P0014 and P0017 weird weird issue

I have a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder with CVT transmission. 64000 miles.

Car began having hard starts about 6 months ago. Recently threw a check engine light and began having an issue with loss of power.

I would floor it from a stop and I would have maybe 30% power. Car almost felt in a safety mode.

Took the car to dealer. Dealer told me engine oil looked a bit sludgy. Told me there were three codes. Two for CAM pos sensor Bank 1.

Also one code for CVT Judder.

I have extended warranty on the vehicle. Was told they would replace transmission but wouldn’t touch motor because I couldn’t prove oil changes to satisfy warranty. Not a fight worth fighting.

Transmission was replaced. Got car back. Still same exact acceleration issues. I changed oil once. Added Seafoam…ran for 60 miles, changed oil again. Added Seafoam again. Two codes still remain:

P0014 and P0017

Here’s where it gets weird…

I have a scan tool. Not a fancy one but does the job. If I clear codes, car runs like a bat out of hell. Runs amazing

Once I turn the vehicle off, then turn back on…same exact issue. Car feels like it’s in a safety mode almost…also has a different “grunt sound” to it. No knock, no tap…just a grunt and the vehicle runs at seemingly 40-50% normal power. NOTICABLE diff in power

If I shut car off, clear codes, fire back up…runs amazing again.

P0017 comes back instantaneously when I clear codes

P0014 takes a moment or two to appear.

I’m looking for any possible guidance on what may be going on. I’m having a hard time believing it’s a lifter or a selenoid for the VVT as the issue disappear as soon as I clear the codes.

Appreciate any insight anyone can offer. I’ll gladly provide more info if needed.

One of the causes of the P0017 is a stretched timing chain. It might also be caused by oil sludge blocked oil passage to an oil pressurized timing chain tensioner. The computer should recognize that error immediately because as soon as the engine starts, the cam and crankshaft are recognized not to be in proper time. This is especially likely if there is timing chain clatter from the engine at idle.

The P0014 is telling you the exhaust cam is beyond the angle it was commanded to. That won’t be recognized until the exhaust cam is commanded to move and then return. That takes an RPM sweep. The exhaust cam moves as the rpm increases, the cam won’t move back as it decreases and a code is set. That is also cause by oil sludge.

The computer is trying to send you a message by going into limp-home mode but you keep erasing it. It is telling you there is a problem and you are ignoring it.

That fight “not worth fighting”, means you might be buying yourself a new engine… or at least a new timing chain and tensioner system. Either you or a previous owner decided to save a few dollars on oil changes and a very expensive repair is the result.

There is a slight chance repeatedly Seafoaming the engine and changing the oil might clean things up, IF it is a blocked tensioner oil passage, but timing chain guides won’t repair themselves. Sorry.


Disappears but comes back instantly, who would think there’s a problem with the solenoid ?

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It IS a weird problem and this “the sky is falling” reaction that “car guys” seem to always have is really puzzling.

This is my car, I didn’t “decide to save some money”. It’s an issue and I’m trying to figure it out. Google seemed to rank this website as the highest ranking car discussion sites.

That said I see that since my days years ago of building out Volkswagens the typical “boy you’re stupid” mentality still exists.

So let’s pretend I am this stupid guy you’re presuming I am. How would a delayed oil change or “some sludge” cause a timing chain issue? I can see a passage being blocked…a VVT selenoid being screwed. The fact that everything is great when I clear the code…car runs perfect until I turn it off…it warrants more critical thinking than “oh…you’re one of those dummies that doesn’t change their oil”.

If there was a massive timing issue why would I be getting no knock, no ping, no timing retard. Car runs perfect until that code. It’s an interference motor…if the chain was a problem…would I not be having reduced Performance outside of the ecu triggering some limp mode

What I was trying to figure out is if it’s possible one of the Cam Sensors are just bad, giving an improper signal and just replacing that could solve the problem.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at here? I’m not saying that… I’m just throwing out an example.

Could a bad cam sensor cause this in any way?

How does a timing chain just randomly “jump”. Is there anything related to oil issues that could affect the timing chain?

Can anyone offer something other than implying I’m dumb? I’m legit trying to find some other perspectives here

Evidence not in the original post.

You assessment, not mine. I didn’t know if you were the original owner, I didn’t assume that.

Timing chains and their guides rely on lubrication. They are lubricated by small orifices in the oil passages that can be plugged with sludge. No oil, means high wear.

I didn’t write Nissan’s software nor did you so I am taking my best guess. The ECU is likely taking some time to determine the severity of the problem before it throws you into limp-home. I described why the P0014 doesn’t throw immediately and why the P0017 does.

Because this is CAM timing not IGNITION timing… and you ARE seeing retarded ignition timing in the limp home mode.

THAT should worry you… a lot.

No, because the computer is far more sensitive than you are. It can read the cam timing retard which would have only a minor effect on power… a little loss of low end torque, but similar mid-range torque.

You might have started with question that rather than responding like a dill-hole when I tried to answer your question based on what you posted. You might be a little nicer to people who are trying to HELP you… for FREE.

Go right ahead and replace them. They are cheaper than a timing chain or a new engine and they are easy to reach. I hope they fix your problem, but I don’t expect they will.


Thanks Mustang dude. From one dill-hole to another.

And it’s your choice to help for free. It’s appreciated by those who get helped I’m sure but it’s your choice. You enjoy this stuff or you wouldn’t do it.

Something doesn’t add up here and this is why I’m asking. The color commentary about my oil changing proclivities gets annoying. You’re not the first to comment about that to me… so me being more sensitive than an ecu is more like me being tired of people acting like they’ve never screwed up. Perhaps ,8k miles was too long on a DI motor. I never had issues in the past but whatever.

The reason I said “It’s an intereference motor” is if things were smacking into each other the damage would’ve been done no?

How would I know if things were bad/getting bad/about to crap the bed?

I was leaning towards a bad/failing cam sensor because the car runs so strong and smooth once that code is cleared. Also leaning there because it’s the cheapest easiest fix so I’m probably hoping

The ecu is smart but it’s also dumb. It just responds to a set of parameters. If that cam sensor is giving bad reading then I would assume the ecu has no clue.

I could dig up my multimeter and start testing I guess. I was looking for some backup.

The sludge did not magically appear on its own. The only conclusion I can draw from this is you are not changing oil often enough or using the correct oil.

It hasn’t smacked anything yet…but it will if you keep ignoring the message.

Because it keeps going into limp-home mode. The car is literally screaming the message to you every time you drive it. You are ignoring the message by turning it off. Exactly what does the car need to do to get you to pay attention?

All correct… but hall-effect sensors are pretty robust. They usually either work or not. Plus…what are the odds that BOTH are bad at the exact same time? That is looking for a zebra in Montana when a horse is far more likely.


Fair enough on the oil change but I get it. I’m suspect that the last oil change someone used the wrong weight oil.

The zebra analogy is a stretch but I get what you’re saying. The reason I’m even considering the sensor is because the code comes back without even starting the car? Riddle me that one bat man. Does the ecu run an impendance check on the sensor just by powering up? (Impedance might be the wrong term but I think you get what I mean).

Is there a different code that would throw if the sensor just crapped the bed altogether?

Could oil have “caked” onto that sensor?

In all honesty the sludge isn’t THAT bad if it’s there. The motor has 65k on it and worst I probably went was 10k with Mobile 1 fully synthetic.

I’ve done that with all my cars though never a problem. Perhaps this motor runs hot or the DI continates the oil faster.

Why would the motor run so good though when I clear that code? I get it that the ecu takes a minute to make sure that the alignment discrepancy isn’t just an anomaly. It’s just from a purely investigative perspective… it’s odd that it would run so good.

I’m going to head back to Nissan Dealer and see what they think but I’d like to be as educated as I can before I get there.

Even though I sound like a dk (and at times so do you) I appreciate the banter and the candidness

New information not previously posted

Answered already…

Sure but the sensor would read right through it… it is triggered by a magnetic field not affected by oil, lumpy or otherwise.

Yeah, try telling that to Nissan when you take it back.

Already answered that…

Good Luck at Nissan, you are going to need it. I’d like to see you post back with the results… but I’m not holding my breath!

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I’ll post back the results.

I grabbed a service manual and I’m looking at their guidance for the P0014 and P0017 codes. Lists possible causes as:

Crankshaft pos sensor

Exhaust Cam sensor

Exhaust valve control selenoid valve

Debris on the signal pickup portion of the camshaft

Timing chain installation

Foreign matter caught in the oil groove for exhaust valve timing control

I’m not looking for pie in the sky…I’m just not convinced yet how this is a death sentence for the motor. I’m sure you’re going to say “already answered”

We’ll see. I’m not worried about dealing with the dealer. There’s no warranty claim here. I’m just looking for how to fix it…so far all I hear is death sentence which I keep going back to “before this code comes on the car runs like I just bought it”. I get it your opinion is it’s a ticking time bomb…but I’m trying to find the fuse to put it out or figure out which wire to cut (red or blue)

I took a second look at what Mustangman wrote:

He never accused you tronious specifically of negligent oil changes.
So - don’t take it so personal.

I’m curious of the age and mileage of this Nissan when you bought it.

The cam sensor simply works in such a way that it cannot fail in the manner you propose.
As long as the sensor and teeth are physically in place it cannot go “off time”.
I won’t repeat the details Mustangman has already posted.


It’s all good. Thanks for the input. He did specifically call me out “you or someone else”. That said just caught me on a moment where tired of hearing that from folks. I get it…I screwed up if that’s indeed what happened. Wasnt to save money… It was a wife who drives the car mostly and I rarely see the mileage. My fault…
Arguably but it’s just what it is.

It’s like someone finding out they had great disease and someone saying “see? Told you not to smoke now look at you!”

I hear you on the Cam sensor. The magnetic properties shouldn’t be affected by oil

I’m going to pull the valve cover and see what I can see.

Regardless of how I come across here I do appreciate the insights.

I still still don’t get how a sludgy engine would cause a timing issue. I would rather assume that it’s somehow causing some component that manages the timing to give bad readings…or something that controls the Cam like the actuators are failing/clogged

I will report back though as I find things out in case some other schmuck like hits this

I am assuming that the engine has variable valve timing. VVT systems are notoriously subject to problems resulting from lubrication issues, no matter whether those lubrication problems are the result of overly-extended oil changes, using the wrong viscosity motor oil, or running the engine low on oil.


It’s is…it’s a VQ35DD motor. VVT for sure.

But what I don’t get is why the issue and what’s dangerous about it to the motor?

I’m looking at the Nissan Service Manual for this motor and it’s not the death sentence that I keep hearing about.

The worst thing the manual says is that someone may have screwed up the timing if a timing chain was recently changed.

Replacing a CVT transmission would not require the timing chain to be removed or even touched would it?

Timing chains don’t really stretch.
Connecting each link is a hinge mechanism.
When that hinge gets worn it lets the links move a little further apart, and that makes the chain longer.
Dirty oil causes faster wear.


Consider the span of chain going from the crank sprocket to the cam sprocket its driving.
Now picture everything standing still; crank sprocket locked in place (as a reference).
If the chain gets a little longer the cam sprocket would have to turn a little to keep the teeth and chain links in agreement.
So the cam angle moves a little relative to the crank sprocket.

No, it shouldn’t.

Getting back to the issue of oil changes, you mentioned 10k miles between changes with MOBIL-1. However, the sludge problem could relate to the elapsed time factor, rather than the number of miles.

How many months did it take to accumulate 10k miles?
If it was more than 6-8 months, that is a likely source of engine sludging.

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Both of those faults suggest that the exhaust valve timing control solenoid valve for bank # 1 is sticking, replace it.

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Bad word combinations
Warranty= denied

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Great explanation thank you