Chevy P0017 CAM/Crankshaft Position Correlation

9:29 pm Chevrolet, How To Auto Repair


Cam_Solenoid

Cam solenoid is missing screen at X position

© DenLorsTools.com Summary: Many Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pick ups are having problems with P0014 and/or P0017 codes. This has to do with the correlation of the camshaft and crankshaft as the computer sees them. Idle can be affected and the vehicle can even stall. The culprit is almost always the camshaft actuator solenoid valve, not the crankshaft position sensor or a cam position sensor. There have been reports of rough idle and fluctuation as well. The solenoid affects the variable cam timing control. One of the tiny screens can wear and be disintegrated causing everything to go awry.

DIY – Location of the Solenoid

The good news is that this is an easy job to tackle. The camshaft actuator solenoid valve is located on the right side of the engine below the valve cover. It is held in with one 10mm bolt. Once the bolt is out, twist the solenoid while pulling it at the same time to remove. It’s easy to check to see if the screen is missing before purchasing a new one.

Colorado_Solenoid_Location

Picture of the solenoid courtesy of  ColoradoFans.com

After replacing the cam solenoid and clearing the code, change the engine oil to help insure any remnants of the screen will be removed from the engine. Here’s hoping it does no further damage.

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45 Responses
  1. Brad :

    Date: April 20, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

    Awesome, been searching the web for hours this was exactly what was wrong! Thank You!

  2. greg :

    Date: April 24, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    thank you for this tip. First i changed three sensors that didnt help. intake-exhaust-cam position Then i found this page and it runs great now.

  3. Jeramy :

    Date: July 14, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    Good to know im not the only one who has this problem, and even better to know i found this page a day after i figured out what the problem was

  4. J-Dawg :

    Date: October 3, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    Thanks a bunch for posting this page!!! I had this same code, P0017, and I searched for someone who had this error (fault code). I pulled my solenoid valve out, and what do you know… the same screen was missing! Had to pay 98 bucks for the part. Thank you so much!

  5. Lando :

    Date: November 7, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

    Lifesaver!! can’t thank you enough. I had the same “screen” missing on mine.

  6. mike :

    Date: November 12, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

    Thanks for your help, 2005 2.8 colorado less that 39000 miles, also was the same screen gone replaced and hooked it up!

  7. Sashmo :

    Date: January 23, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

    2002 Envoy, I changed it, I still get the same problem. I’ve been trying to tackle why my oil pressure is moving like a roller-coaster at idle, and fine while I drive… Any sugestions?

  8. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 24, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    Sashmo, Sounds like the engine is worn. With differently designed engines (that don’t have the solenoid) the vehicle could be driven indefinitely with a worn engine. The problem is, if there’s any metal from worn bearings circulating in the engine oil, it can damage the solenoid screen causing a host of problems. If anyone has repeated failure of this solenoid, engine wear could be the cause. Also you say the oil pressure is low at idle, this is an indicator of worn bearings as well (if the oil pressure is truly low). An oil pressure gauge can be used to verify the pressure.

  9. BobbyD :

    Date: February 3, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    I changed both parts and still get a P0017 code – What else could it be?

  10. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 3, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    Bobby D, BOTH parts? Only one part mentioned in the short article.

    This is not meant to be a cure-all, just a common issue for this code on this vehicle.

  11. Bobby D. :

    Date: February 4, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Well, I changed the camshaft actuator solenoid – cleared the code. The next day it re-appeared. Then I changed the one in front it – the crankshaft position sensor (I think – I don’t have the “paperwork” – it cost about $45 (got it for $32).
    So I GUESS I need to change the other one – cam position sensor because the light came back on. One parts dealer said to change the one that is under the truck that deals with the timing -HELP!
    (GMC 2006 Canyon – 2.8)

  12. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 4, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    If the screen is missing AGAIN then there could be engine wear factoring in.

    If the screen is not missing, you may be dealing with a not so common issue. It may be worth it to pay to have it diagnosed properly rather than using the double barrell PARTS shot gun. Wish I could be of more help.

  13. Bobby D :

    Date: February 6, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    I went back and look at my old sensor – the screen wasn’t missing at all – so why P0017? I’m carrying to the “high price” dealership!!! It runs GREAT! But that engine light bothers me – it has to GO!

  14. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 6, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    Bobby, that’s why I recommend checking o see if the screen is missing before purchasing a new one.

    I’d be interested in finding out what the dealer says the problem is since in this case you’ve eleminated the solenoid.

  15. C Houston :

    Date: February 7, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    Just replaced the cam actuator on 06 Colorado at the dealership. Check engine light came back on within 5 hrs of picking up from the shop. Back to the shop tomorrow. Had the P0017 code when the dealership did the diagnostics. Wonder what the next trip will cost me?

  16. Bobby D. :

    Date: February 12, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

    BobbyD
    I went to Advance Auto and one of the men there told me that it was the “crankshaft sensor” so I ordered it. What I had done was replace both “camshaft sensors.” The part will be in 16th – when the snow and cold leaves I’ll put it on and let you know. Thanks for your help.

  17. C Houston :

    Date: February 14, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Ok, the dealership has replaced the cam actuator and the exhaust cam actuator on my 06 Colorado. After driving it about 40 miles, the check engine light has once again come on. Any idea what to look at next?

  18. Fletch :

    Date: February 14, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    Timing could very well be off. it’s possible after replacing the exhaust cam actuator that the actuator was not fully advanced. Everything will line up and look okay after put back together but once the engine is rotated and the actuator gets advanced it could be off.

  19. Bobby D :

    Date: February 15, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

    Got my “CRANKSHAFT” sensor today – Monday -from Adavance Auto and put it on in about 15 minutes. Cleared the code and so far no more P0017 and no engine light. IF it comes back on I’ll let you know. Thanks for your help!!

  20. Bobby D. :

    Date: February 16, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    Today is Tuesday – 16th – No “ENGINE LIGHT” – No “CODES” – Crankshaft Sensor fixed it.
    BUT – my ABS light came on. I’ve got to read up on that NOW!

  21. Sam :

    Date: March 7, 2010 @ 12:34 am

    where is the crankshaft sensor located on the 4cyl

  22. BobbyD :

    Date: March 12, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    It is located underneath on the driver’s side.

  23. BobbyD :

    Date: March 12, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    By the way – I’ve changed all of those sensors and after about 4 days my light came back on. Dealership HERE I COME! Unless someone got some more information.

  24. benny :

    Date: March 22, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    dI changed it, I still get the same problem,the same code p0017(colorado 2006)

  25. BobbyD :

    Date: March 24, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    Well, GMC dealer says that it is the actuator and it will cost $900+ to fix it. They stated that they could hear something therefore the pin in there is sheared – I told them to FIX – WE WILL SEE!

  26. Jeff :

    Date: April 22, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    My wife took my 06′ Colorado to the dealership and was told that codes P0014 and P0017 were coming up…… It’s costing me 295.99 to get fixed…. I had it taken to the dealer because of a campaign regarding the rough idling issues..(I was having these problems for the past 2 weeks)… Don’t know how the cam could be go with only 30,000 miles? Called GM and they told my wife SOL, there aren’t any recalls regarding these codes only the P0300. Anyone else having these problems? My wife is writing a long letter to GM and is trying to find more people with the same issues… Thanks!

  27. JEFF P. :

    Date: April 25, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

    “09 Colorado w/4cyl.
    At 8,600 miles took to dealership. Engine light had come on for one evening before hand. P0017. Light went back out before I got to dealer. They replaced exhaust cam shaft actuator sol. At 9,500 miles took back to dealer. My service ticket says they replaced R/R cam shaft actuator with a new bolt and gasket. They had it 3 days. Fixed on warranty.

  28. BobbyD :

    Date: April 29, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

    Been on VACATION – But dealership fix it but it cost be over $1000.

  29. AndreM, :

    Date: June 12, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    04 colorado 3.5lt
    Thanks you saved me so much B.S. i had checked everything before i came across this page pulled it out and the exact screen was missing cost an arm and a leg for the part but runs perfect now Thanks again :-)

  30. mike smith :

    Date: June 25, 2010 @ 9:38 am

    I have a 04 colorado with the same code and I just replaced this part in feb of this year and my truck just spins over and won’t start and if it does start the rpms go up and down then stalls.

  31. Peter Burnett :

    Date: June 28, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    I have a 2006 Chevy Colorado crew cab. just over 50k for miles and check engine light came on code P0017. Dealer initially stated “oh no problem easy fix” No can’t pass state emissions. Reputable repair facility contacted GM and a Chevy dealership both stated that many of the 2006 colorado engines have a known sludge and cam shaft problem. just to diagnos this problem cost $1000 and to possibly repair or at least fix the engine so the P0017 code won’t come back (GM dealership guaranty for one year) The problem may come back after that and or there may be additional codes that will come up and result in emissions inspection failure. Cost for the possible fix is $2500 – $3000. Alternative is to replace the engine. there is no guaranty that this will solve the problem because replacing with another similar engine may again result in the P0017 failure down the road. Has anyone else had this problem. I am between a rock and a hard place as they say.

    Thank you

    Peter

  32. John P. :

    Date: September 13, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    I recently had the Vent Solenoid and the Cam Actuator replaced by a repair shop, along with an oil change. I’ve removed the new Cam Actuator to look to see if there were any screens missing, and there wasn’t. While I was doing this, the battery was disconnected. I left the battery disconnected, replaced the Cam Actuator, but did not reconnect anything until at least an hour later so that the computer would reset. After reconnecting the Actuator, and the battery, my check engine light would be off, until I turned my truck off, then restarted. I was told that I’m continuing to get this error code, P0017, because I have ‘sludge’ in the engine. I’ve been changing the oil every two weeks, or 1,000 miles, using full synthetic oil, plus ‘Gunk’, internal engine cleaner which is supposed to help remove gunk. No matter what it is that I do, the code won’t go away. Brand new parts and everything, fresh oil change this past weekend and still no long. Any ideas? Any other suggestions that could help? I’m a DIY type of person, so I’d rather be hands on then going to a shop or dealer.

  33. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 14, 2010 @ 6:49 am

    John, engine sludge can be a REAL problem. The very small passages for delivering oil to the actuator can be restricted easily. Internal engine cleaners can sometimes loosen and dislodge so much sludge that chunks of it end up in the oil pan and sometimes clogs the pick up screen. In my experience severely sludged engines that have had internal engine cleaners used, need to have the oil pan removed and the oil pick up screen cleaned or even replaced. One suggestion in your case may be to remove the actuator and crank the engine over, allowing oil to flush out the passage (this will be messy).

    I know you don’t want hind sight advice, but here it goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    Good Luck

  34. Zane :

    Date: October 17, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    This was the same problem with my 2004 trailblazer. I was searching for the any diagnosis of cam position and cranckshaft position correlation and ran across this. The code I was getting was P0016. I figured what the heck and pulled my actuator out, and There it was, all ate up and ripped in half. Thank goodness I did not have to spend 150 bucks for all of the stupid sensors that would have done nothing. Thanks you so much!!!! I hope some one runs across this that has a trail blazer and saves themselves some money.

  35. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: October 17, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    They just have ;)

  36. doren child :

    Date: October 18, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    Awesome info. Exactly what you had pictured is what i found. Thanks.

  37. JR N :

    Date: November 2, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    Ok fellas here is the fix when my engine used to turn over for a long time before starting. apr 2010 my check engine light came on: p0013, p0017, p2191, p0300. they replaced plugs for p0300, the ign coil, throttle body for p0013 n p0017, and replaced the exhaust camshaft solenoid gm # 12615873. then may 2010 check engine light again! they replaced the crankshaft position sensor gm# 12588097, drove it 2x and started it 20x and code still not reset. they removed the valve cover and no sludge. dealer contacted technical assistance and was told to replace exhaust cam actuator, timing chain (chain was loose), tensioner and shoes replaced (worn). dealer reset codes, test drove and no reset. then he replaced the camshaft position sensor and tested drove and started 20x and it stayed off. now today is nov 2010 and my truck would not start, just crank over and over, then when i released the key, the engine was cranking by itself. i took off the battery and connector to the exh cam shaft solenoid for 10 mins. then reconnected and truck crank over and released key and truck tried to start on own but not. called dealer and they said bring to shop but i have to get it running first!! i am going to buy the cam shaft pos sensor and the exhaust camshaft actuator to see if starts.

  38. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 2, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    JR N, I would check for codes, fuel pressure, spark, injector pulse etc. I know the problem could be related to the previous issues, however it may just be that the fuel pump or something else unrelated has failed.

    As far as it turning over by itself; this is normal. The ignition will turn over for several seconds to start. If it does not start up right away it will continue a little longer. You may think something is wrong with the switch or starter, but that part is totally normal.

  39. John P :

    Date: November 3, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

    Going back to my issue that was posted on 9/13/2010. I was removed the sensor, and cranked the engine to allow the oil to flow out. Yes, it was extremely messy, but with me, it was an easy clean up. After I completed this, I replaced the sensor, I did a basica oil change. Replaced with full synthetic oil, and a brand new oil filter. Once the computer was reset, I took a test drive, and after turning my truck off, then restarting it, the light came right back on.

    The other suggestion I was given was to drop the oil pan and clean the oil screen.

    How do you go about removing the oil pan to to clean the oil pick up screen, or determine if I need to replace this screen?

  40. Desertrunnr41 :

    Date: November 30, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    Ok, My turn. Check engine light appeared on My 2006 Canyon yesterday, drove it 40 miles to the dealer and interesting to see what they diagnose. I had noticed that it seemed to have a bit of a lower idle over perhaps the past few months and figured maybe I just needed some spark plugs after 35,000 miles. (2nd owner here) for close to 2 years so no idea if they had ever been changed. On another note living here in the desert southwest on those days above 100 its nearly impossible to run the A/C very long when driving anywhere there are stoplights as the Temp gauge quickly rises from lets say half to above 3/4ths the way. Then I pray for the light to change after I have already turned off the a/c then zoom off to cool it down. Fluid is fine and its been thru 2 summers now. Glad i live in the country!!!

  41. John R :

    Date: January 25, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    This was an awesome DIY. I pulled the part and was exactly as displayed. $92 later back in business and only took 10 minutes to change.

    Thanks

  42. Schley harvin :

    Date: February 2, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    I have an 04 colorado and have the p0017 code I changed the part the cam selenoid and reset my computer. The code reappeared ten min later I don’t know what else to try I am sick of the rough idleing and the reduced power thing coming up.

  43. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 3, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    Schley,

    The most common cause of the codes listed in this auto repair article is the solenoid. Good Luck.

  44. A (Lisa) Hall :

    Date: September 15, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

    I am having problems with my 2006 Chevrolet Colorado due to the code P0017. I will be taking this up with General Motors. I have failed inspection and can’t afford to keep trying to repair and can’t purchase a new truck. It seems as though this vehicle is getting a bad reputation.

  45. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: September 16, 2014 @ 7:39 am

    Lisa, this is a common issue. There’s no recall that I’m aware of, just a common failure pattern. Good Luck.

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