I have a 2013 Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Petrol that is suffering from rough idle. It has 48k miles on it.

It previously suffered from the same issue and showed OBD code P00171. This was resolved by replacing the Purge Control Valve (PCV). After this it ran fine for about 6 weeks with no issues.

Now it has rough idle again, this time with the added symptoms of low revs (500-800). It also "chugs" or "pants" every now and again as if it's struggling to turn over and a few seconds later it runs normally for a short time (sorry, this is the best way I can describe that last bit).

It has OBD codes P0016 and P0017.

Due to the age of the car I doubt it's the timing belt and it's outside of my expertise to check. So far I have tried the following:

  • Check for a vacuum or hose leaks, I can't find any
  • Replace both camshaft position sensors (CPS)
  • Replaced one of the variable valve timing solenoids, then swapped it into each configuration
  • Full oil change with a new filter

This has not made a difference.

To try next:

  • Clean the MAF
  • Clean the throttle body

Before I give in and let the garage diagnose what's wrong, is there any other common known cause of this issue? Any other sensors I can clean/replace?

23rd May 2020: Edited for other things tried before giving up

  • What is the mileage on the Corsa? Also, I'm thinking the problem may be sticking you in the face with the P0017 code. It could very well be the cam position sensor on the exhaust side causing you issues. Check the wiring to it to ensure it is properly seated and is in good nick. Also, clear all the codes, test drive the car and see what comes back.Also, did you ensure you are running the proper viscosity oil for your vehicle? Commented May 1, 2020 at 11:30
  • Hi @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2, it's got 48k on it which is why I'd be skeptical of the timing chain skipping teeth, although not impossible I guess. I mislabelled the cam position sensor as the oil control valve in my original post which I've amended. I've removed the cam position sensor on inlet/outlet, cleaned it and ensured it's all put back correctly. I've cleared the codes and despite the rough idle nothing has come back yet, I'll test it again. Yes, the oil is 5W30 and is correct for the vehicle. Thanks for your help!
    – Equalsk
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 12:25
  • Cleaning doesn't help the CPS. It should be a hall effect sensor, which can be intermittent just before it completely fails. That's where I'd be looking. Commented May 1, 2020 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


In case it's useful to anyone else having a similar issue it went to the garage and it turned out to be both of the plastic guides on the timing chain that sits on top of the camshaft gears. It had broken into pieces and was no longer guiding the chain. A new chain kit fixed the issues.

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