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P0012 Fault Code

You can find information about the P0012 fault code on this page.

It is one of the most popular fault codes that people search for on this website (in the top 50).

We have given it a seriousness of 9/10 with 1 being the least serious and 10 being the worst.

P0012 Short Description

"Intake Camshaft Position Timing - Over-Retarded (Bank 1)"

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Description Icon Long Description

The P0012 fault code relates to the position of the camshaft timing sensor and suggests that there is either a problem in the camshaft, a part connected to it or the sensor itself.

A camshaft (or also called a camshaft) is a long axle that features cams (egg-shaped cogs) that control the valves that feed fuel/air mix to the cylinders and is responsible for the timing of the engine’s processes.

It is most commonly seen in engines that use variable valve timing technology (VVT/VCT) to improve fuel efficiency and/or performance by altering the timing at different engine speeds.

By referring to “Bank A” in the short description above it means the camshaft on the left or the front (when viewing from the front of the car) or the “intake” camshaft.

It commonly affects models manufactured by BMW, Ford and Mazda according to the people we see searching for help on this website.

Warnings Icon Other Signs of This Problem

The car reporting this P0012 fault code may also be seeing issues with the engine running, including a rough idle along with stalling – after struggling to start in the first place.

If these problems are severe enough it will cause the “check engine light” to illuminate and require an OBD2 reader to diagnose and most probably lead to the P0012 code.

Other similar codes that may also appear for camshaft sensor issues include the P0011, the P0013 and the P0014.

Broken Down Icon What Could Be The Problem?

The problem is going to most probably be focused around the camshaft area of the engine, with that component itself or something that relies on it or maybe even the sensor itself.

At the root of the problem is the camshaft being out of sync with what is expected from the ECM (engine control module) and so could be caused by:

  • A faulty solenoid that is playing up because of the wiring or because it is stuck open/closed
  • Too much oil is being fed to the VCT piston chamber, slowing down the movement of the camshaft

Fixed Icon Fixes

A great starting point would be checking that the solenoid valve that the VVT system uses to control flow is working correctly.

It is common that these can get stuck open or closed due to the contaminants flowing through them going hard and gluing them in position.

Fuel, engine oil and the air coming into the engine can all contain dirt which gets caught up in the delicate components inside of the engine and build up over time.

Danger Icon Seriousness

We rate the P0012 fault code as being a 9/10 for seriousness. This is because the engine of your car can become damaged by continuing to run it with this code present.

As the camshaft is used for timing it can lead to the engine seeing too much fuel in the fuel/air mixture and/or early ignition in the cylinder which can both damage the engine.

A trained mechanic can diagnose the cause of this issue while limiting the damage to the engine.

P0012 Image

Commonly Affects

Error Icon P0010

Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit / Open (Bank 1)

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Error Icon P0011

Intake Camshaft Position Timing - Over-Advanced (Bank 1)

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Error Icon P0013

Exhaust Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit / Open (Bank 1)

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Error Icon P0014

Exhaust Camshaft Position Timing - Over-Advanced (Bank 1)

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Error Icon P0016

Crankshaft Position Camshaft Position Correlation Bank 1 Sensor A

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Error Icon P0017

Crankshaft Position Camshaft Position Correlation Bank 1 Sensor B

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