What is P0012 Trouble code? | What are the symptoms of P0012?

The P0012 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code. P0012 indicates “Camshaft Position A – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)”. This trouble code may appear for various reasons, and a mechanic will need to properly diagnose what is triggering the P0012 code in your case. This article explains the causes, symptoms, and means of the P0012 trouble code.

Code P0012 Definition

  • P0012 Generic: Camshaft Position Intake—Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
  • P0012 Toyota: Over-retarded bank 1 intake timing for “A” camshafts
  • P0012 Mazda: Timing over-retarded on the right side of CMP
  • P0012 Ford: ‘A’ Variable Camshaft Timing Over Retarded Bank 1
  • P0012 BMW: Over-retarded bank 1 intake camshaft position timing

What Does Code P0012 Mean?

The diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0012 indicates that the camshaft position of the intake (A) is over-retarded at Bank 1. This indicates a difference between the desired position angle and the actual position angle of the camshaft.

In other words, the P0012 is activated whenever the powertrain control module (PCM) detects that the camshaft of intake (A) has remained in retarded position or the camshaft timing of intake (A) on bank 1 is different than the desired timing. There are multiple reasons why a P0012 code may be triggered, and it needs to be diagnosed by a mechanic.

Code P0012

Whenever the camshaft is retarding or advancing, the PCM sends an alert to warn the driver. The timing issue occurs during either phase of the camshaft motion. Other trouble codes such as P0012, P0010, P0017, or P0013 may also appear at the same time. 

In a straight overhead camshaft engine or an inline engine, the “A” indicates the intake camshaft. Alternatively, if the engine is configured as a V, it refers to the intake camshaft on Bank 1. 

According to the code, “Bank 1” refers to the engine side that contains the number one cylinder. This applies to engines with boxer or V configurations.

Causes of P0012 Code

The following are the major causes of the P0012 trouble code:

Read More: Causes of Limp Mode

Symptoms of Code P0012

As the P0012 trouble code goes bad, it gives one of the below-given symptoms:

  • Failed emissions test
  • The check engine light starts illuminating
  • You may face engine misfiring issues
  • Engine stalling
  • A reduction in the fuel economy
  • A reduction in the engine performance
  • Knocking/rattling from the motor

Read More: Symptoms of P0017

Tools Needed to Diagnose Code P0012

P0012 trouble code can be diagnosed and repaired with the following tools:

  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Proper hand tools.
  • Fused jumper wire
  • OBD II scan tool

How to Diagnose the P0012 error code

  • Checks the engine oil for correct viscosity and cleanliness.
  • In order to determine when the code was set, the technician will scan and document data from the freeze frame.
  • Visually inspect the electrical wiring to the crankshaft sensor, MAP sensor, oil control solenoid valve, and camshaft sensor for loose connections, damaged wiring harness, or any other issues.
  • Test whether the camshaft timing changes by turning the oil control solenoid valve on and off.
  • When no problems are noted and the P0012 code still exists, the technician will perform a manufacturer-specific pinpoint test and any necessary repairs.
  • To determine whether the P0012 code is still present, it is necessary to clear the OBD-II fault codes.

How Serious is the P0012 Code?

  • You may have difficulty starting the engine, run erratic, hesitate, run rough, or run erratically.
  • There are some cases where a broken camshaft can lead to increased fuel consumption, carbon fouling of engine components, and various drive problems.
  • Engines or valve trains can experience other problems if the camshafts aren’t retarding while driving the vehicle.

P0012 Code Repair Cost

The repair or fixing cost of the P0012 code varies according to the vehicle model and the type of repair. Following are the major repair costs of P0012 which include the repair cost of the relevant parts and labor costs. 

PartsRepair costs
Oil pump (new)$210 to $1,600
Camshaft actuator (new)$290 to $1100
Timing chain or a belt replacement$900 to $5100
New intake valve timing solenoid$290 to $560
Oil and filters replacement$40 to $80
New oil control valve$140 to $460
Repairing electrical issues$50 to $510

Tips about the P0012 Code

Overlooking the obvious and focusing on bigger problems is common among people. For instance, it is possible to cause serious engine damage with the wrong viscosity of the oil. Too thick oil could cause the system to malfunction and cause issues with the motor. Oil changes aren’t very expensive, so if you’re using the wrong oil, you can see if that fixes the problem.

FAQ Section

What is the Code P0012 Definition?

P0012 code stands for Camshaft Position “A” – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1).

Can I drive my vehicle with a P0012 trouble code?

  • When you have a P0012 trouble code, you should not drive your vehicle. There will be a decrease in fuel economy, as well as a decrease in power and/or a feeling of hesitation in the engine. When bank 1 of the engine is not running at its optimal level, bank 2 may be unnecessarily burdened.
  •  While this trouble code is recorded in the ECM, the check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp illuminates.
  • You will be unable to pass a smog test with your vehicle.

What repairs can fix the P0012 code?

Fixing the P0012 trouble code is not too hard. It is very easy. You may perform the following repairs to fix the P0012 code:

  • Replace the timing belt or chain
  • Perform an oil change
  • Replace intake valve timing solenoid
  • Replace oil pump
  • Repair electrical issues
  • Replace camshaft actuator
  • Install new oil control valve

Can dirty oil cause P0012?

Incorrect oil viscosity may also trigger the P0012 trouble code. For example, if your engine oil is too thick, the camshaft control valve will not work properly, and the system may fail.

Can an oil change fix P0012?

Because P0012 is related to intake camshaft timing, most problems are caused by dirty oil. The engine oil is not expensive to repair. Changing the oil and oil filters will usually fix this OBD2 trouble code.

Can a car run without a camshaft position sensor?

No, your car can’t move without a camshaft position sensor. The engine starts or stalls when not rotating. If the same sensor is disconnected and no signal is sent, your engine will not work efficiently.

Will disconnecting the battery reset the crankshaft sensor?

To reset the Check Engine Light, disconnect the battery from the battery negative terminal, allow the vehicle to sit for an hour, and then reconnect the battery. This drains all power from your electronic devices and erases your short-term memory.

What is a camshaft position timing over-Retarded Bank 1?

Camshaft position timing over-retarded Bank 1 Indicates that the vehicle’s computer has determined that the camshaft timing of the bank 1 cylinder is set earlier or later than the ECM expects.

Read More
  1. Working and function of Camshaft Position Sensor
  2. Signs and causes of bad MAP Sensor
  3. How to change engine oil
  4. Symptoms and causes of Engine Overheating

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