P0016 Code in Chevrolet Equinox – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

Do you own a Chevrolet Equinox and find yourself puzzled by a P0016 code showing up on your vehicle’s dashboard? If so, you’re in the right place. This article will shed light on what the P0016 Chevrolet Equinox error code means, what might be causing it, the symptoms to look out for, and most importantly, how you can fix it. We’ll ensure you understand this issue in the simplest terms possible, with easy-to-follow steps for addressing it. But remember, always consult a professional mechanic if you’re uncertain.

Understanding P0016 Code in Your Chevrolet Equinox

First things first, let’s understand what the P0016 code means. It’s a standard OBD-II trouble code that implies a discrepancy between the crankshaft and camshaft positions in your engine. To put it simply, P0016 indicates that the timing of your vehicle’s engine is off, which can potentially lead to severe damage if not addressed promptly.

Identifying Symptoms of P0016 in Your Chevrolet Equinox

Knowing the symptoms associated with the P0016 code can help you address the issue early, avoiding more significant damage down the line. Here are the most common symptoms you may notice:

  1. Check Engine Light: This is usually the first sign that something might be off. The check engine light is designed to alert you when your vehicle’s computer detects something abnormal.
  2. Poor Engine Performance: A misaligned crankshaft and camshaft can lead to decreased engine performance. This could mean poor fuel efficiency, a reduction in power, or a noticeable drop in acceleration.
  3. Difficulty Starting the Engine: If the timing is off in your engine, starting your vehicle could become a problem. You may notice a sluggish start, or in severe cases, the car may not start at all.

Causes of P0016 Code in Chevrolet Equinox

Understanding the cause of the P0016 code can provide insight into how to fix it. The P0016 code in your Chevrolet Equinox could be triggered by several issues:

  1. Timing Chain or Belt: A worn or stretched timing chain or belt can disrupt the engine’s timing, leading to the P0016 code.
  2. Sensor Malfunction: Your vehicle’s camshaft and crankshaft position sensors play a crucial role in maintaining engine timing. Faulty sensors can generate this troublesome code.
  3. Engine Oil Condition: Yes, even your engine oil can cause this problem. If the oil is dirty or degraded, it can disrupt the lubrication and functionality of timing components, leading to the P0016 code.

Fixing Chevrolet Equinox P0016

Now that we’ve understood what the P0016 code means, its symptoms, and its causes, let’s dive into the steps to fix it:

  1. Check the Engine Oil: Start by examining your engine oil. If it appears dirty or degraded, an oil change might be the solution you’re looking for.
  2. Inspect the Timing Chain or Belt: Check the condition of your timing chain or belt. If it’s showing signs of wear or stretching, a replacement may be necessary.
  3. Examine the Camshaft and Crankshaft Sensors: Inspect these sensors for any signs of malfunction. If they’re faulty, you’ll need to replace them.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Chevrolet Equinox Code P0016?

The cost of fixing the P0016 code in your Chevrolet Equinox can vary significantly based on the underlying issue and where you live.

  1. Engine Oil Change: If an oil change solves your problem, expect to spend anywhere between $30 and $70 depending on the type of oil your vehicle requires and labor costs in your area.
  2. Timing Chain or Belt Replacement: This is generally a more expensive fix. Including labor, the replacement can cost between $300 and $500. In more severe cases where additional parts need to be replaced, it can even go up to $1000.
  3. Camshaft or Crankshaft Sensor Replacement: Replacing a camshaft or crankshaft position sensor can cost between $100 and $200 for parts and labor.

Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates. Always get a detailed quote from a trusted mechanic in your area. In the end, while these costs might seem high, addressing the P0016 code promptly can prevent more serious and costly damage in the future.

Preventive Measures for Chevrolet Equinox P0016 Code

Preventing the P0016 code from appearing in your Chevrolet Equinox mainly involves regular maintenance and prompt attention to any changes in your vehicle’s performance. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  1. Regular Oil Changes: Follow your vehicle’s manufacturer-recommended schedule for oil changes. Clean, high-quality engine oil is essential for the proper function of the timing components. You can check the recommended oil and oil change frequency in your vehicle’s manual.
  2. Routine Inspections: Regularly inspect your timing chain or belt for any signs of wear or stretching. Prompt replacement of these components can prevent the P0016 code from occurring. Here’s a helpful guide on timing chain inspection.
  3. Monitor Engine Performance: Pay attention to changes in your vehicle’s performance, such as decreased fuel efficiency, power, or difficulties starting the engine. These could be early signs of a P0016 code. This resource provides information on factors that affect fuel economy.
  4. Timely Sensor Check and Replacement: Camshaft and crankshaft position sensors are integral to your engine’s functioning. If you notice any irregularities or if your vehicle has high mileage, consider having these sensors checked and replaced if necessary.


Navigating the world of car trouble codes like P0016 can be challenging. But with the right information, you can address and potentially fix these issues yourself, or at least be well-informed when consulting a mechanic. Remember that addressing engine timing issues promptly is crucial to prevent serious engine damage. Always prioritize your vehicle’s health for a smooth, worry-free drive.