P0008 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

This code shows that there is an issue with the engine position system performance. It is associated with the mechanical timing of your vehicle.

Meaning

The Engine control module (ECM) will receive a signal from the camshaft position sensor to figure out the correct time to fire the fuel injector and ignite the spark plugs. The ECM will compare this signal to the signal it receives from the crankshaft. 

It will compare these signals to determine whether or not the engine is timed properly. Newer vehicles tend to use a variable timing system to adjust the timing of the camshaft and crankshaft. The purpose of this is to improve the performance of the vehicle and increase fuel efficiency. When the camshaft is not in the correct position in relation to the crankshaft, the ECM will set the code to P0008.

Causes

There are several causes that can trigger the P0008 DTC code to appear. Some common causes include failure of the camshaft variable timing solenoid or variable valve timing actuator, a worn-down timing chain, engine oil that does not meet the requirements of the manufacturer, the engine oil level is too low and the engine is not timing properly.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the P0008 DTC include increased fuel consumption and decreased engine performance. The check engine light will also illuminate on the dashboard, which can cause you to fail an emissions test.

Diagnosis

When the P0008 DTC code is triggered, you should examine both the camshaft and the crankshaft. You will be able to see the marks if you remove the timing cover. If the crankshaft pulley is not at the top dead center, then you have identified where the problem is occurring. You can diagnose this problem by looking at the position of the marks and where the pulley has shifted to.

Common mistakes

Problems can occasionally arise with oil pressure. Make sure that you check the oil pump connections, because a passageway that is clogged can cause the crankshaft to send the P0008 code.

How serious is this?

The P0008 code can cause your vehicle to experience several issues including a reduction in power, lower fuel efficiency, idle instability, engine damage over a long period of time and the inability to pass an emissions test. A technician can perform the proper tests and inspections to determine the problem, and can check if any other systems have been affected.

What repairs can fix the code?

There are a specific set of steps that you should follow when attempting to repair the P0008 code. Depending on the model of the vehicle, the top timing cover or valve covers will need to be removed in order to see the timing marks. The crankshaft pulley should then be rotated clockwise until the timing mark is at zero degrees or top dead center. If you cannot see the camshaft timing marks, you will need to rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees.You can verify the position of timing marks once the crankshaft is rotated to the top dead center and you can see the camshaft timing marks.

If the camshafts are properly aligned, the issue  could be caused by a problem with a crankshaft or camshaft reluctor ring. This could be skewing the reading from the CKP or CMP. You will need to further the disassembly process to ensure that the reluctor rings are aligned to their respective shafts.

If the camshafts are not properly aligned, the issue could be caused by skipping or stretching of the timing chain or timing belt. Timing belts or timing chain tensioners that are loose or worn can also cause a problem with misalignment. You will need to continue the disassembly process to verify that the belt or chain is in the proper position, function of the tensioner and measure the timing chain or timing belt.

If the timing belt or timing chain has skipped a tooth, it will need to be properly reinstalled. If the timing belt or timing chain has been stretched, it will need to be replaced. The tensioner will also have to be replaced if it has become worn.

Related codes

The following are all of the related codes associated with the P0008 code.

Conclusion

It is critical for engine performance and smoothness for the engine timing between the camshafts and crankshaft to be proper. An experienced technician will be able to determine the cause of the P0008 code.