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Chevy P0017 CAM/Crankshaft Position Correlation

9:29 pm Chevrolet, How To Auto Repair


Cam solenoid is missing screen at X position

© 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.


Picture of the solenoid courtesy of

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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107 Responses
  1. Erik P :

    Date: November 18, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

    I’m glad to find a site with issues similar to mine, but need to pick your brain. Basic stats: ’05 Colorado Crew Cab, LK5 (4cyl), 4L60E, 4×4. Replaced engine with NAPA reman at 136,120 miles. No MILs on during break in cycle. Now MIL and “ABS FAULT” come on almost every time, P0017 and misc. abs front sensor codes. Can use Scangauge II to shut of the engine MIL, but code comes back as pending then a hard code. Engine only has 250 miles on it, has had the code since mile 1. New Ex. Cam. Actuator, plugs, belts, hoses, oil, etc. Local dealer has used Tech II to verify CKS & CMS action and has relearned the cam/crank correlation. Have cleaned and ohmed the G105 and G106 ground packs on both inner fenders as well as the grounds on the left side of the block. Still have the MIL. Any other ideas? Will be rechecking torque on the crank bolt tomorrow, otherwise I am at a loss. Thanks in advance. Erik

  2. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 19, 2014 @ 7:08 am

    Erik, the P0017 is not as common with the 4cyl (2.8) that you have. This post was written for the 5cyl 3.5 engines that have a very common issue with these codes. However, if your previous engine was replaced due to wear, perhaps there’s metal contamination on one of the reused sensors associated with camshaft or crankshaft. A crank bolt being loose would not have anything to do with these codes unless the pulley was about to come off. It’s possible that the ABS issue is a coincidence and has nothing to do with the recent engine installation. But, when an engine is replaced there’s a lot of connections undone and reconnected. There’s also a chance of wiring being stretched, crushed or connector pins being bent. Basically there’s a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong because of all the work that has to be done to change an engine and swap components. Even a ground strap that is loose can wreak havoc with computerized systems. Yes I speak from experience. I left a ground strap loose which attached to the rear of an engine cylinder head when I replaced a motor and the vehicle wouldn’t run. Turns out it was a very important ground that the computer used. Point is, there’s many things that can be left loose or could have been damaged during the R&R (Removal and Installation) process of a motor. If everything appears tight and undamaged, it’s time to diagnose the individual faults using a wiring diagram and knowledge of how the circuit works and how to carry out tests to pinpoint the problem. This is easier said than done and may require a tech that is experienced in wiring and electrical issues. Good Luck.

  3. Erik P :

    Date: November 19, 2014 @ 7:30 am

    Thank you for the clarification, especially on the crank bolt and sensor contamination. I will continue to check wiring and connections. My students truly enjoyed a real “hands on” project with this Colorado and I know they’ll be excited when it’s finally done.

  4. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 19, 2014 @ 7:47 am

    Erik, didn’t know it was an auto-shop class project. That’s great experience for the guys. It also shows how things can happen in the real shop environment, that is a missing element in the classroom in most cases. It would be great if you can post the solutions to the problems you’ve mentioned. Good Luck to you and your students.

  5. Baddog :

    Date: November 25, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much! Had the P0017 code on my Hummer H3 and it was exactly like you said. The screen on the cam solenoid was ripped… Wow.. Thanks!

  6. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 26, 2014 @ 7:25 am

    Glad the article helped. Happy Holidays.

  7. Erik P :

    Date: December 7, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    For our update: It’s going on three weeks now and we still have not determined the problem. A rough idle seems to be setting the P0017. It only sets at idle, never at highway speeds. Have checked all vacuum hoses, ports, and wiring connections since last posting. Tech II shows misfire on 1,3,&4 cylinders sporadically, and only, at idle, sometimes no misfire, sometimes right away. Shutting off injectors individually produces expected drop in RPM and rougher idle. The guys (as well as their instructor) are frustrated and baffled. The only check left on the GM protocol is to open the engine and check timing. Ouch, that’s a couple of day job with only 50 minute periods! Quite a bummer on a fresh crate engine. Thanks for your help!

  8. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: December 7, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

    Hey Erik, thanks for the update. If your model has a similar camshaft actuator solenoid valve, I’d check the screens to see if there’s any contamination like metal debris. Good Luck.

  9. Jeffrey Landis :

    Date: January 4, 2015 @ 11:08 am

    I have an 07 Colorado 2.9 liter Lt truck and I have P0017 trouble code and that’s the only code the code first Showed up at 30000 miles and has never gone away I took it back to the dealer and they replace the crank and cam position sensors then replaced the entire timing system and then replaced the motor and the trouble code has never gone away longer then a month I’ve even replace the camshaft cylinoid that was possible for that screen problem that everybody’s talking about but that didn’t fix it either I now have a 100000 miles and want to sell the truck but no one wants to buy the truck with that trouble code please help me.

  10. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 4, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

    Jeffrey, if the solenoid isn’t the problem I’d take it back to the dealer since they obviously have the most experience dealing with this code. Good Luck.

  11. Erik P :

    Date: January 24, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

    I’d just like to pass along an update on my 2005 Colorado lk5. The re manufacturer instructed me to tear into and check the exhaust camshaft actuator, (commonly called a phaser) which turned out to be faulty and appears to be made of Unobtanium as no one stocks or makes these. I am going to reassemble the engine until someone starts making them again. I hope this can help others who seem to have exhausted (no pun intended) their options.

  12. Jim L. :

    Date: January 24, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

    I also have a 2005 5 cylinder Colorado that has just started stalling at idle (moving or sitting still). I’ve tried to remove camshaft actuator solenoid to inspect, but can not pull it out. I’ve removed the 10mm bolt, but it will not budge. The odd thing is, you can easily rotate the solenoid to the left or right, but the bracket which had the 10mm bolt and connected to solenoid doesn’t move. What’s up with this?
    Thanks much!

  13. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 26, 2015 @ 7:51 am

    Jim, it may be time to take it to a shop for assistance. Maybe there’s some build-up preventing it from being removed easily. Good Luck.

  14. Nancy Mastrian :

    Date: March 16, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    I am working on a 2011 chevy malibu and I have replaced the timing chain and other parts. The problem is the code P0016 won’t go off. I have used a scanner too. What can the problem be? The car runs good right now.

  15. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 16, 2015 @ 5:17 pm

    Nancy, this article is not on the Malibu. However, I would recheck all work including timing chain and whatever “other parts” were just changed. Good Luck.

  16. Tn Ron :

    Date: March 20, 2015 @ 5:18 am

    I have just found your blog and reading about the P0017 code, my 2009 Colorado popped the code about 70000 miles and has continued to pop the code about every 7-10,000 miles. Is this Cam Shaft sensor the same as the VVT sensor that I replace all the time and the screens are always in place. I put a new crankshaft sensor in and had to replace it with in the hour back to to OEM because of rough driving and idle. It even messed with the transmission feel. The truck drives fine with it back in it just has the check engine light on and ONSTAR maint says it is that same code also. The VVT has been replaced 5 times with 2 of them at dealer.

  17. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 20, 2015 @ 7:34 am

    Ron the VVT sensor would be the Variable Valve Timing. This adjusts the timing Variable Valve Timing solenoid which changes the timing slightly under certain conditions. The camshaft position sensor is different. Look the part up on a parts website for an image. Good Luck.

  18. Alex Guadalajara :

    Date: March 21, 2015 @ 6:52 pm

    Dennisb-I have the p0017 code used the scan tool, figured out it was the camshaft position sensor b bank 1. Looked it up sensor B is the exhaust side sensor so I changed that removing fuse box and support. However, used scan tool again and code still puts out. I ordered the vvt solenoid so I going to replace it but it has two. One for exhaust and one for intake. The one for intake is feasible but the other is further down. How would i go about replacing it. And Do you think I should replace both intake and exhaust vvt solenoids? THANKS

  19. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 22, 2015 @ 9:20 am

    After installing a part like that you need to clear the code. It will not go away immediately all by itself. You may want a local shop assist in diagnosing so you’re not just throwing a bunch of parts at the problem. They will have an idea of how to change the harder to access parts, if needed. Good Luck.

  20. Rob :

    Date: April 22, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

    I have a 2006 GMC Canyon,4cyl.80000miles. p0017 code coming up. changed crankshaft sensor code still showing, was gonna change cam solenoid but when I opened the new one there was a piece of paper in box that said “in most occurances this solenoid is replaced without first testing the old one to make sure it was functioning properly” so I followed the steps to test it and it functioned the way that they said it would. I connected 12vsource, put an allen wrench in the hole and can see that it was plunging or moving.I do have a small piece of screen missing. I know that isn’t good and needs replaced because of that. But Im wondering since the solenoid is mechanically working would it still throw a code just for missing a small section of the screen? truck is running rough on idle and has a loss of power and I do have a rattle on start up which somewhere I had read about tone ring?

  21. lufemiro :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 2:08 am

    I have a 2006 hummer h3 3.5l has the p0017 code I replace crankshaft and camshaft sensors (3) also the solenoid (the screen was missing) and still the same code I took off the oil pan and find small metal pieces aluminum I guess I clean everything and also replace the timing kit chain and tensioners put new oil and filter also replace the oil pump(because the oil light was on at low rpm fix the oil light) but the same code appeared the hummer works fine like for 20 min but once it reaches the normal temperature stalls I have to let the engine off for a period of time cool it down and then works fine but happen again once the temperature is at normal and I don’t know what to do

  22. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 7:10 am

    Anytime there’s metal in the pan, it indicates engine wear. More than likely it’s not aluminum. I would suspect worn crank or cam bearings. Low oil pressure is also an indication of worn bearings. I would inspect the main and cam bearings and go from there. Most likely looking at doing a complete engine rebuild or replace with a re-manufactured one. Good Luck.

  23. lufemiro :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

    ok thanks dennisb but why is showing that code or what does that code mean why turns the engine off is because the gap of the sensor and the facer is big or why or the engine got stuck or is computer disorder the computer is confused ????/


  24. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

    I’d say the metal is affecting the sensors, giving wrong info to computer. The metal comes back because of engine wear… You can certainly get a second opinion from a local technician that has the benefit of seeing and inspecting the vehicle in person. If they see metal in the engine oil, they will most likely pull the oil pan and inspect the cam and crank bearings. That’s what I would do. Good Luck.

  25. lufemiro :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 6:59 pm

    ok thanks is there any kind of additive or sludge removal you recommend

  26. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 22, 2015 @ 7:27 pm

    No, I don’t think any additives would help a worn engine.

  27. HandyAdams :

    Date: May 29, 2015 @ 3:05 am

    I have a 2006 Canyon, 2.8L with P0017 and P0303 codes. Truck runs great except for a little misfire. Took it to 2 shops for diagnostics. First one said CKP to exhaust correlation. #3 intake valve has either carbon build up or dropped valve seat (possibly sitting crooked). Performed compression & leak down test and found 80% leaking. Recommend removing cyl head as next step in vehicle repairs. The second shop replaced #3 coil and said the timing chain is stretched. It runs great now but still has P0017 code. How do I know who to believe?

    I replaced the camshaft actuator solenoid valve before I took it to either shop. The weird thing is that all 3 screens were intact but there was a crumpled screen stuck to one of the good screens. Where could that have come from?

  28. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: May 29, 2015 @ 7:16 am

    As far as the timing chain “stretched”… doesn’t make sense. Why would it only affect #3? Carbon build could be cleaned with a fuel injection service. Never saw carbon build-up bad enough to cause a misfire though. And again, why would carbon build-up just on one cylinder’s valves? The fact that the screen was damaged indicated something was loose in there bouncing around. Most likely metal from somewhere. These engine’s computer controls are very sensitive, so misfires could be from related issues with the sensor, especially with the P0017 code setting. If you had the misfire code by itself, I would be more likely to treat the diagnosis like a regular misfire… coil, spark plug, injector etc. I would check the engine oil in the pan for metal which would indicate serious wear. Good Luck.

  29. june :

    Date: June 21, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    My 08 Colorado had the same code pulled the cam actuator. Screens were all in tact. Replaced it anyway and the codes were gone. All good while inspecting my truck I seen a very small oil drip on the rubber inspection plug all around was dry. A little concerned but was happy the actuated got rid of the codes and rough idle and limp mode stopped. Next day truck running fine drove about 30 miles and truck died pulled over appeared to me hot. Let it cool off and drove another 15 miles pulled over let it cool down and huge oil puddle under truck. Looked under truck and to my horror oil everywhere my under garage was covered and dripping from the frame I mean everywhere put a quart of oil in it and Drove it another 40 miles and made it home. First response was I blew rear main seal. Oil was dripping at a quick pace from that rubber plug and the silver round thing. Please tell me it’s not the rear main

  30. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: June 21, 2015 @ 4:38 pm

    Hello June, not sure where your leak is coming from by going by your description. I would have a shop put it on a lift and diagnose the leak for you. You may want to consider towing it there. Good Luck.

  31. Tim :

    Date: June 25, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

    This is driving me nuts! 2006 Chevy Colorado with 36,000 miles and a P0017 code. Took it to the dealer. $290 later, they cleaned the cam shaft sensor (no ripped screens), but still no dice. Next day, and another $980 later, they replace the actuator, and still throwing the code. Then they tell me my timing chain is loose/stretched, and needs to be replaced. Thing is, truck runs fine: no noise, no low power issues, nothing. If this doesn’t fix it, I’m not sure how much more I should have done to it.

  32. steven :

    Date: August 23, 2015 @ 11:51 am

    Have a 08 colorado changed cam, crank and actuator sensors still getting codes?

  33. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: August 24, 2015 @ 9:10 am

    I’d inspect them. Possibly worn engine causing repeat failure. Good Luck.

  34. pat :

    Date: September 7, 2015 @ 6:59 pm

    the p0017 code that keeps coming back on the 3.5 litre engines is crankshaft play. tsb tells you how to check. if its got to much play you will need to replace engine if you want light out.

  35. Bob :

    Date: November 4, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

    I’m so glad too see I’m not the only one struggling with this code. My ’06 Collie has had the CEL on since I bought it was 2500 miles. No big deal, didn’t have to pass emissions back then.

    Now I live somewhere where emissions testing is required. I’ve replaced the crank sensor, cam sensor and VVT sensor. I Fire it up and it runs great, no light.

    Then I shut it off, start it up again and there’s the light. Same code, P0017. The guys at Autozone look at me like a moron when I ask what to do next. My tags have been expired for a YEAR now and I don’t know what else to do. Local shop says it’ll be “about $1,000 to figure out what’s wrong.

    I keep up with maintenance so it’s hard to believe the motor is sludged. I really don’t want to have to buy another vehicle.

    Any advice would be very appreciated

  36. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 5, 2015 @ 6:57 am

    Bob, As stated in the article, “the culprit is almost always the camshaft actuator solenoid valve, not the crankshaft position sensor or a cam position sensor.” Good Luck.

  37. Mike :

    Date: November 17, 2015 @ 2:10 pm

    08 canyon 3.7 with 130,000 klm. I have had a 2-3 sec. rattle on start up since 60k. It seems to be getting a bit worse now, I am going to change the cam actuator on camshaft,is there anything I can do to prevent the new one from doing it again,
    It seems the new one has not been changed up to a better one, am
    I wasting my time as I know it is a very common complaint and dealerships say it is normal, which I believe to be just a brush off. running synthetic since new with oem filter, engine is clean internally, sol checked.

  38. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: November 17, 2015 @ 2:17 pm

    Sounds like you’re keeping up with the oil changes, so I wouldn’t have any other suggestion to try to prevent this from occurring again. Good Luck.

  39. Ron :

    Date: January 9, 2016 @ 6:51 pm

    All I have to say is Chevrolet should really be ashamed for making these engines so shoddy.These things should all be recalled because theres just to much garbage parts and they made the engines with valve seats to soft and the no it.After making vehicles for as many years as they have and to pay engineers what they do we should all receive a quality replacement engine.Ive replaced everything in the electronic sensor line you cant make them stop giving codes.Its a sorry way to make anything toy companies can do better.I wish I could take mine back to the factory and park it there with a sign describing to them what they have produced.i hope there proud ripping people off with junk.

  40. brian :

    Date: January 13, 2016 @ 10:49 pm

    06 colorado 145k miles, I’ve got the p0017 code and have had it for 7 years. It first appeared when it had a problem coming up to temp correctly and would develop moisture in the oil. I replaced the thermostat and got the temp up and the moisture was gone but the code remained. The truck has always run well until recently noticed a rough idle and occasionally stalling. I removed my intake, throttle body and intake manifold and throughly cleaned all parts. I’ve replaced the cam solenoid and it runs good but the code still remains… do i need a new timing chain?

  41. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 14, 2016 @ 7:02 am

    Brian, the thermostat not working properly would likely set a different code (P1281) unrelated to the P0017. Based on the current mileage at 145,000 it wouldn’t surprise me if the timing chain has some play. But since the code has been present for seven years the timing chain was not the original issue. I’d examine the screen in the solenoid for bits of metal and go from there. Good Luck.

  42. Tina :

    Date: January 15, 2016 @ 8:36 pm

    2012 Colorado with only 20k miles p0017 had the Camshaft Actuator Solenoid replaced. The check engine light came back on after a few days, took it to another place they said the part was faulty and replaced it again… Should my 5yr 100k cover the cost through a dealer? I’m the only owner.

  43. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 16, 2016 @ 8:49 am

    Tina, I would think that this should be covered under your warranty if you would have taken it to the dealer. The dealer is not going to pay for repairs done at an independent shop after the fact though. Good Luck.

  44. Heavy G :

    Date: January 28, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

    p0017 ,Old solenoid dirty clogged middle screen . changed camshaft actuator solenoid for new one. Light Came back on, pulled new solenoid middle screen had dirt in screens , cleaned solenoid with oil change , Crossed fingers.. But does anyone know if this solenoid would work without screens( remove the screens ??

  45. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: January 29, 2016 @ 9:56 am

    Don’t know, but would never suggest doing that. Just like I would never recommend removing the screen in a pick-up tube for an oil pump. Garbage just would go further causing problems. Good Luck.

  46. Tim S :

    Date: February 18, 2016 @ 8:46 am

    Thanks for sharing this. My 2005 Canyon started idling rough on Tuesday evening. The trouble codes matched up to what was described. On Wednesday evening I changed out the cam sensor. The problem still existed. I then changed out the actuator and that cured the problem. The truck is purring like a kitten. My truck has about 127K miles on it so getting the solenoid out wasn’t an easy task. There was a bit of varnish build up.

  47. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: February 18, 2016 @ 9:23 am

    Glad the article helped. Thanks for commenting.

  48. David :

    Date: March 14, 2016 @ 9:19 pm

    Working on a 08 Colorado 3.7l…replaced motor with new long block cleaned all parts being reused..replaced act solenoid and still get a p0017 that’s the only code. Stalls dies, rpm spikes, and seems to use more gas as well…new rear main leaks, oil sending unit leaks..can that cause a solenoid to not work properly.. Has a rattle on start up now as well. Heard this is a major pain. Just want it fixed and gone out of my bay.

  49. dennisb - Auto Tool Sales :

    Date: March 15, 2016 @ 7:45 am

    Hello David. I’d check the PCV system. As you probably know an inoperative PCV system can cause leaks to sprout due to increased crankcase pressure. Erratic idle could be normal until the computer develops a new fuel strategy for the different engine. Fuel mileage could also be affected until then. Of course this is assuming there’s no vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks before O2’s etc. Never had any luck just cleaning the solenoid, only replacing it. Oil leaks have nothing to do with the solenoid’s operation as long as the level is kept full. I assume this is a brand new or re-manufactured long block. Hopefully the supplier will pay some warranty time for a rear main seal. Prior to installing “used engines” I always replace the rear main seal, just in case. Seals dry out and leak when engines sit at the bone yard. I’d make sure the rattle goes away if you can, before doing the rear main seal though. Hopefully just lifters with some air getting worked out. Good Luck.

  50. Renato Tapia :

    Date: April 4, 2016 @ 11:45 pm

    I have 2009 chevrolet aveo 1.6 cil. the motor is shaking while is in low RPM and when i put in gear ,turn off .i put into the scanner and give me these ,this codes P0017 – P0016 and P0106 ,already replace P0106 didn’t make any difference ,i should replace the other .to resolve this problem .please email me thank you

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