Air & Fuel Mixture ControlOBD2 Codes

P0010 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

What Does Code P0010 Mean?

  • P0010 definition: Intake Camshaft Actuator Circuit Open/Short (Bank 1)
  • Issue Severity: MODERATE – Extended driving with this code may cause internal engine damage.
  • Repair Urgency: Get this code fixed as soon as possible to avoid loss of power, fuel economy, and damage to your emission system.
  • Diagnosis: This trouble code will not prevent your vehicle from running. However, if left unsolved, this code could cause your vehicle to experience decreased power and fuel economy. It could also cause your vehicle to fail emissions testing.

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The variable valve timing (VVT) system increases fuel economy and engine performance by regulating when the intake and exhaust valves are opened and closed. The camshaft(s) is(are) adjusted by the Engine Control Module (ECM) through the use of an oil control valve(s) (OCV) also called variable valve timing control solenoid valves. Code P0010 is triggered when the ECM attempts to adjust the Bank 1 intake camshaft timing by utilizing one of these valves, and it detects an electrical issue in either the circuit going to the valve or the windings of the solenoid in the valve itself.

P0010 Causes

There are many potential causes of code P0010.

  • Faulty VVT control solenoid valve (most common)
  • Oil sludge in the engine
  • Crankshaft position sensor malfunction
  • Camshaft position sensor malfunction
  • Frayed or damaged wiring
  • Engine operating outside of proper timing parameters

P0010 Symptoms

  • Check engine light
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Decreased engine performance at high RPMs
  • Rough running engine
  • Rattling/Knocking from engine
  • Poor engine idle

How Do I Fix Code P0010?

With a VVT fault, the first step is to get it diagnosed to figure out what is causing the problem. 

If your vehicle has this fault and you’re not comfortable diagnosing this issue at home, we recommend finding a RepairPal certified shop nearby to pinpoint the problem and give an accurate estimate for repairs. 

These shops can not only help you figure out what’s going wrong before you waste time and money on the wrong parts, but they also offer a minimum 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and stand behind all their estimates with guaranteed fair pricing.

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How Much Does It Cost to Fix Code P0010?

P0010 can be caused by anything from a bad VVT solenoid to failed sensors to old engine oil. It’s impossible to give an accurate estimate without properly diagnosing the issue first. 

If you take your car to a shop for diagnosis, most shops will start with an hour of “diag time” (the time spent in labor diagnosing your specific issue). Depending on the shop’s labor rate, this typically costs somewhere between $75-$150. Many, if not most, shops will apply this diagnosis fee to any required repairs if you have them perform the repairs for you. From there, a shop will be able to give you an accurate estimate for repairs to fix your P0010 code.

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Possible Repair Costs for P0010

For error code P0010, one or more of the below repairs may be needed to solve the underlying issue. For each possible repair, the estimated cost of repair includes the cost of the relevant parts and the cost of labor required to make the repair.

  • VVT Control Solenoid $500-$600
  • Wiring repair/replacement $100-$1000
  • Camshaft position sensor $120-$300
  • Crankshaft position sensor $190-$250
  • Timing chain or belt replacement $200-$1000

DIY Steps to Diagnose Code P0010

Engine code P0010 could be caused by a number of things, including a bad VVT solenoid, a bad sensor, or even dirty oil. If you’d like to try to fix code P0010 at home without throwing money at parts, you’ll want to follow the steps below for proper diagnosis. Keep in mind this is an intermediate-level diagnosis and repair and not recommended for beginners. Diagnosis requires more specialized equipment beyond what the FIXD Sensor can provide and it can be a time and labor-intensive process for inexperienced DIYers.

DIY difficulty level: Intermediate

This repair requires mechanical knowledge and is not recommended for beginners.

Tools/parts needed (our top picks from Amazon):

STEP 1: USE FIXD TO ENSURE NO OTHER ENGINE CODES ARE PRESENT.

Use FIXD to scan your vehicle to verify P0010 is the only code present.

STEP 2: CHECK VVT CONTROL SOLENOID VALVE.

Do a visual inspection of the bank 1 variable valve timing (VVT) control solenoid valve. Make sure to repair any frayed or faulty wiring or connectors. Once you have done this, clear the code and rescan to see if it is still present.

STEP 3: CHECK FOR ENGINE SLUDGE.

Check to see if there is any engine sludge present. This can gum up the VVT control solenoid valve and prevent proper operation. If it’s dirty, clean it, clear the code, and rescan to see if it is still present.

STEP 4: CHECK VVT SOLENOID RESISTANCE.

Perform a resistance check of the bank 1 intake camshaft VVT Control solenoid and compare it to the vehicle service manual. If it is out of spec, replace the bank 1 intake VVT Control Solenoid.

If the code is still present after these steps, you may need to bring your vehicle to a mechanic for further guidance.

Common P0010 diagnosis mistakes

A common diagnosis mistake associated with code P0010 is replacing the timing actuator without first attempting to clean the actuator or check the electrical circuit to see if that was the actual issue.

Still Need Help Fixing Code P0010?

If you’ve followed the steps above and are still experiencing check engine code P0010, please contact the FIXD Mechanic Hotline if you’re a FIXD Premium subscriber or find a RepairPal certified shop near you to get the right repairs at a fair price.

Justin-Hughes

Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.

Justin Hughes
Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.

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    23 Comments

    1. Take your vehicle, not bring it. When you go through the drive thru, it’s called take out, not bring out. You take something to another place whereas someone BRINGS something to you. TAKE your vehicle to a mechanic.

      1. Who in the heck made it your place to correct someone on how they speak. Your comment makes no sense. Bring it, take it, either choice makes sense. You need to work on Your Self and why you feel the need to correct someone else. You let your ego get in the way of what you truly desire.

        1. Hi there. I checked the connector plugs that power the ocv solenoids on my Chevy Captiva with a multimeter and both connectors read 2.4 volts. Is that the correct voltage to make solenoids work or it should be 12 volts? Thanks beforehand.

      2. I have zero mechanical abilities.
        How much should I expect a reputable mechanic to charge me to fix this? I have a 4 cyl 2009 HHR.

      3. By the way, thank you very much to FIXD for the info on the P0010 code.

    2. A helpful information thanks

    3. thanks for your valuable input Sue

    4. It could also be the ecm malfunctioning like it is in mine.

    5. Think about this, Bill: Mark Twain said something like the fact that the difference between the right word and not is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. Sparkling wit, he.

      1. No need to take to the mechanic all the time I fixed this issue on a 2014 gmc terrain and took only 10 mins to replace and only cost $50 saving the hundreds to keep in my pocket.

        1. I have the same vehicle what did you do to fix it?

          1. Following my 2014 GMC terrain is throwing this code.

        2. Same care make model and year. What did you start with and what did you replace? Thanks in advance!

        3. What did you replace ? Help 🆘

    6. what is bank 1?

      1. Bank 1 is on the first row of cylinders referred to as #1 cylinder and bank to is the second row, opposite side cylinders

    7. This was a very helpful article, thanks for the info. I’m having trouble finding what the correct resistance and voltage should be. Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated.

      1. I already fixed the intake solinord

    8. This information and the FIXD diagnostics was very helpful. I ordered two (Intake & Exhaust) Camshaft Position Sensors for my Pontiac Solstice. I ordered the two DIY parts plus shipping for under $30. Looks like it’s saving me $100+ by doing it myself. Paid for itself the first time. Thank you. Greatly appreciated!

      1. That’s so awesome to hear, James! We are so happy to have helped you save money on repairs for your Pontiac Solstice and that you were able to do it yourself. 😀 Thank you so much for using FIXD and for sharing your experience. Happy and safe driving!

    9. i replaced both sensors and changed oil and code came back in less than a month

    10. More times than not you start with the simplest and cheapest thing to replace on the P0010 engine code fault and that being the intake camshaft actuator solenoid ($50). That is if you aren’t afraid to remove the plastic air/valve cover units on top of the engine. It’s an easy swap out and it’ll save you $100-150 that a shop will charge you for the 5-10 min job. Now if you are mechanically inclined and you have test wires to hook up to the actual solenoid after visually inspecting it and/or cleaning it up after removing then do so and listen for it to click. If you hear it click then reinsert it back in and reset the check engine light and drive it for a while to see if it comes on again. Sometimes it’s simple as that. Dirt sludge debris can plug up inside of it causing the check engine light to fault. Be a good idea to change your oil as well thus eliminating more or all of the sludge or build up. Some commented on changing both the intake and exhaust solenoids together and that is not necessary unless you got then cheap online from Amazon and paid less for both than you would for just the intake camshaft solenoid at an auto parts store then I guess why not. By no means am I saying trust your own instincts and DIY. If you feel it’s more than you want to tackle then I suggest you call around and get an estimate because some places will tell you they need to run a diagnostics test before and after or they might tell you it’s more than just the actuator solenoid and you not knowing could end up paying hundreds of unnecessary dollars on charges that you didn’t really need to. Ask a buddy or even a guy at an auto store to do it for you on the side after work. You’ll find some of these guys will do it for you a heck of a lot cheaper than at a shop. If it faults after replacing well you move in to the next thing and probably should take it to a qualified tech/mechanic and let them have a look.

    11. Working on a 08 Pontiac Solstice just received the code P0010 only I already changed the camshaft position sensor on the side of engine under the oil fill cap. Now I will start again because the engine light came back on 2 days later and it is reading the same code I will start by cleaning the sensors and changing the oil and rest the engine light as well as make sure the plugs are connected and working properly with the correct voltage if it comes back on then I will change out the two solinoids on the car and go from there. I’ll see what happens thanks everyone for your help and ideas…..

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