P0011 Error Code: Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, and Fixes

Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) are your car’s On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) computer system’s way of letting you know your car has developed a fault. The onboard computer assign every fault detected by the OBD computer system a unique DTC code. Automakers designed the DTC code to help you know what the issue is with your car so you can have it repaired.

DTCs are unique to each fault detected but, follow the same format of an alphabet preceding a four-digit number. An example of a DTC code is P0011.

The preceding letter of any DTC code represents the part of the car – Body (B), Chassis (C), Powertrain (P), and Network & Vehicle Integration (U) and the numbers denote either a generic or manufacturer’s specific code, subsystem and a description of the fault.

p0011 mercedes

Code P0011 Definition

  • P0011 Generic – Camshaft Position ‘A’ Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1
  • P0011 Kia – “Blink Code: 3,0 Open circuit to Front right inlet valve.”
  • P0011 Nissan – Intake Camshaft Position System Performance
  • P0011 Chevy – Intake Valve Timing Control Performance Bank 1
  • P0011 Peugeot – Bank 1: Camshaft A (Intake): Retard Setpoint Not Reached (Over-Advanced)
  • P0011 Audi – Bank 1: Camshaft A (Intake): Retard Setpoint Not Reached (Over-Advanced)
  • P0011 Hyundai – “Blink Code: 3,0 Open circuit to Front right inlet valve.”

What Does P0011 Mean?

A code P0011, according to its combination of letters and digits, is a generic error common to all car manufacturers.

Code P0011 is an error code found in cars with variable camshaft timing (VCT) or variable valve timing (VVT). 

Diagnostic Trouble Code P0011 represents Camshaft Position “A” – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1). The code shows a fault that has occurred because of the Engine Control Module (ECM) being unable to rectify the advanced position angle of the camshaft in its desired position.

A P0011 error code means the intake camshaft position timing is more advanced than desired. Despite this, a P0011 code in different car manufacturers shows trivial faults. For example,

  • P0011 Nissan – This shows trouble with the Intake Valve Timing (IVT) control.
  • P0011 Peugeot – This shows trouble with the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) or Variable Camshaft Timing) VCT.
  • P0011 Hyundai – This shows trouble with the system responsible for regulating the engine timing advancing and retarding.
  • P0011 Chevy – This shows that the camshaft position angle is not in the desired camshaft position angle.
  • P0011 Infiniti – This refers to a fault involving the Intake Valve Timing control performance (Bank 1).

These errors mean one thing since they are all pointing to one thing – Intake valve timing A over – advanced.

What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0011?

Whenever a code P0011 is detected, noticeable symptoms let you know a fault has been detected. Some of these symptoms are;

  • Check engine light.
  • Hard starting 
  • High fuel consumption.
  • A rattling noise emanates from the engine.
  • Engine running rough, hesitating, and stalling
  • Foul engine emissions inviting emission test failure

What Causes Code P0011?

If you are seeing a code P0011 error on your car’s ECM, you may ask ‘what can cause a P0011 code?’ the engine oil level could cause it – being too low or dirty.

Other causes of code P0011 error or a VVT solenoid code includes;

  • Continuous oil flow to variable valve timing chamber
  • Lousy Variable valve timing control solenoid
  • Wrong engine oil viscosity
  • Camshaft Phaser is stuck in an advanced position.
  • Camshaft more advanced than commanded by ECM
  • Insufficient oil flow to and from camshaft-phasers

How Serious is Code P0011?

A code P0011 appearing on the ECM of any car signals a fault that can cause severe damage to the car’s engine. Although damaging the car engine may seem extreme, it is possible because a P0011 error code affects the drivability of the car in the long run.

Common effects of code P0011 include increased risk of the car engine stalling, running rough, or causing rattling noises to emanate from the engine. Also, code P0011 reduces the efficiency of the engine to economize fuel consumption, cause damage to the engine components because of carbon build-up and failure.

Code P0011 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

Diagnosing a code P0011 error is simple and easy. Despite this, some mistakes occur when making a diagnosis. The most common diagnosis mistakes which could have been avoided include:

  • Failure to check for faulty sensors before replacing them.
  • Failure to inspect potential causes before deciding on the next line of action.
  • Tinkering with the PCM and sensors without proper expertise.
  • Failure to erase all (previous) failure codes when performing checks.

Failure to follow a step-by-step guide for performing diagnosis checks provided by the manufacturer to avoid a wrong diagnosis.

Tools Needed To Diagnose Code P0011

You don’t need many tools to repair a code P0011 in your car. A handful of tools will have the fault repaired, and your car eager to move. The tools you will need are;

  • An OBD2 scanner
  • Your car manufacturer’s manual
  • Basic hand tools

How To Diagnose And Repair Code P0011

Here’s a simple guide on how to fix code P0011. To diagnose and repair a code P0011 on your car, you must:

  • Perform a scan using the Obd2 scanner for other codes and ensure the Check Engine Light indicator is off.
  • Access the camshaft of your car by removing the engine compartment. You can find guidance on how to do this in your car service manual.
  • Inspect to see if there is any connector, wiring, or valve issue and repair them.
  • Carry out a visual check to know if the motor oil is dirty, old, and needs replacing. Do engine oil change if there’s a need for that.
  • Check for damage to the variable valve timing solenoid and have it repaired.
  • Scan again to check if the code P0011 has cleared.

p0011 nissan


Q: How bad is P0011?

A code P0011 can cause severe damage to your car’s engine and affect the drivability of the car. Common effects include increased risk of the car engine stalling or running rough, reduced efficiency of the engine to economize fuel consumption, and damage to engine components because of carbon build-up and failure.

Q: Can you drive with a P0011 code?

Driving with a P0011 code in your car is possible, though not advisable. Do not drive with it until you repair it because it can cause severe damage to your car engine components. By ignoring the P0011 error code in your car, the vehicle will emanate several drivability issues.

Can low oil pressure cause P0011?

Yes, low oil pressure can cause a P0011 error code, especially when you use the wrong oil filter. Using the wrong oil filters can reduce the flow of oil, also reducing the oil pressure below the required level for optimal performance.  

Q: Can bad spark plugs cause the P0011 code?

Bad or faulty spark plugs can cause a P0011 code in your car, especially if there is a fault or damage to the crankshaft position sensor and the ECM not firing the spark plugs.   

Q: Will an oil change fix P0011?

Three-quarters of all cases of P0011 error codes have been fixed with a simple engine oil change. You can do this by flushing the engine system to remove every trace of dirty or clogged engine oil and replacing it with new engine oil.

This simple action can be the mighty fix you need to resolve trouble code P0011 and enjoy a seamless ride.

Last words

A code P0011 in your car need not be a pain that makes driving your beautiful car uncomfortable. This can be avoided by carrying out regular checks on your car, doing a scheduled oil change, and diagnosing your car whenever the onboard system logs in a trouble code.

It is important you only use the engine oil recommended by the manufacturer of your car, as stated in the Manual provided. And neglecting this can cause problems for your car because it won’t run smoothly and function properly if you use low-quality or wrong oil density.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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