replacing the sensor may be necessary. This involves identifying which sensor is causing the issue and installing a new one.
Repair or replace the timing belt or chain
If the timing chain or belt is stretched, worn, or damaged, it can cause the camshaft and crankshaft to fall out of sync, leading to the code being triggered. In this case, repairing or replacing the timing chain or belt may be necessary.
Change or add engine oil
Dirty oil can cause issues with the camshaft and crankshaft, so changing the oil can fix the problem. Low-quality or dirty engine oil can cause issues with the engine’s timing chain or belt and trigger a P0017 code. So, you can check the oil for any signs of dilution and check the engine oil level to see if it needs topping up.
The cost of fixing the code will depend on the cause of the issue and the specific repairs needed. It’s crucial to act on time to prevent having to do a complete engine rebuild and therefore spend the most money on the repair. Either way, you’ll have to entrust the issue to a reputable mechanic in case you don’t have to experience replacing the sensors or repairing the faulty components yourself.
How to prevent the P0017 code?
Routine maintenance is crucial for preventing the P0017 code from appearing. Taking the necessary steps to keep the engine and its component operating smoothly can greatly reduce the chance of the code ever occurring in your car, so here are a few pieces of advice you can utilize:
- Change the oil regularly: Regular oil changes can prevent issues with the camshaft and crankshaft.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule: Following the maintenance schedule can help catch potential issues before they become major problems.
- Use high-quality oil: Using high-quality oil can help prevent issues with the camshaft and crankshaft.
By following these preventative measures, you can help prevent the code from appearing and maintain the performance and efficiency of your vehicle.
Understanding the P0017 code is crucial for diagnosing and fixing issues with the camshaft and crankshaft position correlation. By knowing the potential causes of the code, which car models are most affected, and how to diagnose and fix the issue, you can get to know a bit more about the code and why it appears, while it’s always best to rely on a trusted mechanic for the repairs.
We hope that you’ll make use of the preventive measures discussed by our team as well to help reduce the chance of the code ever happening again.
What does the code P0017 mean?
The code P0017 indicates that there is a problem with the timing of the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft.
What are the symptoms of a P0017 code?
Symptoms of a P0017 code may include rough idling, stalling, poor fuel economy, reduced power, and a check engine light. In some cases, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all.
How can I prevent a P0017 code from appearing?
To prevent a P0017 code from appearing, it’s important to follow your car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for changing the engine oil and replacing the timing chain or belt. Additionally, it’s important to use high-quality engine oil and to have your car inspected regularly by a qualified mechanic.