P0010 Code: Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

The variable valve timing (VVT) solenoid is the latest technology installed in the latest vehicle models as part of the VVT system. It is one of the major parts of the variable valve timing system. It helps to regulate the oil flow into the engine according to the engine load and speed and load. A properly working VVT solenoid plays a big role in improving fuel economy and engine performance. When your powertrain control module (PCM) observes an issue with the VVT solenoid, it sets the trouble code P0010. This article mainly explains the P0010 code symptoms, causes, and its fixing.

P0010 Code Definition

P0010 code stands for “‘A’ Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 1).”

What Does the P0010 Code Mean?

The P0010 code indicates that the powertrain control module (PCM) of your vehicle detects an issue with your engine’s Variable Valve Timing (VVT) solenoid.

P0010 code

The Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system regulates the closing and opening of the intake valve and exhaust valve. These valves are controlled by the camshaft. The main function of the VVT solenoid is to control the oil flow according to the engine speed and load.

A camshaft position (CMP) sensor on the bank being controlled cylinder uses to close the feedback loop allowing the PCM to measure the amount of camshaft advance required (according to engine load, RPM, etc.) and how the solenoid is controlling the camshaft.

The PCM makes a specific (required) cam angle, cycles the solenoid, and sends hydraulic pressure to the camshaft actuator within the camshaft drive gear to alternate the gear/camshaft ratio. If this angle alternation does not occur, then your PCM increases the duty cycle of the solenoid to try to meet the targeted camshaft angle. If the duty cycle is reliably high (hard target to reach), the PCM will set the P0010 code.

The P0010 code indicates a problem with the mechanical timing variation between the bank 1 crankshaft and camshaft.

Causes of the P0010 Code

  • Bad VVT control solenoid valve
  • Unnecessary engine oil sludge
  • A faulty camshaft position sensor
  • A faulty crankshaft position sensor
  • Timings parts such as gears and chains are worn
  • Frayed electrical wires to the VVT control solenoid valve
  • An issue with the PCM (such as software needs to be updated)
  • Engine timing out of sync

Symptoms of the P0010 Code

  • Check engine light illumination
  • Rough idle
  • Failed emission test
  • Poor fuel economy
  • A reduction in the engine performance, such as poor acceleration or rough running
  • Knocking or rattling noise coming from the engine
  • A reduction in engine performance at high speed

Read More: Bad VVT Solenoid Symptoms and Causes

How to diagnose the P0010 Code?

  • Connect an OBD2 scan tool to confirm the existence of the P0010.
  • Properly analyze the data of the OBD2 scan tool to find the main problem.
  • Also, properly examine other existing trouble codes that may cause to trigger the P0010 code. Clear the codes to see whether P0010 returns or not.
  • Pull the dipstick and look at the engine oil condition. If it looks more like sludge than oil, then you need to replace it immediately.
  • Check the timing belt/chain condition and guide for the symptoms of wear or damage.
  • Visually inspect the VVT solenoid located at bank 1 for damage.
  • Inspect the electrical wires and connections to the VVT solenoid.
  • Properly inspect the internal side of the engine for sludge. The sludge may stop the VVT solenoid valve from working. If there is dirt, clean it properly.
  • Inspect the camshaft position sensor located at bank 1 for a fault.
  • Inspect the crankshaft position sensor located at bank 1 for damage.

Common P0010 Code Diagnosis Mistakes

  • Replacing the VVT solenoid valve without inspecting the other parts.
  • Replacing the timing actuator without first cleaning the actuator or checking the electrical circuit.
  • Not clearing the memory of the powertrain control module after fixing the problem.

Repair Costs for P0010 Code

To repair the P0010 code, you need to repair one or more of the below-given parts:

VVT control solenoid valve$450 to $620
Crankshaft position sensor replacement$180 to $260
Camshaft position sensor replacement$110 to $320
Wiring repair/replacement$80 to $1100

FAQ Section

Can I drive with the P0010 Code?

The diagnostic trouble code P0010 is not a serious trouble code. However, this code may produce different drivability issues, such as poor engine power or poor fuel economy. With this code, your vehicle may fail the emission test. Driving with this code for a long time may badly damage your engine. Therefore, you need to fix this code as early as possible.

What are the symptoms of a bad Variable Valve Timing Solenoid?

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Engine stalling
  • A reduction in the engine power
  • Rough idle
  • Check engine light illumination
  • Knocking/rattling noise coming from the engine

How serious is the P0010 code?

P0010 code is not a serious trouble code. This code means that there is something wrong with your VVT control solenoid system. The VVT control solenoid plays a big role in adjusting the engine performance. You shouldn’t ignore this issue.

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