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P0008 OBD Fault Code (Causes & Fixes)

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Last Updated on: 7th September 2023, 12:45 am

P0008 is an OBD fault code standing for “Engine positions system performance bank 1”, this fault can trigger for multiple reasons.

Fault CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P0008Engine positions system performance bank 1Engine timing out of sync, worn timing components, crankshaft or camshaft sensor error, wiring damage, ECM software out of date or damage

A P0008 OBD fault code indicates an issue with the engine control module (ECM) detecting a change in the mechanical timing between the crankshaft and bank 1 camshaft.

The ECM employs sensors to determine the crankshaft and camshaft positions.

This fault code may also be associated with the following codes; P0009, P0010, P0011, P0012, P0013, P0014, P0015, P0016, P0017, P0018, P0019, and potentially many more.

What P0008 Means

An issue with the engine control module (ECM) detecting a change in the mechanical timing between the crankshaft and bank 1 camshaft is indicated by the generic OBD-II code P0008.

The ECM employs sensors to determine the crankshaft and camshaft positions. The ECM regulates ignition and fuel timing at varying speeds and loads using these sensor signals.

Typically the MIL (check engine light) will come on and the engine performance can be affected.

Possible Causes

There are many causes to a P0008 error code, such as the following.

  • Engine timing out of sync
  • Worn timing components (such as timing chains, gears, and guides)
  • Crankshaft or camshaft sensor issues
  • Wiring issues (such as faulty connections or damage)
  • ECM software out of date
  • ECM internal damage

Signs & Symptoms

The following signs and symptoms frequently present in association of an P0008 error code.

  • MIL (check engine light) illumination
  • A change in idle quality (such as high idle, lumpy idle, etc)
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • A change in engine performance (reduced power, stalling, etc)

How to Diagnose

P0008 is correctly diagnosed with an advanced scan tool capable of factory sensor readings and codes.

To find out when and where the issue first appeared, as well as whether it is still happening, a qualified expert can read the data from the scan tool.

They could reset the ECM’s code and test drive the car while keeping an eye on the scan tool data to determine if the issue reappears or if it is intermittent.

If the problem is intermittent, a visual inspection or wire wiggle test might provide more information; if not, it may be needed to continue driving the vehicle until it gets worse.

If the defect reappears right away, the scan tool and data from expert sources ought to be able to pinpoint the issue. If not, a digital voltage scope will be needed to watch the sensor signals.

The signals will show what the ECM is seeing and whether or not it is accurate. To check the timing, it might be necessary to remove the engine’s front timing cover.

Further diagnosis may be necessary depending on the findings of the testing, the potential clearance of the code, and a road test while monitoring the data.

Multiple diagnostic tools will be needed, including:

  • A sophisticated scan tool for reading the values of the ECM
  • A digital voltage scope (with attachments)
  • Various tools may be required to reach the sensors and timing elements

Common Mistakes

Inexperienced mechanics frequently interpret this code to mean the engine need a new timing chain or belt. However, this may not always be the cause of a P0008 error code.

A straightforward reprogramming of the ECM may be the fix required.

Before replacing any components, a proper diagnosis is advised rather than relying solely on the code.

How Serious Is It?

A P0008 fault code can have the following consequences if left undiagnosed and not fixed.

  • Lower fuel economy
  • Idle instability (lumpy or high idle)
  • Reduced power
  • Potential for future engine damage
  • Inability to pass emissions testing

A qualified technician should be able to diagnose the problem with proper tools and can verify these potential issues and effects.

How to Fix

The following is the most typical way to fix the P0008 error code.

  1. Connect a reputable scan tool to confirm the existence of the code.
  2. Research testing and values based on the code using credible sources.
  3. Look for any more fault codes that may be connected to the problem, and you may try clearing the fault codes to see which ones reappear.
  4. Analyze the scan tool data from the ECM associated with the code, and road test the car while doing so. Check to see if the symptoms or the P0008 code is present.
  5. Visually examine the vehicle for issues (such as any noises, the wiring and sensors, etc).
  6. If the issue seems to recur, further analyse the issue using specialised tools.
  7. To identify the source of the issue, a digital voltage scope (like this one) should be used to analyse the signals and wiring from the sensors.
  8. The front engine cover and timing chain may need to be removed if the signals and scan tool data are within specification.
  9. Check to see if the timing marks on the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets are in line.
  10. Look for wear on the timing chain or belt, guides, and other components.
  11. After the testing described above, replace the defective component.
  12. Clear any codes and road test the vehicle to see if the issue is fixed.

Additional Notes

Engine performance and smoothness depend heavily on the timing between the crankshaft and the camshaft. The code often denotes timing misalignment, which affects performance.

Although it is seen on other manufactures, Chevrolet, Subaru, and Suzuki vehicles tend to present the P0008 code the most frequently.

On vehicles with higher mileage, it’s typically suspected that the timing belt or chain is stretching or the timing guides are deteriorating, causing the timing to slightly vary.

On vehicles with lower mileage, it’s commonly the ECM software issue requiring an update or a defective crankshaft or camshaft sensor producing false signals.

A skilled technician equipped with the right equipment and access to expert resources will be able to identify the actual problem that is causing the P0008 code in any of these situations.

  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer.He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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