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P0013 Engine Code: Causes, Diagnosis, and Fixes

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Not everyone’s idea of a fun morning is turning the key in their beloved car and seeing the check engine light blinking at them. But a car is a machine, and errors and error codes are inevitable. This article discusses the causes, symptoms, and fixes for the error code P0013.  

Engine code P0013: What does it mean? 

P0013 is one of the most common OBD-II engine codes in cars. It indicates an open or short circuit within the Bank-one of the Exhaust Camshaft Actuator Circuit Valve (CMP actuator solenoid). The Engine Control Module (ECM) will also signal the dashboard’s check engine light if the Camshaft Position Sensor is faulty. 

Increased fuel consumption, engine stalling, and ECM damage can result from a faulty CMP actuator solenoid. So, if you notice a problem with your engine, it is crucial to fix it immediately to prevent further damage. 

P0013 code diagnosis

What causes the P0013 code to pop up?

Faulty Actuator Solenoid 

If error code P0013 pops up on the OBD-II scanner, chances are likely that the actuator solenoid is faulty. A perfectly working actuator solenoid regulates the engine’s intake valves. Damage in this part triggers the ECM to send signals to the dashboard to indicate the check engine light for P0013.  

Faulty camshaft sensors 

Camshaft sensors are an important component in car engines that helps identify the active cylinder to coordinate the ignition timing of the fuel injectors and coils. A faulty camshaft sensor can also result in a P0013 code.  

Oil-related issues 


P0013 code can also pop up due to a variety of engine oil issues like dirty engine oil and low engine oil pressure. Dirty or sludge-accumulated engine oil may not be able to reach the variable valve timing solenoid, as a result of which the engine will not be able to regulate the camshaft control valve, triggering a P0013 error signal. 

ECM malfunction 

Problems with the Engine Control Module of your car can also lead to producing the P0013 code. This could probably arise due to issues in the wiring systems of the car, which ultimately drives power to the ECM unit.  

Is it safe to drive with the P0013 code?

Cars with P0013 issue codes can be driven quickly, but they should be fixed immediately to prevent serious and permanent engine damage. Even the engine control module can sustain damage if you drive your car with a short circuit.

P0013: Symptoms 

Decrease in fuel economy 

Code P0013 manifests itself most frequently in an increase in fuel consumption. One of the most common reasons for this is a malfunctioning exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. Furthermore, If the exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR) is malfunctioning, the engine may run rich. Here, a larger quantity of fuel is available than is necessary to burn with the available air. 

Difficulty in starting the engine 

A faulty camshaft position sensor will not be able to sense the exact camshaft position, as a result of which it is unable to send signals to the Engine Control Unit. This leads to difficulty in starting the car’s engine. 

Performance dip 

Just like many other error codes, error P0013 also could result in a drop in engine performance. If you find yourself having to put in more effort to push your car to higher speeds or unable to overtake other vehicles on highways, you may want to have it checked out.  

What is the code P0013 on a Toyota Avalon?

The code P0013 indicates a camshaft sensor or actuator solenoid issue for variable valve control. Additional testing will be required to determine whether the sensor or solenoid has to be changed.



  • Examine the bank one exhaust camshaft’s oil control valve for any faulty connections, wiring, or valve irregularities. 
  • Inspect the oil level and quality 
  • Check the spark plugs and ignition coils for any damage 
  • Examining the ECM’s wiring for potential shorts after disengaging the wires. 
  • Inspect the exhaust and air intake system for blockages
  • Verifies that the OCV has the proper resistance range of 6.9 to 7.9 ohms 

Mechanics usually inspect the computer code and records the freeze frame data to pinpoint the time of occurrence of the error. After this, they reset the code and will test the car again to find out if it is returning. If the issue persists, they perform certain repairs on the car to bring it back to normal condition.  

Can a camshaft actuator cause a misfire?

Your engine may misfire if your camshaft position sensor is malfunctioning.

Fixing the P0013 Code

  • The P0013 error code typically indicates a faulty camshaft sensor. If this component is the source of the problem, replacing it is mandatory. 
  • Replacing the ECM or the ECM wiring might also help tackle the issue if the problem lies with it.  
  • Changing the oil control valve in the Bank-one Exhaust Camshaft can also help resolve the problem. 
  • Once the faulty parts are replaced, the code has to be reset and retested to ensure that it doesn’t pop up again.
    P0013 code repair

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