The P0316 OBD2 code triggers when your engine misfires during the first 1,000 revolutions after starting. Misfires, in general, are hard on your engine, so it’s an important code to address as soon as it’s detected.
P0316 can be a difficult code to diagnose, in addition to its severity. There are many different components within your ignition system that could be responsible for startup misfires. One thing that can help is looking for other OBD2 trouble codes that appear alongside P0316. Use this data to guide your diagnosis and pinpoint the specific problem.
While P0316 is a generic powertrain code, there are known repairs for many manufacturers. It’s a good idea to check for technical service bulletins and repair suggestions for your specific vehicle. This can save you time compared to the full step by step diagnosis.
Table of Contents
P0316 Code Definition
P0316 (Generic): Engine Misfire Detected on Startup (First 1000 Revolutions)
What Does P0316 Mean?
Misfires on startup are caused when the crankshaft or camshaft is outside their normal operating parameters. Crankshaft and camshaft position data is used by the engine computer to determine the timing of fuel injection and ignition. If they’re not properly aligned, one or more cylinders in the engine may fail to fire, leading to a misfire.
When the engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM) detects that the camshaft or crankshaft is out of position, the P0316 trouble code is triggered. You’ll usually see P0316 in combination with other DTCs, especially 0300-0312.
Your engine’s computer considers the first 1,000 revolutions to be the start-up phase. This means your engine is misfiring before it reaches its normal operating temperature. In addition to the position of the camshaft and crankshaft, the ECM or PCM measures the engine RPMs, and discrepancies in this data could also trigger a P0316 code.
What Are The Symptoms Of The P0316 Code?
- Activation of the check engine light
- Rough idling
- Hard starts
- Reduced engine performance
- Reduced fuel economy
- Rough or choppy acceleration
What Are The Causes Of P0316?
- Faulty or damaged crankshaft position (CKP) sensor
- Faulty or damaged wires around CKP sensor
- Fuel isn’t the right quality for the engine
- Too little fuel
- Malfunction in the ignition system
- Faulty ignition coil
- Faulty fuel injector
- Leaks in vacuum lines
- Worn or damaged spark plugs
- Fuel pressure too low
- The Catalytic converter is clogged or damaged
How Serious Is The P0316 Code?
The P0316 OBD2 code is very serious. It affects your vehicle’s ability to start and run safely, and there’s a high risk of serious engine damage due to misfires. You should stop driving your car right away when you see a P0316 code.
How To Diagnose And Fix The P0316 Code
Tools you’ll need:
- Misfires on start-up can be the result of insufficient fuel levels. Check your tank to make sure you have enough fuel, and verify that it’s the correct type and grade for your engine. Add or replace fuel as necessary.
- Check for any technical service bulletins related to the P0316 code for your vehicle. The fix for some vehicles (Ford especially) can involve reprogramming the PCM or ECM or replacing the cylinder head.
- Scan your vehicle using an OBD2 scan tool. If any other codes appear alongside P0316, address those first. Once you’ve fixed those issues, clear the codes and test drive your vehicle to see if the P0316 OBD2 code comes back.
- Check the freeze frame data at the time the fault occurred. Look for any inconsistencies or irregularities that could point you toward the specific issue. Pay attention to whether the code triggered from a cold start or a hot start, as this can guide you toward which components are at fault.
- Check your vehicle’s air/fuel mixture. If it’s lean, you may have a leak in your vacuum system. Inspect your fuel system for any leaks, paying special attention to connections and the ends of lines, which can fray from wear.
- Visually inspect the wiring around the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. Replace any wires you see that are frayed or damaged, and check that all connections are secure.
- Test the fuel injectors with a multimeter set to ohms. If you have high impedance injectors (common on most cars), they should read between 12 and 17 ohms. High-performance engines may use low-impedance injectors, which should read between 2 and 5 ohms. You can find the correct resistance of your injectors in your vehicle manual. All injectors should read within half an ohm of resistance from each other. Replace any injectors you find to be faulty.
- Test the ignition coils with a multimeter and compare the measurement to your vehicle manual. Replace any that are faulty.
- Inspect the spark plugs and replace any that are worn or damaged.
- Clear the codes and re-scan your vehicle. If the P0316 code returns, inspect your catalytic converter for clogs. If the blockage is significant, consider replacing the catalytic converter. Otherwise, you can clean it by removing it and soaking it in a mix of degreaser and hot water.
- If the code still will not clear, you may have a malfunctioning CPK sensor or camshaft position sensor. Test both sensors using a digital multimeter. Check the resistance and compare it to the specifications in your vehicle manual. An infinite reading indicates an open circuit, while a zero reading indicates a short. If you read either, replace the sensor.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Diagnosing The P0316 Code
It’s very important to start your diagnosis by addressing other trouble codes that come up. Failure to do so could lead you to replace the entire ignition system unnecessarily. Taking the time to pinpoint the specific component causing the problem will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Tips To Avoid P0316 In The Future
One easily prevented cause of the P0316 trouble code is low or low-quality fuel. Avoid letting your gas tank run completely empty, and make sure you’re using the correct grade of fuel for your engine when you go to the pump.