Diagnosing and Fixing the Volkswagen and Audi P0016 Fault Code

by | Aug 20, 2022 | Guides

It may say “Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Bank 1” or “Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Correlation (Bank 1)” when you get a P0016 code on your Vw or Audi. Because of this, a proper diagnosis may prove to be quite challenging. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has detected a misalignment of the crank or camshaft and has set the appropriate error code. When the shaft timing is wrong, the engine will have a very tough time running.

With such a P0016 Audi fault code, is it safe to continue driving?

No driving on it is recommended unless you intend to take it in for service. We consider this engine code to be of SEVERE severity. The engine will be exceedingly difficult to start, if not impossible to start at all, and it will run extremely roughly as a result. Extensive engine damage may occur if a stretched timing chain or worn timing belt is overlooked for too long. You may drive on it a little bit longer than in the case described above if it turns out to be a cam or crank position sensor, but the timings of the engine will be wrong.

VW/Audi Symptoms (P0016)

  • A  (MIL) or Check Engine Light (CEL) coming on
  • Trouble getting the engine started
  • Difficulty in driving due to engine’s rough operation
  • Lacking performance from the engine
  • VW Death Rattle
  • Reduced efficiency in using fuel

Causes of Volkswagen and Audi Engine Error P0016

  • Overstretched gear train or teeth that skip
  • A broken timing belt
  • Worn or broken timing rings on the camshaft or crankshaft
  • Sensor for the camshaft is broken or failing
  • An issue with the crankshaft sensor
  • Broken or clogged oil-flow regulator
  • Low on oil or soiled

Fixing a P0016 Engine Error on a Volkswagen or Audi

We’ve established that the P0016 VW error is not only tough to diagnose but also quite baffling. Everything that has to be examined or replaced is inconveniently located. A diagnostic of a car with this code might thus set you back about £110 or more.

The Timing Chain should be inspected and perhaps replaced

When a timing chain is loose or slack, it’s usually because of a broken timing chain tensioner. Because the tensioners seem to be poorly made, this occurs often in Volkswagen and Audi 2.0t TSI engines, among others. A timing chain drives the camshafts of an internal combustion engine, both the intake and the exhaust. This isn’t a cheap do-it-yourself project. But if you’re taking the do-it-yourself route, a timing chain kit will allow you to replace the chain as well as the tensioners, guides, and other components that make up the timing chain. It would probably cost anywhere between £500 and £1000 to have a shop change out the timing chain.

Replace your timing belt if it’s showing signs of wear

In the same way that the timing chain seldom breaks, the timing belt rarely does either. Additionally, the factory-fresh roller or tensioner has a propensity to prematurely wear down. A timing belt coordinates the motion of the camshaft, crankshaft, and cylinder head. The rollers or tensioners ensure that the belt remains at the correct tension. In comparison to changing the timing chain, this is a more manageable do-it-yourself project, but it’s still not easy. All components of the timing belt should be replaced at the same time, as previously stated. In order to replace everything associated with the timing belt, you may expect to pay a shop roughly £930. Timing belt replacement on its own, however, is estimated to cost roughly £420.00

It may be time to replace the tone ring on your camshaft or crankshaft

To help the ECU pinpoint the precise position of the crank and cams, a tone ring is employed in the engine. The synchronization of the camshaft and crankshaft may be thrown off if the tone ring, also known as a reluctor ring, slips, bends, or breaks. A broken tone ring is probably the blame for that constant motor rattling.

Camshaft Position Sensor: Inspect or replace

In addition to the P1340 VW code, the following two typical repairs would cause the P0016 code to appear. Camshaft position sensors track the rotational rate and location of the cams. In certain cars, you’ll need to remove the cylinder head to get to it. If the camshaft position sensor fails to do its job, the engine will have a rough idle, low fuel efficiency, and subpar performance. A new camshaft position sensor from a repair facility would set you back around $250.

Crankshaft Position Sensor should be checked or replaced

An engine’s valves and pistons are also under the watchful eye of the crankshaft position sensor in addition to the crankshaft itself. More severe consequences, such as engine stalling, vibrations, or not starting at all, would result from a faulty crank sensor. A little of effort is required to access it, much as the camshaft position sensor. Installing a new camshaft position sensor at a repair shop would probably set you back approximately $200.

Take note of the oil’s viscosity and level

Finally, if the oil is lower than what Volkswagen has specified, the oil is inaccurate, or the oil is unclean, a P0016 VW warning may appear. A change of oil and filter should be done if the oil is filthy.

Final Thoughts on Volkswagen and Audi, P0016

We hope the preceding details have helped with the VW engine code P0016. If your OBD-II scanner displays this code, we strongly suggest fixing it right away since, if the timing chain or belt is strained, this is a serious code. If this tutorial helped, please tell us what motor you use and what worked in the comments. In conclusion, please inform us in the comments if you are seeking for replacement parts or manuals for a different engine, and we would be happy to help you in any way that we can.


Potential issues, causes, and solutions have been identified in the above article based on the experiences of car owners and repairers, as well as web materials such as forum blogs and technical support bulletins. This data is supplied exclusively for the purpose of reference. Only appropriately qualified persons should perform repairs and/or changes on your vehicles.

While it’s important to keep in mind, it’s also important to note that the amount of times anything is mentioned here should not be seen as a sign of its reliability or frequency. Various owners, driving in different ways, and caring for their vehicles in distinct ways will cause two identical vehicles to perform differently.

As previously said, this material is supplied primarily for reference reasons; nonetheless, we hope that by doing so, we will be able to supply you with essential knowledge that will allow you to make informed decisions whenever you encounter any of the aforementioned setbacks.