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P0011 code: What is this DTC? 

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It will be disturbing if your engine misfires or you hear a rattling sound from the engine while driving. These signs can happen for many reasons. So you must use an OBD-II scanner to determine what engine code is troubling your car. And the scanner identifies your car encountered the P0011 code. But what exactly does that mean? 

It is a generic code common to all vehicle manufacturers. This specific fault code gets triggered in all cars with variable camshaft timing, also known as variable valve timing. Code P0011 is a common issue with these car manufacturers – Nissan, GMC, Chevrolet (especially Equinox and Malibu), Subaru, and Hyundai 

So what causes the engine code P0011? What are its symptoms, and how can you fix the issue? Keep reading our article to know more about this engine error code! 

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What is code P0011? 

Engine code P0011 indicates the incorrect position of the intake camshaft in Bank 1. The P0011 code indicates that your intake camshaft is too far advanced. The Engine Control Module (ECM) controls the position of your intake camshaft to open and close your engines intake valve. The timing of the camshaft movement must be accurate so that the right amount of air-fuel mixture enters your engine at the correct time. 

What can cause a P0011 code? 


The following are possible causes of the error code. 

  • Engine oil has become low or dirty 
  • A faulty camshaft actuator failure  
  • Variable Valve Timing (VVT) solenoid failure  
  • Circuit problems like loose connections or damage to wiring  
  • Damaged timing components 
  • Issues with the ECM 
  • The continuous flow of oil to Oil flow to Variable Camshaft Timing chamber 

What are the symptoms of engine code P0011? 

You can observe these signs if your car’s engine encounters the engine code. 

  • Check engine light turns on 
  • Misfiring of engine 
  • Low fuel economy 
  • Engine gets stalled 
  • There will be a rattling noise from the engine 
  • Poor idling 
  • It won’t be easy to start the engine 
  • Your car fails the emission test 

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How serious is a P0011 code? 

It is best to stop driving your car immediately if it encounters this error code. One reason is that the fuel won’t burn correctly, causing damage to your car if you continue to drive. Also, a faulty intake camshaft can cause serious engine damage, especially if you continue to drive after your check engine light illuminates.  

Can you drive with a P0011 code?


You can drive with code P0011, but we won’t recommend that. Avoid driving your car until performing the essential repairs, as the code can cause severe damage to your cars engine parts. Ignoring the P0011 error code in your car will result in several drivability issues. 

Can I fix the P0011 engine code myself? 

Yes. But it depends on the level of the damage. Start by inspecting the oil in your car. If the oil is running low, top it up. Replace the oil and filter if they are dirty. Once you do that, do a test drive of your car to know if the issue got fixed.  

If your car’s engine still encounters issues after changing your oil, check inside the oil cap or valve cover at the valve train, which houses your intake camshaft. If you notice sludge, then you must replace the engine. Ensure the Oil Control valve (OCV) is working properly if you don’t see any sludge.

How do I fix code P0011? 

Follow these steps to fix the engine error code by yourself. 

  • First, visually inspect the car’s system. Begin by visually inspecting the wiring, connector, and valve. Repair or replace faulty components like a stuck valve control solenoid. 
  • Then check the oil’s condition. Replace or refill the oil if the level is too low or sticky.  
  • Then scan for the P0011 code again and record the freeze frame data. After that, clear your codes and run the engine. Check to see if the code returns or if the symptoms continue. 

What are the common mistakes while diagnosing the code? 

It is common for you or the technician to make a mistake while diagnosing the P0011 code. So follow these steps to avoid them.  

  • Always visually check common problems, such as confirming that all electrical connectors are connected. 
  • Inspect the level of engine oil and check whether it’s clean. 
  • Check, document, and reset error codes. Before performing any additional tests, verify that the code returns or not.  
  • To prevent misdiagnosis and the replacement of working components, follow the manufacturer’s pinpoint test procedures without skipping any steps. 
  • Replace any sensors or components only if tests reveal an issue.  

What repairs can fix the P0011 code? 

So, has your car encountered this engine error code? Don’t worry! These repairs can fix the issue and ensure a smooth driving experience again.  

  • Reset the code and do a test drive. 
  • Change the oil and filter to the engine’s recommended oil viscosity. 
  • Repair or replace the wiring to the Bank 1 intake camshaft’s oil control valve. 
  • Do a replacement for the camshaft oil control valve for Bank 1 intake camshaft. 
  • Check for jumped timing problems in the timing chain. 

How much does it cost to fix code P0011? 

The cost to fix the issue depends on the extent of the damage. If it only requires changing the oil, it can cost as little as $20$60. Sometimes you must replace the OCV or VVT Control Solenoid, which helps control the camshaft position. If you need to replace one of these, the repairs will most likely cost between $300$400. 

Suppose the problem goes unnoticed or untreated for a long period. Then, sludgy oil can accumulate in your engine and clog the passage to the OCV. Unfortunately, you must replace your engine, costing between $3000$4000. 


Is a P0011 code bad? 

Yes. It can severely damage your cars engine and damage its drivability. Also, your car’s engine will stall or run rough. The decreased engine efficiency will reduce the fuel economy and cause damage to engine components due to carbon build-up and failure. 

Can low oil cause the P0011 code? 

Yes. A reduction in engine oil’s level can activate the code.  

Can dirty oil cause a P0011 code? 

Yes. The presence of dirty oil can cause the code to activate. 

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