What Does the Engine Code P0011 Mean?

If your car displays the P0011 engine code, you likely have a problem with your engine timing.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you’re seeing engine code P0011 on your vehicle, it means the intake camshaft in Bank 1 is in the wrong position. Your intake camshaft controls whether the intake valves on your engine are open or shut. The intake camshaft is regulated by the Oil Control Valve (OCV), which in turn is run by the Engine Control Module (ECM).
Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) allow you to easily diagnose engine problems in your car. Once you’ve scanned your vehicle using an OBD-II code reader, you can use that specific code to figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle and what you need to do to fix it. 
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Here’s everything you need to know about the P0011 engine code, including what it means, how to handle it, and how much it might cost to repair your vehicle. 
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What does the engine code P0011 mean?

Definition: Camshaft Position ‘A’ Timing Over-Advanced of System Performance Bank 1
The P0011 engine code is an indication that your intake camshaft has advanced too far. The position of your intake camshaft is controlled by the ECM to open and close your engine’s intake valve. The movement of the camshaft has to be precisely timed so the right amount of the air-fuel mixture will enter your engine exactly when it’s supposed to.
If your intake camshaft advances past the location set by the ECM, your vehicle won’t burn fuel efficiently, and it could cause damage to your vehicle if you continue to drive it.

How much will it cost to fix?

Your repair costs will depend on the extent of the damage. Sometimes, the fix is as simple as
changing your oil
, especially if you catch the problem early. That means your cost could be as little as $20 to $60—the cost of a regular oil change.
You may also need to replace the Oil Control Valve (OCV) or the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Control Solenoid, which helps regulate the position of the camshaft. If you need to replace one of these, your repairs will probably cost around $300 to $400.
If the problem goes undetected or untreated for too long, sludgy oil can build up in your engine and block the passage to the Oil Control Valves (OCV). 
Unfortunately, if that happens, you’ll probably need to replace your engine, which will likely cost somewhere around $3000 to $4000.

What can cause the P0011 engine code?

One of the most common causes of engine code P0011 is having low or
dirty oil in your engine
. Over time, the oil in your engine oxidizes and breaks down. It also picks up little particles of contaminants like dirt, fuel, metal shavings, and water. Eventually, that creates a thick sludge that can block the valves that control your intake camshaft. 
Engine code P0011 can also be caused by a faulty valve or circuit. For instance, the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) circuit or Oil Control Valve (OCV) circuit might be open or shorted. 
You could also have a faulty VVT Control Solenoid or a faulty Oil Control Valve. If the damage is really extensive, your Engine Control Module (ECM) might also be damaged.
Key Takeaway: If you’re seeing engine code P0011, you may have low or dirty oil, a faulty valve or circuit, or a damaged ECM.

Common symptoms of the P0011 engine code

If your vehicle is displaying engine code P0011, you’re probably already experiencing some engine trouble. You might notice that your engine starts hard, runs rough, or stalls out, for instance. 
You may also hear a knocking or rattling noise, and your vehicle might be a lot less fuel-efficient than normal. Your vehicle might even fail an emissions test.

How serious is the P0011 engine code? 

If you’re seeing engine code P0011, stop driving your vehicle immediately. A malfunction of your intake camshaft can lead to serious engine damage, especially if you keep driving around after your Service Engine Soon Light comes on. 
MORE: How to decide if you should take your car to a repair shop or a mobile mechanic

Can I fix the P0011 engine code myself?

You may be able to fix engine code P0011 yourself, depending on the extent of the damage. Start by checking the oil in your vehicle. If the oil is low, top it off. If it’s dirty, change the oil and filter. Once you’ve done that, take your car for a short test drive to see if the problem is fixed. 
If you’re still noticing engine trouble after you change your oil, look inside the oil cap or valve cover at the valve train where your intake camshaft is located. If you see sludge, there’s a good chance that your engine will have to be replaced. 
If you don’t see any sludge, check the OCV to make sure it’s working properly.

Checking the Oil Control Valve (OCV)

Remove the Bank 1 Intake Camshaft Oil Control Valve from your engine and place it on a grounded surface, like a concrete driveway. Carefully touch a pair of fused jumper wires to the solenoid on the OCV for about one to two seconds. Don’t apply power any longer than that or you could damage the OCV.
If your OCV is working correctly, you should hear a clicking sound. You might also see the valve move, depending on its design. If it doesn’t click or move, replace the OCV, then drive your vehicle to see if that fixed the problem.
If you’ve changed the oil and replaced the OCV and you’re still seeing engine code P0011, have your vehicle professionally diagnosed by a mechanic, as there could be internal engine damage. They may be able to fix the problem without having to do a full engine replacement.

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