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P0008 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnostics, and Fixes

When your check engine light brightens, you need to figure out what is wrong. The light is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) and only lights up when there is a problem. The P0008 OBD2 code will trigger if there is a problem in the timing mechanism in the crankshaft. When timing is off in the engine, an important part could be misaligned.

P0008 code tells that there is a problem in the timing mechanism in the crankshaft.
P0008 code tells that there is a problem in the timing mechanism in the crankshaft.

OBD2 P0008 Code Definition

P0008 Generic: Engine Positions System Performance Bank 1

P0008 Cadillac: Engine Positions System Performance Bank 1

P0008 GMC: Engine Positions System Performance Bank 1

P0008 Chevrolet: Engine Positions System Performance Bank 1

What Does P0008 Mean?

When your car’s computer gives you the OBD2 P0008 code, you should know it is a generic powertrain code. Usually, when the code is triggered, there is a problem with timing in the area between the camshaft and the crankshaft.

The ECM has sensors between the crankshaft and the bank 1 camshaft. Those sensors are looking for fuel timing and ignition timing as the car moves. When the timing is off, the P0008 code will trigger.

This code is common in a few makes and models, especially in several made by GM. In a Cadillac, the ECM triggers the check engine light when there is a misalignment between the camshafts and crankshaft. Cadillacs measure alignment when the car is idling. When the numbers are off while traveling, the code is sent.

You find a P0008 code in a GMC if the camshaft and crankshaft are misaligned. The computer determines the proper position and when the position is off, the check engine light will turn on.

In a Chevrolet, the P0008 code shows that something is wrong between the crankshaft and camshafts. Usually, the problem is in the timing belt, chains, or sprockets.

What Are The Symptoms Of P0008 Code?

When a car has an issue with the P0008 code, there are several signs that show what is wrong with the car. The way the car drives will change along with the check engine light turning on. Because the problem is in the space between the crankshaft and camshafts, the car’s power can decrease noticeably.

You might find that the car doesn’t accelerate smoothly. Instead, when you step on the gas pedal, the car might have a rough feel to it. Fuel economy will decrease as the car has to work harder.

You also might notice that the car idles loudly and roughly. If the problem is in the timing chain, you will hear the chain as it clunks around the shafts.

What Are The Causes Of P0008?

The usual cause of the P0008 code is wear and tear that stretches the timing chains or belts. Usually, vehicles with timing belts have more tolerance than vehicles with timing chains. With more tolerance, belts are less likely to stretch than chains. Another possible cause is when the crankshaft is no longer sitting at top dead center. You might also find a flaw in the timing chain tensioner.

In vehicles made by GM, the usual cause is the tensioner and sliders. If you do not change your oil enough, the tensioner loosens and the timing changes. Some experts think that using the wrong type of oil or a poorly made oil filter will accelerate the problem.

Even though it doesn’t happen often, a jumped tooth can trigger the check engine light. If your car has a timing belt, a jumped tooth is highly unlikely.

If the problem isn’t related to the timing belt or chain, then there are a few other possibilities. One is an engine that is out of sync. Other causes could be wiring damage or damaged sensors near the camshaft or crankshaft. Your vehicle’s ECM could also be damaged. Some cars have issues with gears or chains being worn out.

How Serious Is P0008 Code?

The P0008 code is serious because it affects the way your vehicle runs. Your car might not be able to pass an emissions test and it could cause serious engine damage if not repaired. Cars have reduced power and instability while idling, which are both serious problems. The problem also increases the amount of fuel used, too.

How To Diagnose The P0008 Code?

When the P0008 code is triggered,  the crankshaft and camshaft should be checked
The crankshaft and camshaft need to be checked when the car has the error P0008 code.

When the P0008 code is triggered, you should check the crankshaft and camshaft. You can remove the timing cover to see the marks. If the crankshaft pulley is not at top dead center, then you know where the problem is. You can diagnose the problem by seeing the positions of the marks and where the pulley actually is.

What Common Mistakes To Avoid While Diagnosing Code P0008?

Occasionally, the problem comes from issues with oil pressure. Be sure to check your oil pump connections, as a clogged oil passageway could cause the crankshaft to send the P0008 code.

What Should I Do To Fix The Code P0008?

After you diagnose the problem, you need to fix the problem. If the car is under the powertrain warranty, take it to the dealership and they will fix the problem and replace the parts. If the timing belt or chain is off, you should install a new one or adjust the one you have if it is not worn out. Stretched tensioners, timing belts or chains need to be replaced.

Other fixes could include replacing the cam position sensor or cleaning out the oil pump pickup tube filter or replacing the oil pump. The camshaft adjustment valve might need new wiring. The engine might need to be retimed.

How to replace timing chain

Tips To Avoid P0008 In The Future

While it is difficult to avoid wear and tear on timing belts and tensioners, it is possible to avoid some of the issues that cause the P0008 code to trigger. Since oil issues can cause the car to have crankshaft problems, you should only use quality oil and oil filters. It is important to have regular oil changes to keep the engine functioning properly, too.

Read more: P0016 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnostics, And Fixes

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