Whether you’re cruising your baby ride on a sunny afternoon or idling it in a garage, few things are unnerving, frustrating, and disturbing than illuminated check engine lights. However, several factors can trigger the check engine light. Some are minor while others are being displayed because of a major engine problem.
One of the significant issues which the engine warning light illuminates is the P0017 error code. This article will discuss the meaning, causes, symptoms, diagnosis mistakes, and how to fix P0017 code.
Code P0017 Definition
- P0017 Generic: Crankshaft Position—Camshaft Position Correlation (Exhaust Sensor Bank 1)
- P0017 Mercedes: Crankshaft Position — Camshaft Position Sensor B Bank 1 Not Plausible
What Does P0017 Mean?
If you translate the meaning of the error code P0017, you’ll get the definition above. But what does that mean in the actual sense? It is a generic powertrain error code that shows malfunctions on the crankshaft position and camshaft position bank 1 exhaust sensor.
Are you still confused? It means the ECM receives false signals from the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. In such cases, the sensors are most likely working fine, but the related engine components malfunction or the timing is off.
While this fault code points to an over-advanced or over-retarded timing chain/belt, introducing variable valve timing in modern engines has made the system more complex than ever.
What Are the Symptoms of Code P0017?
A few symptoms indicate P0017 in the onboard computing system. The symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the problem. Here are the most common ones;
- Car not starting
- Low engine power
- High fuel consumption
- Engine malfunction indicator lamp light up
- Erratic or rough running on acceleration.
What Cause of Code P0017?
What causes a P0017 code on older vehicles may be a single malfunction, while several factors can trigger this code on modern engines with variable valve timing systems.
Misadjusted or broken timing belt/chain can trigger p0017 on older engines manufactured before introducing variable valve timing (VVT) in vehicles. Other causes of modern engines include;
- Shorted camshaft position sensor controller solenoid
- Mechanical engine failure
- Bad crankshaft or camshaft position sensor wiring
- Faulty camshaft or crankshaft tone ring
- Erratic camshaft and crankshaft position sensor signals
- Wrong engine oil viscosity or oil filter
- Aerated or contaminated engine oil
How Serious Is Code P0017?
Usually, the P0017 error code is a moderate case and doesn’t need immediate attention. However, since there are many potential causes, you may have reduced engine performance. At the early stage, you’ll experience rough idling and poor gas mileage. If the issue stays for an extended time, the engine may incur catastrophic damages.
If you have P0017 registered in your vehicle onboard computer accompanied by a rattling noise from the engine, please take it seriously as you may have a loose or stretched timing chain. Driving with a stretch timing chain/belt is unpredictable because it can cause the timing to jump at any time, leading to severe engine damage.
Code P0017 Common Diagnosis Mistakes
- Here are common diagnostics mistakes most mechanics and DIYers make when diagnosing trouble code P0017;
- Not adhering to diagnostics instructions, can lead to misdiagnosis.
- Failure to inspect the sensors’ wiring harness before replacing them.
- Not checking defective components with proper tools.
Tools Needed to Diagnose Code P0017
These are the needed tools for proper diagnosis;
- Essential hand tools to access CPK, Cam sensors, and other related components
- OBD II scanner
- An oscillator
- Specific vehicle model service booklet.
How to Diagnose and Repair Code P0017
- Check for wiring and connection problems on the oil control valve, crankshaft, and camshaft sensors.
- Ensure the engine oil is of correct viscosity and gauged.
- Run a scan check and write the fault codes. And check the freeze frame data and see when the trouble codes were registered.
- Reset the set codes and drive test the vehicle for 15-25 minutes and see if the codes reappear.
- Carry out an automaker’s test to see the cause of the P0017 error code.
- Remember, the automaker’s recommended diagnosis procedure helps track down the culprit. Following the recommended test for your specific vehicle model will save you time and money.
- Reset the powertrain trouble code and re-scan to see if the code is still appearing.
- Replacing a defective camshaft position sensor
- Repairing or replacing bad OCV, camshaft, or crankshaft position sensor wires and connectors
- Diagnosing and replacing a faulty powertrain control module
- Replacing defective timing guides, chains, or tensioners on both cylinder heads
- Removing carbon buildup from valves and pistons if the repair involves removing cylinder heads.
Same Problems with different Error Code
Here are the same problems with different error codes;
Q: Can low oil cause P0017?
Yes, low engine oil can cause trouble code P0017. Indeed, it is not a common cause of the P0017, but if your engine is running on a low oil level, it’ll cause the ECM to register the fault code.
A wrong engine oil type will register the error code. However, a slight difference in oil viscosity will not cause it unless you pour the wrong oil viscosity.
Q: What is the code for a bad timing chain?
A lousy timing chain or belt affects the overall engine performance, causes increased emission, and triggers a check engine light. It also stores a diagnostic trouble code [DTC] on the car computer.
So, what codes does it show? A defective timing chain will set the error code P0009 on the onboard diagnostic computer. This code will cause low engine power, hard starting, rough idling, etc. In severe cases, it may cause catastrophic engine damages.
Aside from the P0009 error code, stretched timing chains can throw these codes. P0008, P0014, P0017, and P000B. While these codes represent stretched timing chains, It is essential to note that other problems can trigger them.
Q: Can I drive my car with a P0017 code?
While it is possible to continue driving a vehicle with fault code P0017, please do not do it. Since several issues trigger this code, if a mistimed engine triggers it, it can cause catastrophic damages and leave expensive repair bills on the table.
If a check engine light accompanies the error code, along with engine misfiring, it is a potential sign of timing issues.
Q: How bad is P0017?
If you do not fix P0017 on time, it can form carbon deposits on the valves and pistons and damage the spark plugs. It can also lead to engine misfiring.
If it is caused because of a stretched timing chain, the timing chain may jump teeth and go out of sync. This can cause the pistons and valves to move randomly and hit together, resulting in severe engine damage.
If camshaft problems cause the code and you continue driving it, it can cause other drivability issues like hard starting, rough idling, low engine power, and poor acceleration.
Q: How much does it cost to fix P0017?
The cost of fixing error code P0017 varies, depending on the culprit. If a scan tool confirms the camshaft position sensor is the cause, the budget to spend around $25 to $80. The amount here is for the replacement sensor alone. The labor charge can be anywhere from $20 to $50, depending on the P0017 bank 1 sensor B location and the garage you fix it.
Some car owners prefer fixing their cars on a local nearby mechanic garage to save cost. Some car owners with DIY skills get their hands dirty and save the service charge. And most drivers with high-performance and luxury cars take their vehicle to a dealership to get the best repair service.
Your car check engine light plays an essential role in the vehicle’s overall functionality. Whatever you do, please do not ignore this light whenever it comes on, because it can be a signal of a significant issue on the engine components.
Diagnostic trouble code P0017 is associated with the crankshaft and camshaft synchronization. Hence, it is essential to diagnose and fix the cause once this code is registered.
This article has outlined the causes, symptoms, diagnostics mistakes, and how to diagnose and fix them. If you are not confident enough to do the repair, consult your mechanic for a professional fix.