P0011 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnostics, And Fixes

The P0011 OBD2 code is present on the vehicles with variable camshaft timing or variable valve timing. This controls the angle of the camshaft that regulates the oil as reuested by the engine controller (ECM). The ECM receives the signal sending ON/OFF pulse duty to intake timing control depending on the driving status. This controls the intake valve increasing the torque and output speed.  

When the P0011 code arises it indicates that the camshaft angle is above a set limit. When this happens, it’s often caused by several things the main one being oil viscosity. It can also be as a result of a stuck valve or solenoid failure, that’s why you must thoroughly check the system before making any repair.

When the P001 code is triggered, you should check the intake valve timing solenoid.
When the P0011 code is triggered, you should check the intake valve timing solenoid.

P0011 Code Definition

  • P0011 Generic – Camshaft Position ‘A’ Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1
  • P0011 Nissan – Intake Valve Timing Control Performance Bank 1
  • P0011 Chevy – Intake Camshaft Position System Performance
  • P0011 Kia – “Blink Code: 3,0 Open circuit to Front right inlet valve.”
  • P0011 Volkswagen – Bank 1: Camshaft A (Intake): Retard Setpoint Not Reached (Over-Advanced)
  • P0011 Hyundai – “Blink Code: 3,0 Open circuit to Front right inlet valve.”
  • P0011 Audi – Bank 1: Camshaft A (Intake): Retard Setpoint Not Reached (Over-Advanced)

What Does P0011 Mean?

When there is a camshaft timing problem, error code p0011 is generated. This indicates that the Camshaft Position ‘A’ in bank 1 is advanced than the ECM has commanded.

In Nissan, when the fixed valve intake operating angle more advanced than the ECM has commanded, the P0011 code will be triggered.

In VW, variable valve timing (VVT) changes the distribution of gases entering and exiting the combustion chamber. When the timing is too far advanced than required, code P0011 will be indicated.

In Hyundai, P0011 indicates that the camshaft actuator is leaving the timing, or there is a system performance issue. This means that the oil pressure has changed and there is a deviation in the timing.

In Audi, the ECM controls the OCV (Oil Control Valve) regulating the camshaft angle change. When the optimal timing is exceeded, the DTC P0011 will be indicated.

What Are The Symptoms Of The P0011 Code?

  • Engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • Noise in the engine and sometimes an increase in fuel consumption.
  • Change in overall vehicle performance.  
  • Engine runs rough, hesitates and even stalls depending on the position.
  • The engine will have a hard time starting.
  • Emission exceeds the federal level and will fail the emission test.

NB: These symptoms might change depending on the timing position.

What Are The Causes Of P0011?

  • Faulty wiring around the intake timing control valve system
  • Camshaft timing solenoid failure
  • Camshaft phasers stuck in an advanced position.
  • Oil control to bank 1 is stuck or clogged in the passage

How Serious Is The P0011 Code?

The P0011 OBD2 code is moderately severe meaning it doesn’t need immediate attention. However, the engine might have erratic or other problems that can decrease vehicle drivability and fuel consumption. On top of that, the problem should be repaired to avoid possible internal damage.

How To Diagnose And Fix The Code P0011

Tools Needed

  • OBD2 scanner
  • Car specific service manual
  • Hand tools to access actuator and timing components

Method

Step 1: Use the OBD2 Scanner to scan other codes and ensure they have cleared the Check Engine Light. Use the freeze-frame ECM data to assist in pinpointing the problem.

Step 2: Carefully remove the engine compartment to access the camshaft. You can refer to the service manual on how to go about it. Check for any wiring, connector or valve issues on the camshaft for the bank 1 and repair them.

Step 3: Check if the oil is clogged or if there is a crack or fracture. If everything is okay, then the problem can be oil starvation or low oil pressure. This can be led by too thick or too dilute the oil in the system. To solve this, flush the system, replace the filters and fill with good oil with proper viscosity.

Step 4: Check the Variable timing solenoid for damage and replace it. Firstly, you have to clear the area of any wires or harnesses using bungee cables. Then locate the mounting bolt and remove them carefully. Make sure you don’t drop them in the engine compartment to avoid complications later. And finally, remove the connector on the solenoid and remove the solenoid with a pair of channel locks.

Step 5: Check the timing chain and align the jumped timing. Here you need to locate the timing chain cover and remove it. Then rotate the cam until the cam marks line up again. After that, carefully lower the rocket away from the chain and move the sprocket to the right position.

Step 6: If the code is still present even after performing all the steps seek help from a professional mechanic.

Note: After performing each step in the repair, clear the trouble code and take a test drive. If the symptoms persist and the code reappears, continue to the next step. Do not replace anything until you are sure it is the problem.

Common Mistakes To Avoid While Diagnosing Code P0011

A common mistake you can make is replacing components or sensors without indicating any problems with them. Conduct a full diagnosis to identify the true cause of the problem before replacing anything.

Tips To Avoid P0011 In The Future

To avoid the P0011 code trouble, you need to change your vehicle’s oil often and perform a regular checkup. You should only use the recommended oil by the manufacturer since different oil is designed to fit different engines. If the oil is too thick or too thin, it won’t move the way it’s intended hence the problems.

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