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P0015 OBD-II Trouble Code: Camshaft Position B - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)

Check Engine Light

P0015 code definition

Camshaft Position “B” - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)

What the P0015 code means

P0015 is the OBD-II generic code indicating the engine control module (ECM) has determined that the exhaust camshaft timing for bank 1 is more retarded than what the ECM has commanded it to be. The over-retarded timing condition can be during the advancing or retarding phase.

What causes the P0015 code?

  • The variable camshaft timing (VCT) oil control valve (OCV) is stuck in the open position.

  • The camshaft phaser is stuck in the retarded position due to damage or clogged oil passages.

  • Oil flow problems to the VCT piston and phaser from incorrect oil viscosity.

  • The OCV has an open circuit or the ECM has an open circuit.

What are the symptoms of the P0015 code?

  • The Check Engine Light comes on if the timing is commanded to move, but it stays retarded.

  • The engine will have a hard start and low power condition due to the retarded timing position.

  • The engine fuel mileage will go down.

  • The engine may stall, hesitate, and run rougher than normal.

Note: The camshaft position will cause erratic drive complaints depending on the camshaft failed position.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0015 code?

  • Does a visual check for problems with the connections or wiring of the OCV

  • Checks the engine oil to see if it is full of clean correct viscosity oil

  • Scans and documents engine codes and views the freeze frame data to see when the code was set

  • Resets the Check Engine Light and road tests again to see if the code returns

  • Commands the OCV on and off with the scan tool to see if the camshaft timing changes

  • Performs the manufacturer’s tests for the P0015 code

Note: The manufacturer's recommended pinpoint test is used to narrow down the problem. Possible engine internal damage may be done if tests are not performed in accordance with a correct procedure.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0015 code?

Follow these simple guidelines to prevent mistakes:

  • Verify the failure and codes before attempting any repairs.

  • Do a visual check for any problems with the wiring or connections to the components.

  • Do all pinpoint test steps to help prevent misdiagnosis of good components.

  • Replace parts only as directed by the pinpoint test or after a visual check indicates a problem.

How serious is the P0015 code?

  • Erratic engine running conditions like stalling and rough running may occur.

  • Excessive fuel consumption and hesitation of the engine will follow with carbon fouling of some valve and piston engine components.

  • Driving the vehicle for a prolonged time with the camshafts retarded may cause additional internal engine problems depending on the failed part.

What repairs can fix the P0015 code?

  • Resetting the fault codes and performing a road test
  • Replacing camshaft phasers on both camshaft banks
  • Repairing the wiring or connection to the camshaft OCV
  • Replacing the camshaft OCV for bank 1 exhaust camshaft
  • Replacing timing chain and guides

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0015 code

The camshaft phaser controls the timing advance and retard function through oil pressure and oil. If the camshaft phaser is leaking oil or the phaser is broken internally then both phasers should be replaced on both banks of the cams.

Need help with a P0015 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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