P0011 code definition
Camshaft Position “A” - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)
What the P0011 code means
P0011 is the OBD-II generic code indicating the engine control module (ECM) has determined that the bank 1 intake camshaft is more advanced than what the ECM has commanded it be. This over-advanced condition could be during advancing or retarding of the camshaft timing.
What causes the P0011 code?
The camshaft and crankshaft sensors have indicated the camshaft is more advanced than the ECM has commanded it to advance.
The camshaft is too advanced when the ECM has commanded the camshaft to retard to a lower timing level.
The oil control solenoid to the bank 1 camshaft may be stuck or have clogged passages.
The oil is too thick causing the passages to become clogged due to lack of oil flow to and from the camshaft phasers.
The camshaft phasers are stuck in the advanced position.
What are the symptoms of the P0011 code?
The ECM will turn on the Check Engine Light and command the camshaft to go to its normal starting position if possible.
The engine may have a hard start condition if the cam is stuck in a too far advanced or retarded timing position.
The engine will have a reduction in fuel mileage due to the camshafts not being in their optimal positions to get the best fuel mileage.
The engine may run rough, hesitate, or stall depending on camshaft positions.
The engine emissions may exceed federal levels and fail an emissions test.
Note: The symptoms may change depending on the camshaft timing positions when the camshaft stopped advancing or retarding.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0011 code?
A visual inspection to determine any electrical connector, wiring, or valve issues of the camshaft oil control valve for the bank 1 intake camshaft.
Check the engine for it to be full of clean engine oil with the correct viscosity.
The technician will scan and document the codes received and view the freeze frame data to see when the code was set.
The codes should then be reset to clear the OBD-II fault codes and retest the vehicle to see if the P0011 code comes back.
If the code returns, then the next step for the technician to do is perform a manufacturer's specific pinpoint test for the P0011 code and repair as needed.
Note: Follow the manufacturer's recommended pinpoint test to narrow down the problem since each engine may be tested differently and possible engine internal damage may be done if tests are not performed in accordance with a correct procedure.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0011 code?
Follow these simple guidelines to prevent mistakes:
Always do a visual inspection for common problems like checking to see if all electrical connectors are connected.
Check engine oil to see if it is full, clean, and of the correct viscosity.
Check, document and clear failure codes. Test to verify the code coming back before any further tests are done.
The manufacturer pinpoint test procedures should be followed step-by-step without skipping any steps to prevent a misdiagnosis and replacing of good components.
Do not replace any sensors or components unless tests indicate a problem.
How serious is the P0011 code?
The engine may run erratic and stall, hesitate, run rough, or have a hard starting condition.
The engine may have excessive fuel consumption, carbon fouling of engine components, and various drive complaints depending on the camshaft failed position.
Driving the vehicle for prolonged time with the camshafts not advancing or retarding may cause other problems to the valve train or engine depending on the cause of the failure.
What repairs can fix the P0011 code?
- Resetting the fault codes and performing a road test
- Changing the oil and filter to the proper oil viscosity for the engine specifications
- Repairing or replacing the wiring to the camshaft oil control valve for bank 1 intake camshaft
- Replacing the camshaft oil control valve for bank 1 intake camshaft
- Checking the timing chain alignment for jumped timing problems
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0011 code
The engine oil passages through the camshafts and oil control valves are a specific size and only the manufacturer's recommended oil viscosity should be used. If too thick or thin oil is used, the camshaft timing phasers may not change the camshaft timing advance as the manufacturer’s designed them to and may cause premature failure of camshaft and related engine components from lack of proper lubrication.
Need help with a P0011 code?
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0011 OBD-II Trouble Code: Camshaft Position A - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1) and was authored by Jay Safford.