Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Your vehicle is equipped with various systems that work together to keep your engine running as it should. One example is your vehicle’s variable valve timing (VVT) system. This system helps improve engine performance and/or fuel efficiency. But what happens when one of its components goes bad?

P0023 is a generic diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the operation of the VVT control circuit. If you’ve retrieved this code from your scan tool and want to know what it means, here is some basic information that may help you.

What Does the P0023 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code P0023 stands for “Exhaust ‘B’ Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 2).” The “B” camshaft refers to the exhaust camshaft and “bank 2” refers to the side of the engine opposite the #1 cylinder.

The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the variable valve timing (VVT) circuit for high and low voltage. If the voltage is out of specification for a calibrated amount of time, the PCM sets P0023.

internal combustion engine cutaway
Your vehicle is equipped with various systems that work together to keep your engine running as it should.

Toyota describes this code as indicating opens or shorts in the camshaft oil control valve circuit. If the oil control valve duty-cycle is excessively high or low while the engine is running, the ECM will illuminate the MIL and store the P0023.

Meanwhile, Ford’s condition for P0023 to set is that the solenoid’s commanded state does not match the actual state for greater than 5 seconds.

Other OEMs are similar but each one has its own criteria.

If you’re planning to diagnose or troubleshoot P0023 yourself, you can get more useful information from our advanced technical discussions about the camshaft actuator and VVT systems.

Note: The definition of code P0023 may be different depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Consult the appropriate repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

More About VVT

Most late model vehicles are equipped with a VVT system. This system adjusts the opening and closing of the intake and/or exhaust valves to improve engine performance and/or fuel efficiency.

To increase engine power, the intake and exhaust camshaft timing should be retarded when the RPM is higher. Under mid-range RPM (under light load), it should be advanced to reduce pumping losses and contribute to fuel efficiency.

When the engine is under load, exhaust timing may be retarded to reduce NOx gases.

The PCM uses the VVT solenoids and camshaft actuators to move the camshaft adequately and deliver the power needed by your engine.

If the PCM perceives a problem with the bank 2 exhaust camshaft actuator control circuit, it logs code P0023.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0023 Code?

  • Failed (shorted or open) VVT actuator winding
  • Malfunctioning VVT oil flow control valve solenoid (open or short circuit)
  • VVT circuit issues (damaged wires and poor connections)
  • Faulty PCM or software in need of an update

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0023 Code?

How to Diagnose the P0023 Code

obd code checking done by male adult mechanic
Diagnosing a P00023 code can be difficult if you are not well-versed in auto repair.

Diagnosing a P00023 code can be difficult if you are not well-versed in auto repair. In most cases, the best course of action is to bring your vehicle to an auto shop.

To learn more about what the diagnostic procedures for this code might involve, you may consult a vehicle-specific repair manual or an online auto repair database.

How to Fix the P0023 Code

The diagnostic and repair procedures for this DTC may vary between automakers. For example, the steps for troubleshooting a P0023 Ford code may be different from how a mechanic would troubleshoot code P0023 in a Lexus.

Going to an auto shop is the best option for vehicle owners who have limited auto repair knowledge. Alternatively, advanced DIYers may search for vehicle-specific fixes by consulting the vehicle’s repair manual or by searching for factory repair information from an online database.

Product Mentioned in this Guide

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

article subscribearticle subscribe
fender fever
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now
Copyright ©2022, Inc. All Rights Reserved.