2007 Subaru Outback: P0016 P0018 P0021

Hey you all!

I’d like to start by saying that I’m not a car guy; although, based on your input, I know how to do a little research. I will try to include as many details as I can.

Vehicle: 2007 Subaru Outback 3.0R LL Bean Edition.

As a side note, which may be important, 2 weeks before the problem started, I took my Outback in to have an oil leak fixed. This included replacing the valve cover gasket. In my 2 years of owning the car, this is the only repair I have needed. I am diligent about doing timely oil changes and keeping an eye on fluid levels. Another side note – I drive the car very regularly as I use it to make deliveries every day.

My issue started about 1.5 – 2 months ago when I noticed a faint screeching sound while accelerating. It’s hard to hear and I didn’t even notice until I turned the music off. The best way I can describe it is if you were to glue a piece of paper to a small space fan…but a bit more metallic. Anyway, sure enough, the next time I started the car, the check engine light came on and I took it to AutoZone to have the codes read: P0016 P0018 P0021. Other than the noise, I really didn’t notice any symptoms, but I was planning on taking the car into the shop the next day for an opinion anyway. However, the next day, the light went out and the noise was gone. I decided not to take the car to the shop.

“P0016: Camshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A) Secondary DTC

P0018: Camshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 2 Sensor A)

P0021: Input Shaft Position Timing – Over Advanced (Bank 2)”

2 weeks later, I heard the noise again and the light came on. And again, the next day, I didn’t hear the noise and the light went out.

1 week later the light came back on but no noise. This time, (and this may have been my imagination), I felt the car seemed a bit slow going up the mountain roads. I also noticed on one occasion, the car had a rougher/wobblier start. 2 days later, the light went out and the car seemed to be driving normally.

1 week later, the light came on and I noticed the same symptoms as mentioned in the previous paragraph. However, once the light went off 2 days later, it came back on later that same day (which is today).

To summarize, when the light is on, I occasionally notice a noise, but not every time. I’ll also occasionally have a shakier/slower startup, and lastly, I occasionally notice that the Outback feels a bit sluggish going up hills.

I don’t think I’ve missed anything, but feel free to ask any questions and I’ll answer them as best I can. For the most part, the car seems to start and run fine, which is why I’m a little hesitant to take it to a shop (as well as the fact that the codes themselves don’t indicate exactly what the problem could be). Thanks in advance for your insight into what the problem might be. I would also appreciate if you could run it down at all and give me an estimate of how much I should expect to pay for the necessary repairs.

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