P0016 VW/Audi Fault Code: Diagnosis & Repair
Trey is an automotive enthusiast and has a huge passion for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles of all kinds. His enthusiasm started with the MK5 GTI, and he has massively expanded his knowledge over the years. When Trey is not delivering high-quality and in-depth content, we can usually find him working in his garage on his modified Genesis coupe. Trey created VW Tuning several years ago, and he is the primary visionary behind the content.
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P0016 VW/Audi Fault Code: Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation Bank 1
When you receive a P0016 code on your Volkswagen or Audi, it could read out “Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation Bank 1” or “Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1)”. This could cause quite a bit of confusion and difficulty when it comes to diagnosing it. This code indicates that the PCM, or Powertrain Control Module, received information that the crankshaft or camshaft position is not aligned. When the timing of the shafts is off, the engine will run very rough until the issue is resolved.
Can you still drive with a P0016 VW/Audi Fault Code?
We highly advise not driving on it, unless you plan on taking it to the shop. We would place the severity rating of this engine code as SEVERE. The reason being is that the engine will be very hard to start, or not start at all, and the engine would run extremely rough. If the timing chain is stretched or if the timing belt is worn, it could cause catastrophic engine damage if left ignored for too long. If it happens to be a camshaft or crankshaft position sensor, you could drive on it a little longer than the above situation, but the timing of the engine will be off.
P0016 VW/Audi Symptoms
- Check Engine Light (CEL) or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) illuminating
- Difficult to start the engine
- Rough running engine
- Poor engine performance
- “VW Death Rattle”
- Decreased fuel efficiency
Causes of P0016 Engine Code for Volkswagen’s or Audi’s
- Stretched timing chain or jumping teeth
- Worn timing belt
- Slipped or damaged camshaft/crankshaft tone rings
- Faulty or failing camshaft sensor
- Faulty or failing crankshaft sensor
- Clogged or faulty oil control valve (OCV)
- Dirty or low oil
How to Repair a Volkswagen or Audi with a P0016 Engine Code
As stated above, the P0016 VW code is not only confusing to diagnose, it is also difficult to diagnose. The reason being is because everything that needs to be checked or replaced is rather difficult to get to. Therefore, if you were to take a vehicle with this code, it could cost $125 or more just for the diagnosis. Before ordering any replacement parts linked below, PLEASE make sure it fits your exact application. If not, let us know if you need assistance in finding parts and we will assist in any way we can!
Check or Replace Timing Chain
The majority of the time if a timing chain is off or stretched, it’s a failing timing chain tensioner. This is very common in 2.0t TSI engines and many other Volkswagen/Audi engines because it seems as the tensioners aren’t produced well. A timing chain is responsible for controlling engine timing and turning the intake and exhaust camshafts. This is not an easy DIY and is rather expensive. But if you plan to DIY, we would advise going with a timing chain kit to replace everything related to the timing chain such as tensioners, guides, and more. A shop would likely charge anywhere from $600 – $1,200 to replace the timing chain.
Buy Here: Volkswagen/Audi Timing Chain Kit
DIY Difficulty: Difficult
Check or Replace Timing Belt
Like the timing chain, the timing belt usually doesn’t fail. It happens to also be the tensioner or roller out of the factory tends to prematurely wear. A timing belt syncs the cylinder head, crankcase, and camshaft. The tensioners or rollers maintain optimal tension for proper engine timing. This is an easier DIY than replacing the timing chain, but it still is on the difficult side of DIY’s. Again, we highly advise replacing everything associated with the timing belt. A shop would likely charge around $1,100 to replace all of the components related to the timing belt. However, just replacing the timing belt would likely be around $500.
Buy Here: Volkswagen/Audi Timing Belt Kit
DIY Difficulty: Difficult
Check or Replace the Camshaft or Crankshaft Tone Ring
A tone ring is used in the engine to assist the ECU to determine the exact location of the camshaft and crankshaft. A tone, or reluctor, ring can have a tendency to slip, bend, or break causing the timing of the camshaft/crankshaft to be off. If there is a persistent rattle in the motor, there is good odds that it is a faulty tone ring.
Check or Replace the Camshaft Position Sensor
Most commonly the next two fixes would also throw a P1340 VW code to accompany the P0016 code. A camshaft position sensor monitors the camshaft’s speed and position. Since it is found in the cylinder head in some vehicles, it is difficult to get to. Without a functioning camshaft sensor, the engine timing will be off which cause a whole bunch of engine problems such as rough idle, reduced fuel economy, and poor engine performance. A shop would likely charge around $250 to replace the camshaft position sensor.
Buy Here: Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T Camshaft Position Sensor
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Check or Replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor
A crankshaft position sensor has more responsibility because not only does it monitor the crankshaft, but it also monitors the engine valves and pistons. A failing crank sensor would be more detrimental to an engine because it would cause engine stalls, engine vibrations, or just not starting at all. Like the camshaft position sensor, it is a little difficult to get to. A shop would likely charge around $200 to replace the camshaft position sensor.
Buy Here: Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T Crankshaft Position Sensor
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Check Oil Levels and Oil Viscosity
Lastly, it is possible to get a P0016 VW code if the oil level is below Volkswagen’s laid-out level or if the oil is incorrect or dirty. If the oil is dirty, perform or get an oil and filter change.
P0016 Volkswagen/Audi Conclusion
We hope the information provided above has assisted in alleviating the P0016 VW engine code. When this code pops up on your OBD-II scanner, we highly advise addressing it ASAP, because this is a severe code if it happens to be a stretched timing chain or worn timing belt. If this guide did alleviate the engine code, please let us know what engine you have and what solved this issue in the comments below. Lastly, if you are looking for guides or replacement parts for a different engine, let us know in the comments and we will assist in any way we can.
Have a p0016 code that persists after replacement of the timing chain, cam pos sensor and crank pos sensor. 2.0 tsi vw Beetle. Motor runs great after work performed but code persists. Any ideas?