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P0316 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

What do know about this error code? The P0316 code is the code that your OBD2 registers when there is a misfire in your ignition system. This will display when there is a problem detected either on the startup of your vehicle, or within the first 1,000 revolutions of when your engine is turned on.

Meaning

Code P0316 will be triggered when your engine control module detects that the position of either

  • The crankshaft of your vehicle
  • Of the camshaft

Is outside of the parameters that it/they are supposed to operate within. This can result in the engine misfiring when it starts. The engine control module uses the information it gets from the crankshaft’s position, the camshaft’s position, and the rotations per minute (RPMs) of the engine to determine the timing of ignition and the fuel delivery to the motor as well. If any of the following components are outside of their operating parameters, this will cause the engine to misfire, and therefore causing the P0316 error to appear.

Causes

Now, we have a better understanding of why error P0316 occurs, but what are some of the causes that makes this error appear on your OBD2?

If there is damage or defects to ignition system components including:

  • Your spark plugs
  • Related components to your smart plugs
  • Problems with your ignition coils
  • Lean fuel conditions associated with low fuel pressure
  • Low or poor fuel quality
  • Lack of fuel or no fuel in your engine
  • If your engine vacuum leaks
  • Damage or defects to your EGR system
  • Damage or clogging in your catalytic converter
  • Damage or defects in your crankshaft position sensor
  • Damage or defects to your crankshaft position sensor connectors or wires
  • Damage or defects to your ECM, which is rare, but still possible

Symptoms

What are some of the symptoms that you should be experiencing if you should have a P0316 or issues with your engine on startup?

  • First and foremost, you should have an illuminated check engine or warning light
  • You will notice a reduced power in your vehicle
  • When your vehicle idles, it will be rough instead of smooth
  • The vehicle should feel rough or choppy at acceleration

If you notice any of these issues with your engine on startup, you should immediately confirm this issue with a qualified mechanic. They will be able to test your vehicle to see if it is having an error P0316.

Diagnosis

What is the best and most effective way to go about diagnosing this issue with your vehicle?

First, you should have a qualified mechanic use an OBD2 scanner to check for a P0316 trouble code. Next:

  • Your mechanic should be able to inspect the wiring and electrical components of the vehicle for visible damage and wear and tear.
  • They will check the vehicle’s service record to make sure all maintenance is up to date.
  • They will systematically test your vehicle by moving spark plugs, coils, and other components from a single cylinder to confirm which of the cylinders is misfiring.
  • Check your vehicle for lean fuel conditions, which could be caused by low fuel pressure.
  • If the fuel conditions are running lean, they will continue to check for a major vacuum leak.
  • They will next check for damage or defects to the fuel injectors.
  • They will inspect for the proper function of the EGR valve.
  • Check for appropriate EGR valve function.
  • Monitor to see if the catalytic converter may have a clog.
  • Check the camshaft for defective or damage to the sensors, wiring, or connectors.

Common mistakes

What are some common mistakes that happen when diagnosing a P0316 trouble code? One of the most common mistakes is the replacement of the ignition system components when they aren’t having an issue. Even though these components can be the root cause of this code, a full diagnosis is needed to be totally sure that this is the problem. This should be done, including the checking for any additional trouble codes.

How serious is this?

This can be a potentially serious code. If you are having these symptoms and think that this is the specific code that may be occurring, you should take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic or service center as soon as possible.

What repairs can fix the code?

There are several ways that you can try to fix or troubleshoot this problem code on your own.

  • Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled.
  • Repair damaged or defective electrical parts or wires.
  • Perform a tune-up on your spark plugs, ignition coils, and other related components.
  • Repair or replace damaged pieces or parts on the fuel injectors.
  • Repair or replace damaged or defective pieces or parts of the EGR valves.
  • Clear clogs from the catalytic converter.
  • Repair or replace defective or damaged camshaft position sensors.
  • Clear all of the codes on the OBD2 and test drive the vehicle to see if any codes would reappear.

Related codes

None listed.

Conclusion

If you believe that you are having trouble with your engine misfiring on startup or within the first thousand revolutions, you should contact a qualified mechanic immediately.