What Does The P0017 Code Mean?

p0017 code

Once the Check Engine Light comes on, you know that there’s a problem, but you don’t know what it is until you scan the codes. With the P0017 code showing up, you have a better idea of what’s happening. 

In this guide, we look at the meaning of the P0017 DTC. We also cover the symptoms it leads to, discuss the top causes and evaluate some fixes. At the end of the article, you’ll see some answers listed to your top questions.

Code P0017 Definition

P0017 – Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor B)

What Does the P0017 Code Mean?

P0017 is a generic powertrain code that applies to all OBD-II-equipped vehicles. This DTC indicates that the camshaft position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor aren’t timed together as they should be. The manufacturer sets the particular degrees it must be off for the code to set.

The crankshaft position sensor (CKP) and camshaft position sensor (CMP) must work in complete harmony to ensure timing is correct and the spark/fuel delivery occurs as intended. Both of these parts have a reluctor or ring that passes across a magnetic sensor to generate a voltage that indicates the positioning. 

The crankshaft sensor sends signals to the powertrain control module (PCM) to trigger the ignition system and control spark timing. A timing chain or belt ties the two shafts and sensors together so they remain in unison. When the PCM detects that they are out of time, the code sets. 

Bank 1 indicates the engine side with cylinder #1, while the “B” sensor indicates the exhaust camshaft side. While this positioning is the same across the board, sometimes the meaning can vary. For example, GM and Chevy use “Crankshaft Position – Exhaust Camshaft Position Not Plausible” to define P0017. 

What Are The Symptoms of P0017?

Obviously, the Check Engine Light is going to come on when the P0017 code sets, but there are also other symptoms that should occur. With the timing off, you can expect some performance issues. 

Here are a few symptoms to watch out for.

What Are The Causes of P0017?

Several issues can cause the P0017 DTC. Most of these deal directly with either the timing belt or chain, yet there are others to consider. Only a complete diagnosis will reveal the problem, but here are some probabilities:

How Serious is the P0017 Code?

High – There are going to be significant performance issues to contend with when this trouble code is set. Continuing to drive this way won’t just affect the fuel economy, but it can lead to further issues that cost more to repair. For example, carbon could begin to build up in the engine because of the timing issue and the spark plugs may foul.

On top of that, if the timing chain jumps and isn’t following the guide, the pistons and valves could strike against one another. This problem causes severe engine damage that may not be worth repairing, depending on how old your vehicle is. To avoid these problems, it’s best to deal with the P0017 DTC immediately. 

How Do I Fix the P0017 Code?

With so many possible causes, it’s best to run through a complete diagnosis before trying to determine the best fix. We’ve put a few of the most common fixes below, but you should jump down further and run through some steps to determine which one is ideal for your situation.

  • Replace the timing belt or chain
  • Replace the timing belt or chain tensioner
  • Replace CMP actuator/VVT solenoid/oil control valve
  • Replace the crankshaft or camshaft sensor
  • Replace the crankshaft or camshaft tone ring
  • Repair damaged wiring or connector

Common P0017 Diagnosis Mistakes

The biggest mistake we see happening with the P0017 code is for drivers to take their vehicle to the mechanic when the issue would be covered under a powertrain warranty. With many powertrain warranties lasting five years or more, it’s possible that you could have it fixed at no charge. 

Plus, you may have opted for an extended warranty that would cover this issue. Check into this before you pay out of pocket for any repairs. 

How to Diagnose the P0017 Trouble Code?

We recommend diagnosing the P0017 DTC just like a professional. With the severity of this issue, you want to make sure that nothing gets missed. Here are some suggestions for you.

  1. Start with a factory service manual. These manuals give you manufacturer-specific instructions so you don’t cause further damage. They also include schematics and diagrams to make locating various parts easier. 
  2. Use a compatible code scanner to read the corresponding codes. If there are other related DTCs, you may have a better idea of what’s wrong. Use our online trouble code library to get more information. 
  3. Visually inspect all of the connectors and wiring. If you notice any damage, repair it first.
  4. Examine the timing belt or chain for any damage. Replace it or the tensioner if needed.
  5. Look at the freeze frame data with your advanced code scanner. With this data, you can diagnose issues with the oil control valve, variable valve timing solenoid or CMP sensor signals. 
  6. Check the alignment of the camshaft and crankshaft. 

If your troubleshooting doesn’t give you the answer or you can’t repair it yourself, it’s best to take your vehicle to an ASE-certified mechanic. Sometimes, the problems can be more complicated than you have the expertise or equipment to handle. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Code P0017?

Depending on what your diagnosis reveals, you may need to perform one of these fixes. We’ve estimated the cost you may spend on professional repair, although it would be cheaper if you could do it yourself. Keep in mind that prices change based on what type of vehicle you drive and the local labor rates

  • Replace timing belt or chain: $300 to $3,000
  • Replace timing belt or chain tensioner: $250 to $3,000
  • Replace CMP actuator/VVT solenoid/oil control valve: $300 to $3,000
  • Replace crankshaft or camshaft sensor: $150 to $750
  • Replace crankshaft or camshaft tone ring: $100 to $600
  • Repair damaged wiring or connector: $50 to $550

A Mechanic’s Tips About The P0017 Code

There’s a good chance that you could find the problem during a visual inspection. That’s why it’s so important to take your time and look over every component carefully. Check for damaged wiring or a worn timing belt or chain. If you find the problem easily, you can invest the rest of your time and energy into fixing it. 

Additionally, you may notice some other related diagnostic trouble codes. Here are some to watch for.

  • P0008 – Engine Position System Performance
  • P0009 – Engine Position System Performance Bank 2
  • P0014 – “B” Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance
  • P0016 – Camshaft Position A – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1)
  • P0018 – Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 2 Sensor A)
  • P0019 – Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 2 Sensor B)


P0014 – “B” Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance

Is code P0017 serious?

Yes, you want to have it repaired immediately. Not only will you deal with serious performance issues while this code is present, but it could also lead to further troubles. You shouldn’t prolong this fix or you could end up needing serious engine repairs that could be more costly than what the car is worth.

Can I drive with a P0017 code?

You shouldn’t continue driving once the P0017 code is set. If the timing chain jumps, the valves and pistons could strike each other, leading to serious engine damage. If you drive an old vehicle, it may not be worth fixing. Plus, you don’t want to get stranded away from home because the car stops working.

Where is camshaft position sensor B located? 

The Bank 1 dictates the side of the engine with cylinder #1. Because code P0017 deals with the “B” sensor, you are dealing with the exhaust camshaft side. Other codes deal with Bank 2, along with the “A” sensor. Reference the service manual if you need more information about the location.

How do you fix the code P0017?

Depending on what’s wrong, you may need to replace the timing belt or chain. The tensioner could also be to blame or you may need to put a new sensor in. There’s also the chance that there is damaged wiring, a bad CMP actuator, a VVT solenoid or an oil control valve. Otherwise, it could be time for a new crankshaft or camshaft tone ring.

When you see the P0017 code in your scanner, it’s time to take action. You don’t want to put off the repair or you could deal with more serious damage. If you aren’t familiar with these sophisticated systems, it’s best to search out a local mechanic for help.

To prevent these problems in the future, remember to keep up with regular car maintenance. For example, most manufacturers tell you how often to change the timing chain or belt to avoid damage. By following these guidelines, you give yourself a better shot at keeping your vehicle on the road.

Categories: OBD Codes

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