OBD-II Trouble Codes

P0010 Code: “A” Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 1)

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If your OBD-II scanner is storing a P0010 code, the problem likely has something to do with the engine. But more specifically, it affects the engine’s variable valve timing (VVT) system. To learn what a P0010 error code means and how to address it, read on.

What Does the P0010 Code Mean?

Code P0010 stands for “A” Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 1). The code indicates that your car’s primary computer, which is also referred to as the powertrain control module (PCM), perceives a problem with one of the engine’s VVT solenoids.

camshaft of a vehicle
Code P0010 indicates that the PCM detects a problem with one of the engine’s VVT solenoids.

And what about the bank 1 and “A” camshaft portion of the code? Well, the engine is divided into two banks. The side that has cylinder no. 1 is called Bank 1 while the opposite is referred to as Bank 2. “A” cam is the intake camshaft in a Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) engine or the intake camshaft for the number one cylinder in a V engine.

To better understand what this code means, you’ll need some background information on VVT. While, in the past, valve timing was fixed, most modern vehicles feature VVT technology that can alter the camshaft angle.

By altering the angle, the system can advance or retard the opening of the valves.

Some VVT systems modify the specifications of just the intake or exhaust camshaft, while others modify both. Having this ability allows the technology to improve engine efficiency, engine power, or a combination of the two.

A typical VVT system depends on oil pressure to operate. Individual VVT solenoids/valves feed that oil pressure to an actuator at the end of each VVT-capable camshaft. The actuator shifts the camshaft, thereby changing its angle and adjusting valve timing. VVT solenoid operation is controlled by the PCM.

It’s worth noting that the VVT system and its components can go by a variety of names. For example, Ford calls its VVT system “Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT)” and its VVT actuators “phasers”. Meanwhile, Hyundai refers to its VVT solenoids as “oil control valves (OCVs)”.

P0010 is a common issue among the following makes: Chevrolet (especially a Chevy Equinox), GMC, Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai.

car acceleration
Poor acceleration is a common symptom of P0010 code.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0010 Code?

Code P0010 is a generic code that can be experienced by a variety of vehicles with onboard diagnostics. Here are some of the most common causes of the code:

  • An internal failure of the VVT solenoid (aka oil control valve)
  • Circuit problems, such as damaged wiring or poor connections
  • PCM issues (rare)
  • Contaminated engine oil obstructing the VVT solenoid screen

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0010 Code?

If your vehicle is triggering a P0010 code, here are some of the most common symptoms you may experience:

  • Illuminated check engine light
  • Engine performance problems such as rough running and lack of acceleration
  • Rattling noise from the engine

How to Diagnose the P0010 Code

Diagnosing a P0010 code can be difficult and should be left to a professional. However, if you would prefer to do it yourself, there are plenty of online resources to help you do an accurate and thorough job.

For a better understanding of how to properly diagnose the underlying cause of this code, we recommend checking out the videos below:

How to Fix the P0010 Code

When it comes to fixing an OBD-II trouble code, there are no “magic bullet” fixes. There are a few possible solutions, depending on what’s causing the code.

Also, it’s important to remember that all vehicles are not built the same, and the repair information you may find online may not apply to your vehicle. Therefore, when troubleshooting and repairing error codes, make sure to consult the factory repair information for your application.

Repair manuals, such as those from Chilton, are useful, but an ALLDATA subscription is even better. ALLDATA has single-vehicle subscriptions for DIYers that provide detailed factory repair information.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.

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