P0011 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes (& How to fix it)

The camshaft is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It helps to ensure the efficient working of the engine. The proper working of the camshaft is very important. Whenever the powertrain control model (PCM) detects an issue with your camshaft position, it triggers the P0011 trouble code. This article mainly explains the P0011 code meaning, causes, and symptoms.

P0011 Code Definition

The P0011 code stands for “Camshaft Position A – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)”.

In the definition of P0011, ‘A’ actually represents the intake camshaft in an inline or straight overhead camshaft engine. However, if your vehicle has a V engine, the “A” usually represents the intake camshaft on bank 1.

Bank 1 indicates the engine side that contains the number one cylinder.

What Does the P0011 Code Mean?

The P0011 code indicates that your Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects that the Bank 1 intake camshaft is more advanced than what the PCM has commanded it to be. This situation may occur during retarding or advancing of the camshaft timing.

Code P0011

The variable valve timing system improves fuel economy and engine performance by regulating when the intake and exhaust valves are opened and closed.

The camshaft is adjusted by the PCM through the use of an oil control valve (OCV), also called a variable valve timing control solenoid valve. When trouble code P0011 is triggered, it means that the intake camshaft in Bank 1 is more advanced than the specified limit.

Causes of the P0011 Code

The P0011 code is caused by one or more of the following causes:

  • Bad camshaft position sensor
  • Faulty camshaft actuator
  • Bad VVT solenoid
  • Bad or damaged camshaft
  • Damaged camshaft wiring
  • Damaged camshaft sensor connections
  • Insufficient engine oil
  • Damaged timing belt or timing chain
  • Engine overheating
  • Continuous oil flow to variable valve timing chamber
  • Wrong viscosity oil
  • Dirty oil
  • Bad PCM

Symptoms of the P0011 Code

  • Check engine light illumination
  • Poor engine performance
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Engine stalling
  • Knocking noise from the engine
  • Hard to start the car
  • Rough idling
  • Engine misfiring
  • Failed emission test

How to Fix P0011 Code

To fix the P0011, you need the following tools:

  • OBD-II scanner
  • Basic hand tools
  • An oscillator
  • Service manual

Follow the below-given steps to fix the P0011 trouble code:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to scan the stored trouble codes. Clear the OBD-II fault codes and perform a test drive.
  • Inspect the engine oil. If the oil is contaminated, replace it.
  • Check the oil level and add more if needed.
  • Inspect the camshaft wiring and connections for damage.
  • Inspect the camshaft. If your camshaft is damaged, replace it.
  • Inspect the oil control valve for damage.
  • Inspect the oil filters for damage and contamination.
  • Inspect the timing belt. If it is misaligned, then properly realign it. If your car timing chain is damaged or stretched, replace it.
  • Reprogram or replace the PCM if needed.

Common P0011 Code Diagnostic Mistakes

  • Not inspecting the camshaft wiring and connections before replacing the camshaft.
  • Not inspecting the oil level before replacing the camshaft sensor.
  • Replacing the unnecessary parts.
  • Not following the manufacturer’s exact testing procedure step-by-step to avoid misdiagnosis and proper component replacement.
  • Replacing the parts without testing them.
  • Using the wrong tools to inspect the defective parts.
  • Not clearing the engine’s computer memory after fixing the error

What repairs can fix the P0011 Code?

One or more of the following repairs can fix the P0011 code:

  • Resetting the codes and performing a test drive
  • Replacing the bad tone ring of the camshaft
  • Adding more engine oil if needed
  • Replacing the bad camshaft sensor
  • Replacing the faulty camshaft
  • Replacing the bad oil filters
  • Replacing the bad oil control valve for the Bank 1 intake camshaft
  • Repairing the damaged wiring and connections
  • Replacing the faulty timing belt/chain
  • Properly align the timing belt for jumped timing problems
  • Replacing or reprograming the PCM

P0011 Code Fixing Cost

To fix the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0011, you need one or more of the below-given repairs:

PartsRepair Cost
Camshaft replacement$1384 to $1614
Camshaft Sensor replacement cost$90 to $260
PCM replacement$240 to $3000
VVT solenoid replacement$450 to $620
Timing belt replacement$520 to $3,270

How serious is the P0011 Code?

The P0011 trouble code is considered a serious code. It may lead to different drivability problems, such as hard starting, stalling, poor fuel economy, running erratically, or idling issues. If you don’t fix P0011 immediately, it may lead to complete failure of the engine or an expansive repair.

How to Prevent the P0011 Code?

You need to apply the following control measures to prevent the P0011 engine code from triggering:

1) Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance plays an important role in improving the performance of the engine. It is recommended to maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. There are different things included in the regular maintenance, including the oil change, oil filter replacement, and the replacement of other fluids.

The regular maintenance helps to ensure the efficient performance of the VVT system. In this way, you can prevent the P0011 code from triggering.

2) Ensure Sufficient Oil Level

The engine oil plays a vital role to operate the VVT system efficiently. It properly lubricates the rotating parts of your vehicle’s VVT system and prevents them from overheating and premature failure. The proper lubrication also reduces the friction between the parts.

When the oil level becomes lower than a specified limit, the oil doesn’t properly lubricate the camshaft and other parts of the VVT system, causing poor performance of the VVT system.

Therefore, it is important to always ensure sufficient oil levels in your engine.

3) Use Quality Oil

It is very important to use clean and high-quality oil. Low-quality or dirty oil may lead to the build-up of dirt within the VVT system. When the dirt is accumulated, it may cause premature failure of the camshaft and other parts of the VVT system.

Therefore, it is recommended to always use the oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

4) Avoid Overloading

You should avoid overloading to prevent the P0011 code. The overloading may badly affect the operation of the VVT system.

5) Avoid Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving may damage different parts of the vehicle’s VVT system. Therefore, it is recommended to drive your car carefully.

6) Avoid Extended Idling

You shouldn’t leave your engine in idle condition for a long time. Idling for a long time may cause oil thickening and sludge build up. It is recommended to avoid extended periods of idling, particularly in extreme temperatures.

FAQ Section

What are the symptoms of the P0011 Code?

  1. Emission test failure
  2. Check engine light illumination
  3. Unusual noises
  4. Poor fuel economy
  5. Engine Stalling
  6. Hard to start the vehicle

What are the causes of the P0011 Code?

  • Bad camshaft position sensor
  • Bad PCM
  • Faulty camshaft actuator
  • Bad VVT solenoid
  • Damaged camshaft wiring
  • Damaged camshaft sensor connections
  • Bad camshaft
  • Wrong viscosity oil
  • Continuous oil flow to variable valve timing chamber
  • Insufficient engine oil
  • Damaged timing belt or timing chain
  • Engine overheating
  • Dirty oil

What does P0011 Nissan mean?

The P0011 Nissan shows Intake Camshaft Position System Performance.

Can low oil pressure cause P0011?

Yes, low oil pressure is one of the major causes of the P0011 code. An engine with a timing belt always requires a proper oil supply to lubricate the belt efficiently. The camshaft also needs enough oil pressure to work efficiently. Therefore, you must inspect your car oil before driving.

Can dirty oil cause a P0011 code?

Yes, dirty oil is a major cause of the P0011 engine code.

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