P0021 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes
Code P0021 Definition
Intake Camshaft Position Timing- Over-Advanced (Bank 2)
What Does Code P0021 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. When trouble code P0021 is set, it means that the intake camshaft in Bank 2 is more advanced than the ECM has told it to be.
What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0021?
- Check Engine Light
- The hard start of the engine
- Rough running engine
- Rattling/Knocking from engine
- Decreased fuel economy
- Failed emissions test
What Is The Cause Of Code P0021?
- Engine oil is dirty
- Engine oil is too low
- Engine oil is incorrect viscosity
- Camshaft variable valve timing control solenoid failure
- Camshaft phaser is seized in the advanced position
- Continuous oil flow to Variable Camshaft Timing chamber
How Serious Is Code P0021? – Severe
This trouble code severely impacts the drivability of your vehicle. The most common problems consist of increased engine stalling, engine rough 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 P0021 Common Diagnosis Mistakes
Replacing sensors or components without any indication of a problem with the sensors or components.
Tools Needed to Diagnose:
- Basic hand tools
- Fused jumper wires
- Car specific service manual
How To Diagnose And Repair Code P0021:
Difficulty of Diagnosis and Repair – (3 out of 5)
- Check to see if there are any other codes along with P0021 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 2 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 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 P0021, 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