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Most modern vehicles are equipped with on-board diagnostic systems that allow drivers to identify problems. In most cases, a code will cause one or more of the warning lights on the car’s dashboard to illuminate. If this happens, connect a scan tool to your vehicle’s OBD port to retrieve the trouble code.

One of the OBD-II codes you may come across is the P0020 code. Here is some basic information that may help you understand what this code means.

check engine light 1
In most cases, a code will cause one or more of the warning lights on the car’s dashboard to illuminate.

What Does the P0020 Code Mean?

Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0020 stands for “Intake “A” Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open (Bank 2).” It is triggered when the powertrain control module (PCM) detects that the voltage from the variable valve timing circuit has fallen out of specification for a calibrated amount of time.

Bank 2 indicates the side of the engine that doesn’t contain cylinder #1, and “A” refers to the intake camshaft. This code is nearly identical to code P0010.

Variable valve timing or VVT is a technology used in the engine to achieve greater power and/or efficiency at different running points. The system primarily consists of one or more camshaft position actuators and solenoid valves, also known as oil control valves (OCVs).

Newer vehicles use a variable timing system to increase fuel efficiency and performance by adjusting the timing of the intake and/or exhaust valves.

The PCM monitors the variable valve timing circuit for high and low voltage. The test fails if the voltage falls out of the manufacturer’s specified range for a calibrated amount of time. When that happens, the PCM sets the code P0020.

P0020 is a common issue among the following makes: Ford (especially on a Ford F-150), Mercedes Benz, Lexus, and Audi.

Note: The definition of the P0020 code may be different depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Consult the appropriate repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0020 Code?

  • Variable valve timing actuator failure
  • Open or short in the VVT control circuit
  • Failed VVT (oil control) solenoid valve
  • PCM failure or software in need of an update
variable timing solenoid 1
Variable valve timing or VVT is a technology used in the engine to achieve greater efficiency and primarily consists of one or more camshaft position actuators and solenoid valves, also known as oil control valves (OCVs).

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0020 Code?

  • Check engine light is on
  • Rough running/poor engine performance
  • Increased fuel consumption

How to Diagnose the P0020 Code

Identifying the underlying cause of the P0020 code can be difficult, especially if you’re uncertain of your automotive know-how. In most cases, it would be best to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop and seek the help of a professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Here is a video that can help give you a better idea of how this trouble code might be diagnosed:

How to Fix the P0020 Code

While vehicles from different manufacturers may share common symptoms, there is no universal solution for the P0020 code. The fix may vary depending on its underlying cause and the vehicle’s make and model. For instance, the steps for the diagnosis and repair of a P0020 Ford code may differ from a P0020 Hyundai code’s.

If you’re determined to resolve the P0020 code yourself, research confirmed fixes that are specific to your car’s make and model. Use vehicle repair databases to find the right solution for the code.

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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