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2005 Neon Check Engine code P0016

I have a Neon that has been having some problems. It started at least 2 weeks ago. I misses once in a while, check engine lite goes on for a while then off for a while. I had it checked and it came up with a P0340 and P0344 codes both seem to be dealing with the camshaft sensor. So I changed this yesterday and it seem to have worked as the light was off for a few miles then came back on and started to miss again. The lights been on all day today but I do not recall any miss. I took it to Autozone again to get it checked. Now its coming up with the P0016, see below. One thing I do not understand is that when this light goes on the cruise control will not work. When the light is off the cruise will work. It only cost about $10 for a crankshaft sensor, it may be a pain to get at. Whats the cruise control got to do with this? And why did this P0016 code not come up before I changed the camshaft sensor?

What the P0016 code means

P0016 is the OBD-II generic code indicating that the camshaft position sensor for bank 1 does not correlate to the signal from the crankshaft position sensor.

What causes the P0016 code?

The camshaft timing is out of position due to the timing chain jumped teeth.

The camshaft phaser is out of position due to problems with phaser.

The oil has flow to the phaser is impeded from having an incorrect oil viscosity or partly clogged passages.

The Oil Control Valve (OCV) has a restriction in the OCV filter.

What are the symptoms of the P0016 code?

The Check Engine Light comes on.
The engine may have a reduction in power or start hard.
The engine may run erratically, stall, hesitate, or run rough.
The engine's fuel mileage will decrease.

For the most part it runs really good when not missing. It starts easy, never stalls. If its not in a missing mood it does not run erratically, rough, or hesitate or have less power. If the timing change was the problem would it not run bad all the time? What is this OCV oil control valve? Would that mess with the cruise control?

The cruise control involvement is probably that the manufacture doesn’t think it is safe to use cruise control with a major engine malfunction. In other words once the source of the problem is solved the CC will start working again automatically.

Yes, if the problem was the timing belt/chain has skipped a tooth. But if the problem source is the variable valve timing phasing, then intermittent behavior like this might be possible. VVT phasing is sort of a programmable way of skipping a tooth or two forward or backward. The teeth don’t actually skip, but something else in the geometry changes (usually electrically activated with a solenoid) which effectively accomplishes the same thing, the camshaft is advanced or retarded in relationship to the crankshaft. My guess is that the solenoid is failing, or there’s some oil sludge that is preventing the mechanism from moving freely. And the code is saying that the computer has activated the solenoid, but the camshaft hasn’t advanced or retarded like expected.

My info says this is NOT a VVT engine. Without a lab scope, this will be a hard one to diagnose. Unless you throw a crank sensor at it and get lucky.

When you say the “solenoid is failing” do you mean the sensor? Crankshaft position sensor? Ok I will order a sensor and try that. Will take a few days to a week.

When you say this is not a VVT engine, what do you mean?

V V T is variable valve timing. There would be a rotary actuator powered by oil pressure to change the cam timing for better performance. Your car doesn’t have that, it has non-adjustable timing for the cam.

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I started changing the crankshaft sensor. Had some trouble. The sensor would not come out of its hole. It ended up breaking off. I managed to get part of it out, the middle part with the circuit board. The outer part is still stuck in there. I will try again tomorrow if not raining. Its like something has a hold on it. When I take a screwdriver to try to bring it out it will come a 1/16 or so of an inch then go right back in. Before it broke off I could turn it side to side, it moved very hard. I was thinking of trying to get a needle nose pliers in there to get a hold of it and try to pull it out.

Next time you remove a sensor try spraying some penetrating oil around the thread part and let it soak in for a few minutes before you attempt to remove the sensor.

It does not have any threads. And its plasitc. Its round and smooth kinda in the shape of a finger for about a inch or a bit less long. I did spray penetrating oil also but still like something has got a hold of it. Any suggestions on how to get it out? What should have been such a tiny job turned into a mess. Even the stupid connection was a hassle to get of without breaking.

If you want to see what this thing looks like, below is the link to ebay for the sensor i purchased.

looking online this is a very common problem, but I didn’t see anything that would help me much.

I think any honest person will admit to having done something like this. We’ve all been there. Although it’s difficult not to want to get this behind you, don’t rush to fix it, but take your time and think things through.

Is it possible to get any kind of picture (with enough light and contrast to see detail) to post here?

Is that tube portion that is stuck in the hole hollow at all? I’m wondering if a tap could be screwed into it and used to extract the piece.

Yes its hollow. What you see in that picture is the outer shell. Inside that is another round piece that has a circuit board inside it. This outer shell I presume is for keeping the inside part clean. Its like the insides of it came out and this outer shell is all that is left. I could try to get a picture but its not in a great spot.

My mistake. Perhaps a needle hook could help, such as this?

You may have to remove the oil pan to remove the broken sensor, should take an hour, probably the quickest way of removing it.

After you replace the crank sensor take a another look at the cam sensor to see why it is causing the P0016 fault, did you install all 4 bolts?

I would try a slightly larger lag bolt, screw it in until pretty snug, and use a dent puller if you have one.

Crank sensors can be a real bear to remove.

Here’s what I soak the sensor with before attempting removal.

Even then, it requires twisting and pulling before the sensor finally comes out.


I actually have some of that deep creep. I almost considered removing the oil pan or perhaps the radiator to have more room. I worked at it today some more with a screwdriver and it finally came out! I used a small screwdriver to keep chewing away at it and then a larger one to force it out. It took a while. I took some pictures before I got it out and of all of it out in 4 pieces. I plan to put the new one in tomorrow. Is there anything that I really should do before I install it?

What’s that? Looks pretty gunky.

That was the shell of the crankshaft sensor. Look at the 4 pieces, that is the one in the bottom right.