P0012 Code Meaning, Symptoms and Causes

A general OBD-II fault code is P0012. P0012 indicates that your PCM detects an issue with your car’s camshaft position. This error code might emerge for a number of reasons, and a technician will need to accurately analyze the cause of the P0012 code in your particular scenario.

What Does P0012 Mean?

The intake (A) camshaft position is over-retarded, according to the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0012 (Bank 1). This shows a discrepancy between the camshaft’s desired position angle and its actual position angle.

In other words, anytime the PCM notices that the intake camshaft (A) has stayed in the retarded position or that the intake camshaft timing (A) on bank 1 is not exactly as it should be, the P0012 is triggered. A mechanic must diagnose a P0012 code since it might be set off for a number of different causes.

The PCM delivers a warning to the driver if the camshaft is retarding or advancing. Either phase of the camshaft action has the timing problem. There’s a chance that P0011, P0013, P0017, or P0010 will also show up simultaneously.

Causes of P0012 

These are the main root causes of P0012:

  1. Improper camshaft timing
  2. Oil levels in the engine are too low
  3. Damaged electrical wiring
  4. Dirty or contaminated engine oil
  5. Defective or failing oil control valves
  6. A worn-out timing chain; a poor or failing variable timing solenoid on a camshaft
  7. Failing valve timing actuators

Symptoms of P0012 Code

One of the symptoms listed below occurs when the P0012 error code becomes problematic:

You may have engine misfiring difficulties

  1. Check engine light turns on
  2. Motor knocking or rattling
  3. The emissions test is unsuccessful.
  4. Decreasing engine performance
  5. Engine stalling
  6. Decreasing fuel efficiency

How to diagnose the P0012 Code

  1. Verifies that the engine oil has the proper viscosity and is clean.
  2. The technician will scan and record data from the frozen frame in order to ascertain when the code was set.
  3. Check the electrical wire for any weak connections, broken wiring harness, or other problems before connecting it to the crankshaft sensor, Map sensor, oil control solenoid valve, and camshaft sensor.
  4. Turn the oil control valve on and off to see whether the camshaft timing changes
  5. The technician will do a producer pinpoint test and make any required repairs if no issues are found and the P0012 code is still there.
  6. It is required to remove the OBD-II fault codes before determining whether the P0012 code is still present.

P0012 Code Severity Level

  1. You could have trouble starting the engine, run erratically, hesitate, or run harsh.
  2. In rare circumstances, a damaged camshaft can result in higher fuel usage, carbon buildup on engine parts, and a variety of drive-related issues.
  3. If the camshafts aren’t decelerating while you’re driving the car, the engine or valve train may encounter further issues.

People frequently ignore the obvious and concentrate on more significant issues. For instance, using oil with the incorrect viscosity might seriously harm an engine. The system might break down and the motor could have problems if the oil is too thick.

Can you drive with a P0012 code?

  1. If your car displays the P0012 fault code, you shouldn’t operate it. In addition to a loss of power and/or a sense of reluctance in the engine, fuel efficiency will also decline. Bank 2 may be unduly burdened if bank 1 of the engine is not operating at its best capacity.
  2. The check engine light or malfunction indication bulb turns on when this code is stored in the PCM.
  3. Your car won’t be able to pass a smog test.