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Old 07-31-2017, 09:05 AM   #1
jhammel85
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Wrench Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Well I'm sure I know the answer to this question but I'd like to see what you all think..

We own a 2008 Saturn Vue, 2WD, Auto, 2.4 Ecotec with 160k on it running two codes at the moment; P0016 and P0017. The car has fresh oil so the level is good (apparently this can throw this code out). I changed the oil since it was due, it was clean, no debris so I cleared the code and it came back. unhooked the battery completely to reset the computer but the code came back once again. Before resetting the computer by removing the lead to the battery, it would hesitate accelerating from a stop. Now that I reset the computer, it's not doing that.

From what I read, the code could be the Cam sensors or Crank Position sensors. Theres also the most likely chance that it's the timing chain since it's a "correlation code" and it's a known issue.

So my plan tonight is to check resistance of the solenoids. If they're good, I'll pull the valve cover and see if the upper guide is even still there. My guess is that it's denigrated and there's going to be a fair amount of slack in my timing chain. Should I turn the motor over by hand (at the crank) to see if the lines match? If not, then it's jumped a tooth and must be the issue right? I know it's pretty common for these engines and so is the tensioner itself failing. As much as I wish I could just replace the upper guide that probably went kaput, I know I'm in for the whole thing due to wear, especially if a guide failed.

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Old 07-31-2017, 03:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

The 2.4L ecotec engine has more refinements than previous small engines, possibly to fit a broader range of vehicles before V6 engines are considered. As with any additional refinements, there are compromises and the first thing is reliability.

My limited knowledge of EFI systems tells me the most important sensor is the crankshaft sensor. As a fixed device placed in proximity of machined teeth on crankshafts, the output signals are precise timing signals that are basically the electronic clock that allows the ecm to operate. Without it the ecm is just a door stop; no crank sensor signals = no fuel pump, no spark and no injector pulses. I don't hold cam sensors as important as the crank sensor. From this, my understanding is a faulty cam sensor may fail but won't kill the engine. A dead crank sensor will kill the engine and not allow the engine to run at all.

A simple test to separate faulty crank sensor from cam sensor signals - disconnect cam sensor (first) and startup. If the engine runs (in any condition), reconnect the sensor and shut off the engine. With cam sensor reconnected, disconnect the crank sensor and startup. If I'm not mistaken, the engine will never startup and run without an operating crank sensor.

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Old 07-31-2017, 06:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

My recommendation:

1. you have likely jumped a tooth in the timing chain. Do not drive the car. Park it.

2. Watch this video...the engine you have the issue common to this the motor. Before you try to start the car again, pull the valve cover:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEEuyunUhgs

3. If you see what appears in the video, follow his recommendation. Replace the timing set and also water pump related parts.

4. I wouldn't run synthetic in that motor unless of course you feel like. I would change the oil twice...once and then immediately again after a short ride after changing out the parts. Your only hope is the metal liberated inside the motor due to failing timing guides doesn't trash the oil pump or main bearings.

Good luck and report back.

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Old 08-03-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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Thumbs Up Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Thanks for everyone who posted here! So I popped the valve cover off and sure enough there was slack. Also, the upper guide's plastic was missing. I found most of it off to the right of the intake cam phaser.

I got it torn down to where I'm about ready to pop the old chain off and the broken guides. I found the last piece of the upper guide behind the crank sprockets and large pieces of the fixed guide. Luckily, everything is accounted for and never made it in the pan (even though I'll probably drop the pan anyway).

One thing I'm finding is that this chain seems to have jumped quite a bit. There are times where I rotate the engine over (clockwise) where the crank is at TDC (5 o clock for the dot, 12 for the key and verified though spark plug hole) and the cams are where they should be, 2 o clock (intake) and 10 o clock (exhaust) but the marked chain links are no where near the dots or diamonds. Would this mean it's safe to take the chain off and replace it with the marks all in their proper spots without issue? I can't see it being a problem since the crank and both cams are where they're supposed to be. It does confuse me a little because I expected it to be out of time with these codes, not just a chain that has jumped. Perhaps it's off a tooth? I'm thinking that if I put the crank and cams where they need to be and the new chain lined up correctly then there shouldn't be a problem....I think. Any thoughts? I can post pics if needed.

Thanks all. It's my first time doing a timing job and definitely taking it slow.

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Old 08-03-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

If you line everything up, you should be good. I believe you are changing the chains...I hope so. Many believe that the guides fail causing the chain to jump. Not so, the chain stretches which slaps the guides and why the chain jumps. Watch the video...my suggestion 2-3 x's. You should heed the advice in the video and change water pump related parts. If you have further questions, dig around youtube and you can probably find another video or two on that issue for further perspective.

Good luck and come back and hopefully share the success of how it runs.
Consider changing the oil twice...once after the rebuild and then shortly thereafter.

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Old 08-03-2017, 03:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Those youtube videos of 2.4L ecotec engines seems to point to an inherent problem with timing chains? I thought the chain tensioner takes up slack. If I'm not mistaken, the timing marks on the chain are used for initial timing setup. Once set, the chain won't line up again until many four stroke cycles pass. As long as timing is set for cylinder#1 and the chain guide replaced with broken parts accounted for, you may have dodged a bullet (bent valves/con rod, damaged piston).

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Old 08-03-2017, 04:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Thank you both again. I was thinking the same about the chain and how many rotations it'd be to get it to line up again.

I really appreciate the help here. I will take everyone's advice here in getting it back together and will report how it goes!

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Well, I finished it all, all went well except....it doesn't run.
It wouldn't run at all but would try.
I popped the cover back off and spun the car over by hand with the spark plugs out. Cams go at the positions that they should be but of course, the chain links don't line up any more. Took the new tensioner out and it seems activated (piston is extended).

So now I'm going to pop the front cover off and see if the Crank lines up. If its at twelve and 5 o clock, and the cams are at 2 and 11, then I'm at a loss. Perhaps 180 degrees out?? I don't see how if every lines up.... Verified spark and definitely smell gas in the cyl.

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Old 08-08-2017, 10:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Also, should the lobes on the intake and exhaust cams be facing upwards or somewhere else? I'm trying to figure out if I truly set this to top dead center on the compression stroke. Right now, they're basically just in front of the roller about to open the valve on the intake side and just past the roller on the exhaust. Piston is at it's top about to go back down.

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Old 08-09-2017, 06:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

If I were you, I would dig around youtube or google your engine and timing chain. You may even find a forum with that engine where knowledgable wrenches hang out that hotrod that motor and can set valve timing in their sleep. You could be 180 deg out. You verified spark and gas. My strong guess its timing that's out. I would be concerned about valve into piston contact at this point...so I wouldn't turn the engine over any more until you have a deeper sense your cams are step up properly relative to crank position.
It maybe as simple as ID'ing no. 1 cylinder for TDC on compression/power position versus exhaust cycle as you suspect. Devil is always in the details.
Good luck.

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
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Wrench Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

It seems like the chain wasn't quite lined up or had some but of looseness to it. I reset the timing back to how it should be, it was off a tooth or two and I started rotating it by hand. No friction so maybe just maybe, I don't have anything bent. We shall see I guess

I know I can't just pop the new tensioner back in without resetting it back to compressed (so much easier if I could!). Once I remove the snap ring, I twist and push it back down with vice grips right? I know there's a special tool out there but I can't find one locally at all.

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Old 08-09-2017, 12:56 PM   #12
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Post Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Ok. I took out the tensioner, reset it back to compressed, moved the chain over all the appropriate dots. Spun by hand and seems great. No slack, binding, thuds...nothing.

I popped the front cover on and the valve cover and decided to try a compression test. All test around 160 or more. Cyl number 1 was at 125 or so but with a tablespoon of oil, it shot up with the rest.

I think this is all good news. I'll believe it when I hear it run. Will update once it's done..

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Old 08-09-2017, 01:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

With compression tests showing decent compression to verify timing was set correctly, the flooded engine may be drowning spark. To start up (correctly) and ensure plugs aren't soaked in fuel, one of several ways are needed to start with dry plugs; remove them to air dry while starting without plugs (fuel pump fuse removed, replaced afterwards) to blow out excess fuel, leave plugs in and remove the fuel pump fuse or pump relay and startup at wide open throttle or startup at wide open throttle. Starting up at wide open throttle (pedal to floor) tells the pcm to stop injector operation to clear the engine of a (possible) flooded condition while more air is ingested to help dry out spark plugs. During 'clear flood mode', spark is still generated and the engine should sputter to life. releasing throttle should allow normal engine running.

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Old 08-09-2017, 04:04 PM   #14
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Checkered Flag Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
With compression tests showing decent compression to verify timing was set correctly, the flooded engine may be drowning spark. To start up (correctly) and ensure plugs aren't soaked in fuel, one of several ways are needed to start with dry plugs; remove them to air dry while starting without plugs (fuel pump fuse removed, replaced afterwards) to blow out excess fuel, leave plugs in and remove the fuel pump fuse or pump relay and startup at wide open throttle or startup at wide open throttle. Starting up at wide open throttle (pedal to floor) tells the pcm to stop injector operation to clear the engine of a (possible) flooded condition while more air is ingested to help dry out spark plugs. During 'clear flood mode', spark is still generated and the engine should sputter to life. releasing throttle should allow normal engine running.

Thank you for your response! The car is up and running! I think the tensioner wasn't activated....somehow. when I took it out it sure was but whatever - it's quiet, running well and I just put about 5 miles on it. I think we're good here.

Oh and before I forget, the tensioner doesn't need the gm tool. I was able to reset it with out.

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Old 08-09-2017, 06:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

Love to read stories like this. All on you jhammel85. You know what you are doing which was reflected in your writing. You should be proud of your good work and hope the car continues to perform well. Pretty gratifying to go this deep into a motor not knowing the outcome and to have success as your reward after taking the leap of faith that you could fix it. Well done!

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

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Originally Posted by gm7 View Post
Love to read stories like this. All on you jhammel85. You know what you are doing which was reflected in your writing. You should be proud of your good work and hope the car continues to perform well. Pretty gratifying to go this deep into a motor not knowing the outcome and to have success as your reward after taking the leap of faith that you could fix it. Well done!
Thank you so much. That means a lot! I was questioning myself hard last night on this and didnt really eat until I found it had compression. Best hot dogs I've ever had!

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Old 08-10-2017, 05:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Help with Both P0016 and P0017 Codes

will add, I thought fdryer's comment about compression was excellent. Indeed, if each cylinder builds compression then all valves relative to each cylinder have to be closed at TDC which suggests correct valve timing as he stated.

Beauty of forums like this is the 'collective' consciousness. A combination of wrench heads always has more ideas than any individual. Further, different people bring different expertise. For example, satlite440 knows more about these transmissions than anybody. Fdryer knows a lot about AC. Different people bring different areas of knowledge.

If there is a regret about these cars its the transmission. Reason is...they are hard to remove for a home mechanic and pricey to replace at a shop...unlike many standard RWD cars.

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