P0012 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes
Code P0012 Definition
Intake Camshaft Position Timing- Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
What Does Code P0012 Mean?
The variable valve timing 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 ECM through the use of an oil control valve(s) (OCV) also called variable valve timing control solenoid valves. The P0012 code is set when the ECM detects the camshaft timing for the intake camshaft on bank 1 is more retarded than what it has been set to be.
What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0012?
- Check Engine Light
- Rough engine performance
- Other codes such as misfire codes (P0300-P0308)
- Rattling/Knocking from engine
- Engine stalling
- Lowered fuel economy
What Is The Cause Of Code P0012?
- Engine oil is too low*
- Dirty engine oil*
- Sludged up engine
- Low oil pressure
- Malfunctioning camshaft timing
- Short in intake timing control/oil control circuit
- Faulty intake valve timing control solenoid
- Faulty oil control valve (OCV)
How Serious Is Code P0012? – Severe
This trouble code severely impacts the drivability of your vehicle. The most common problems consist of increased engine stalling, rough engine idle, lowered fuel economy, and rattling/knocking noises from the engine. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this condition can cause severe damage to multiple internal engine components.
Code P0012 Common Diagnosis Mistakes
Prematurely replacing any component when the issue can be resolved by changing the oil and filter and adjusting the oil level to the correct level per your vehicle’s manufacturers specifications.
Tools Needed To Diagnose Code P0012:
- Basic hand tools
- Engine oil pressure gauge
- Fused jumper wire
How To Diagnose And Repair Code P0012:
Difficulty of Diagnosis and Repair (2 out of 5)
- Check to see if there are any other codes along with P0022 and clear your Check Engine Light with FIXD.
- Check the engine oil level and condition. If it’s low, adjust to spec and test drive to see if the concern is resolved. If it’s dirty, change the oil and filter and test drive to see if the concern is resolved.
- Remove the oil cap and/or the valve cover and inspect the valve train for sludge. If there is sludge, there is a good chance the engine will need to be replaced due to sludge blocking the oil passages to the Oil Control Valve(s)
- If there isn’t any sludge, consider checking the Bank 1 Intake Camshaft Oil Control Valve for proper function. You can do this by removing the Oil Control valve and supplying power and ground to the solenoid quickly using a pair of fused jumper wires. (Do not leave power applied for more than a second or two) If the valve is functioning properly, it should click, and you may even be able to see the valve move based on the design of your specific valve. If it doesn’t click or move, replace the tested oil control valve and test drive to see if the concern is resolved.
- If all the above check good, check the engine oil pressure. Perform this test when the concern is happening and the engine is at operating temperature. If the engine does not have enough oil pressure, there could be a problem with the oil pump, oil pressure regulator, or even the engine itself. If there is good oil pressure, the engine may have jumped timing and will have to be diagnosed by a shop and/or have the engine replaced.
- If at this point the concern persists, there could be internal engine issues, and you should have a shop diagnose the concern to avoid replacing the engine unnecessarily.
Estimated Cost of Repair
For error code P0012, 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.
- Oil Change $20-$60
- Oil Control Valve/Variable Valve Timing Control Solenoid $300-$400
- Engine $3000-$4000