P0011 Code – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms (& How To Fix)

Camshaft Position “A” - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)

P0011 Code

The Check Engine Light is one indicator that nobody wants to see. If you scan the system and see a P0011 code, you need to know how to repair it.

In this guide, we discuss the meaning of the P0011 trouble code. We also look at the causes, symptoms and possible repairs. 

Code P0011 Definition

Camshaft Position “A” – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)

What Does the P0011 Code Mean?

The P0011 code indicates that the engine control module (ECM) noticed the bank 1 intake camshaft is further than where it was commanded to be. Nissan vehicles can have a different meaning from the P0011 code.  

The “A” camshaft can be the intake camshaft on the front or left of the bank from the driver. It contains cylinder one. This over-advanced condition could be during advancing or retarding of the camshaft timing.

P0011 Trouble Code Symptoms

The P0011 trouble code most often causes the Check Engine Light to come on. It also leads to some engine performance concerns. However, there are other symptoms that could occur.

The most common symptoms include:

Causes of the P0011 Code

The majority of the P0011 code causes relate to the camshaft or wiring issues with the vital part. 

  • Defective wiring with the intake timing control system
  • Stuck open timing valve control solenoid
  • Faulty camshaft actuator
  • Incorrect camshaft timing (due to failing timing belt or chain)
  • Failed VVT solenoid
  • Low engine oil
  • Contaminated oil
  • PCM requires update

How Serious is the P0011 Code?

High – When the engine faces an active trouble code, you should always take it seriously. However, this problem might not be causing problematic symptoms right away. 

With that said, at any time, the car can start running rough or stalling. It might also fail to start, leaving you stranded.

With the risk that something is wrong with your timing belt or chain, it is best to always have the fault rectified quickly. This is because a broken timing belt or chain can damage the entire engine if you are unlucky.

What Repairs Can Fix the P0011 Code?

There are many different repairs that could lead to fixing the P0011 code, depending on what is causing the situation. The most appropriate way to find the best fix is to perform a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. 

Here are a few fixes that might help you:

  • Replace camshaft oil control valve
  • Replace wiring to camshaft oil control valve
  • Replace camshaft actuator
  • Change oil
  • Inspect and replace timing belt or chain

Common P0011 Diagnosis Mistakes

It’s tempting to overlook simple problems that are easy to fix. Whenever the Check Engine Light comes on, everyone tends to think the worst.

However, you don’t want to overlook the value of checking the simple problems first, even if these aren’t the most common causes. If you can get away with a cheaper fix, you will be happy in the end. 

Recommended Tools for Diagnosis

How to Diagnose the P0011 Trouble Code

If you want to pinpoint the reason for the P0011 code, you need to proceed as the professional mechanics would. Here are the steps that would occur at a reliable shop.

  1. Check all trouble codes. If there are other codes present, it might indicate what’s wrong with the system. Clear the codes and take the car for a drive until new codes are set. 
  2. Check the oil and change when necessary. Make sure the oil level is correct. If it’s time for an oil change, now is the time to do it. There’s always the chance that it will resolve the problem and this is an easy fix. Make sure you use the proper viscosity of oil.
  3. After the oil change, reset the codes again and go for a drive. If the codes are gone, this is great news. If not, proceed with the diagnostic steps. 
  4. Look for wiring defects. Follow all of the wiring to the Bank 1 oil control solenoid. If there is any breakage, pinching or fraying, you need to repair it. 
  5. Perform in-depth testing. You must check the cam phasers and hydraulic control valve. The steps to do this for your vehicle can be found in the service manual. You may also need help from a professional. 

Estimated Cost of Repair

There are many different ways to repair the P0011 trouble code. Depending on what you find, these would be the approximate costs you are looking at. 

  • Replace camshaft oil control valve – $200-$450
  • Replace wiring to camshaft oil control valve – $50-$500
  • Replace camshaft actuator – $250-$800
  • Replace timing belt or timing belt – $500 – $4000
  • Change oil – $15-$150

Mechanics Tips about the P0011 Code

Don’t overlook the chances that the problem is caused by the oil. If you are using the wrong viscosity of oil, it can cause the camshaft timing phasers to advance or retard beyond where they should be. If in doubt, it always makes sense to perform an oil change before trying any of the advanced fixes.

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