OBDII code P0011, common problems, how to fix
OBDII code P0011, common problems, how to fix

OBDII code P0011, common problems, how to fix

On Nissan Teana, X-Trail, Note, Peugeot and Citroen engines produced before 2011 and a lot of other cars the Check Engine warning light or the scanner generates failure code P0011 often lights up. At the same time, the Check Engine may not light up, but the symptoms of malfunction are obvious. How to act in such cases, how to reset and find out the causes of the OBD 2 code, we will understand right now.

Fault symptoms when OBD 2 code P0011 is encountered

ошибка р0011
Error code 0011 on the scanner screen

In almost all cases, and not only in the above-mentioned cars, code P0011 indicates a camshaft position malfunction or unsynchronization of both camshafts. There may be several reasons, but the main symptoms typical for this failure are as follows:

  1. Loss of stability at high and medium rpm, under load.
  2. Losing power and distinctive knocking in timing mechanism when the engine is hot, while it works fine when the engine is cold.
  3. Increased fuel consumption.
  4. Increased exhaust emission.
vvt p0011
Schematic diagram of the phase shifter of the engine: 1) stopper; 2) rotor; 3) camshaft; 4) housing; 5) the engine has stopped; 6) the engine is running; 7) the direction of oil supply.

Symptoms are not too obvious and it is quite difficult to determine them, so often code P0011 pops up when the engine has been running with the fault for some time. In addition, the electronic control unit will be able to enter the error into the memory and show it on the onboard computer or scanner when the engine has been running in emergency mode for at least 15-20 minutes. This is the complexity of diagnostics.

What does code P0011 mean and what is CVVT

Camshaft misalignment can be due to mechanical failures as well as electrical problems. The CVVT system, which adjusts the timing, can make the engine more flexible, increase power and reduce the level of CO2 in the exhaust gases when working correctly.

But if the phasing unit fails, the engine will not work properly in transient modes and at changing operating temperatures, as code P0011 will tell.

p0011 vvt

In short, the phasing shift (CVVT system) adjusts the position of the camshaft depending on oil pressure, engine temperature and engine load. As a result of a phase shift of between 8 and 10 degrees, the engine adapts to sudden changes in operating conditions. The phase controllers supply the actuator clutches (which turn the camshafts) with the right amount of oil and at the right pressure. Therefore, the cause may be trivial oil starvation of the engine.

корпус р0011
Phase rotator housing

Causes of the malfunction VVT

Let’s check the oil level, if it’s okay, there are still a few options left:

  • phaser regulator malfunction;
  • stretched timing chain or belt;
  • Incorrect assembly of camshaft drive mechanism after a new chain or belt is installed;
  • a stretched timing belt can allow the timing gears to skip a tooth or two and then the phases will be misaligned;
  • malfunction of switching in the regulator valve connector pins;
  • worn camshaft gears;
  • clogged oil ducts in VCT piston chamber;
  • a clogged filter of VVT-i valve actuator hydraulic system;
  • CVVT system may fail completely, which is very rare.

How to check CVVT system and reset P0011 error

As you can see, the list of possible problems is quite extensive, so we will start with the simplest, with a check of the contacts on the phase sensor. Disconnect the contact block and inspect the condition of the contacts. If there is oxide on the contacts of the connectors, remove it and install the pads in place.

Checking the phase sensor

р0011 датчик
Phase sensor on various engines. The configuration may be different

Remove the phase sensor and carefully inspect it. There should be no traces of mechanical damage on the housing, in addition, carefully inspect it and, if necessary, clean it. Next, check the sensor circuit. To do this, use a multimeter in voltage measurement mode.

  1. Disconnect terminal block, turn on ignition.
  2. Measure the voltage at the supply contacts. If the circuit is in good condition, the multimeter will show 12 V, if there is no voltage, look for the problem in the wiring further according to the diagram.
  3. Connect the sensor to the plus terminal of the battery through the multimeter, and place the second probe on the signal contact of the sensor.
  4. Ask the assistant to crank the starter, and observe the readings of the multimeter. If it shows voltage jumps, the sensor is working. If it is silent, the sensor should be replaced.

Checking the valve and VVT clutch

The structure of the solenoid valve: 1) spring; 2) the clutch; 3) to the VVTi block (bias); 4) to the VVTi unit (delay); 5) drain hole; 6) oil under pressure; 7) drain hole; 8) plunger channel; 9) winding; 10) plunger.

The VVT Solenoid, or VVT valve, is a two-port electromechanical switch that can supply oil to either advance the camshaft or lag it. We’ve already talked about cleaning the filter, and in addition, the filter can be damaged during a crooked chain or timing belt change. 

VVTi hydraulic valve filter

It looks something like this on all cars with a phase shifter.

VVT Solenoid

The valve itself is simple enough, but the device is delicate, so oil, dirt and slag do not help it in any way in its work. The VVT can easily jam due to contamination and then the occurrence of OBD 2 code P0011 is guaranteed.

Visually inspect the solenoid, if necessary clean it with the magic spray WD40 or cleaning spray for carburetors. Here is how it should work after cleaning:

Check the valve after cleaning according to this scheme – connect two wires to the valve terminals and briefly apply voltage of 12 V. The working VVT should behave approximately as on the video above, and the resistance on the pins should be within 7 Ω (check with a multimeter, the exact nominal values are given in the manual).

p0011 vvt
How to check VVT solenoid

[stextbox id=’grey’]There is one nuance – the VVT valve can work fine in our hands, but die in the engine under oil pressure (because of the rod misalignment) or because of temperature. So the best way to check is to put the valve in place with the engine hot and connect it briefly from the battery. A working valve will be audible.[/stextbox]

This way you can check the condition of the phasor and its elements with your own hands. After replacing the worn parts or restoring them, the OBD 2 code P0011 will reset itself, which means that we have done everything correctly. Have a good check and a quiet engine!

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