What Does the Engine Code P0010 Mean?

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The engine code P0010 indicates a problem with the car’s variable valve timing, probably caused either by engine oil sludge or by a failure of the engine control module. 
Engine codes can give you direct insight into your engine’s health — but sometimes those codes take some work to translate. Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is your OBD-II code translator, with all insurance savings and maintenance insights you need. 
Here’s everything you should know about the engine code P0010. 
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What does the engine code P0010 mean?

Definition: “A” Camshaft Actuator Circuit (Bank 1)
If that string of words means nothing to you, don’t worry: essentially, engine code P0010 indicates that your engine’s computer has detected a problem with the engine’s valve timing. In other words, there’s some problem with the system that regulates the engine’s intake of oil and air. 

How much will it cost to fix?

It’s hard to estimate the cost to fix this engine code since it can be triggered by a range of mechanical and electrical issues. The cost to diagnose the exact problem will be between $75 and $150, depending on the shop. 

What can cause the P0010 engine code?

The two most common causes of the P0010 engine code are dirty engine oil and a faulty engine control module (ECM)
The camshaft controls the rate at which your engine’s valves open and close. The ECM sends electrical signals to variable valve timing (VVT) solenoids that control the oil pressure that affects the camshaft angle. Since engine oil and the ECM play two critical roles in this process, a problem with either one can trigger the P0010 engine code. 
Other possible causes of the P0010 engine code include: 
  • A faulty engine oil control valve/VVT solenoid
  • Circuit problems 
  • Malfunctioning camshaft or crankshaft
  • Worn timing belt

Common symptoms of the P0010 engine code

The main symptom associated with the P0010 engine code is your check engine light turning on. However, because that code indicates that there’s something wrong with the valve timing of your engine, you might notice any of the following: 
  • Sluggish or hesitating engine 
  • Reduced fuel economy 
  • Rough running, especially at higher RPMs
  • Rattling noise coming from the engine

How serious is the P0010 engine code? 

The P0010 engine code shows that there’s an issue with some of your engine’s key components, but it won’t immediately endanger you on the road. Depending on the exact problem that triggered the code, you may be able to continue driving the car without significant trouble for a while. 
However, one of the most common issues associated with this code is engine oil sludge, which can cause a host of serious problems. Even if the only indicator of dirty engine oil is the P0010 code, it’s important to check the oil to prevent further damage to your car’s engine. 

Can I fix the P0010 engine code myself?

Because this engine code can indicate so many different problems, it’s best to take the car to a trusted mechanic who can identify the exact source of the issue and perform any necessary repairs. 
Before taking the car to a mechanic, however, you can perform a visual inspection of the related engine components. Look for oil sludge on the camshaft actuator solenoid and see if you can find any faulty wiring. This may help to narrow down the problem. 

Finding insurance for your vehicle

An OBD-II scanner can help you maintain your engine’s performance. The Jerry app can help you maintain the lowest possible cost for car insurance.  
As a licensed insurance broker, Jerry will take your information and instantly search for competitive quotes from over 50 top insurance companies. Once you’ve chosen the quote that fits your needs (and your budget!), Jerry gets to work, filling out all the necessary forms and even canceling your old policy to make sure you’re set up with savings with no additional expenses. 
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