P0020 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

Code P0020 Definition

Camshaft Position (A) Actuator Circuit (Bank 2)

What Does Code P0010 Mean?

Code P0020 is triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects that the mechanical variable valve timing (VVT) between the crankshaft and the bank 2 camshaft is experiencing a variation outside of its proper parameters. Your car needs to experience adjusted power levels at different running points, and your ECM uses your variable valve timing to do this. If your ECM is detecting outputs outside of their parameters, it will not be able to properly adjust valve lift and fuel timing when experiencing different loads and speeds.

P0020 Symptoms       

  • Check engine light
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Decreased engine performance at high RPMs
  • Rough running engine
  • Poor engine idle

P0020 Causes

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

Code P0020 Severity – Moderate

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.

Code P0020 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

A common diagnosis mistake associated with code P0020 is replacing the timing actuator without first attempting to clean the actuator to see if that was the actual issue.

P0020 Diagnosis

  • Tools Needed to Diagnose:

Difficulty of Diagnosis and Repair

  1. Check to see if there are any other codes along with P0020 and clear your Check Engine Light with FIXD.
  2. Check freeze frame data relating to the ECM to help pinpoint the exact issue.
  3. Do a visual inspection of the bank 1 variable valve timing (VVT) component and the solenoid valve.
    1. 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.
  4. Check to see if there is any engine sludge present. If there is, you must clean it, clear the code, and rescan to see if it is still present.
  5. Replace the actuator or the timing sprocket. It is EXTREMELY important that this is not your first course of action. This is an expensive task and shouldn’t be done unless you have examined and investigated all of the other relative components first.
  6. If the code is still present after these steps, you may need to bring your vehicle to a mechanic for further guidance.

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