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P0010 Fault Code: "A" Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open (Causes & Fixes)

Updated: Jan 9

P0010 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that is stored in a vehicle's on-board diagnostic (OBD) system when there is an issue with the engine's camshaft position actuator circuit.


If a DTC is associated to the powertrain, an OBD scanner will read it as starting with P, thus the letter "P." Generic fault codes are those of the format P0xxx.

The camshaft position actuator circuit is responsible for controlling the timing of the engine's valves, and any issues with this circuit can affect the engine's performance and efficiency.


The P0010 fault code is specific to the camshaft position actuator circuit, and it is triggered when the circuit is malfunctioning or when it is open or shorted.


In order to diagnose and repair the issue causing the P0010 code, it is important to understand what the code indicates and what potential causes and symptoms may be associated with it.


In this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of the P0010 fault code and potential causes, symptoms, and fixes. We will also discuss the importance of addressing the P0010 code as soon as possible, and we will offer tips for preventing the code from occurring.

 

Table of Contents:

 

The Meaning of a P0010 Fault Code

The P0010 fault code is triggered when there is an issue with the engine's camshaft position actuator circuit.


A camshaft position actuator circuit is responsible for controlling the timing of the engine's valves, and any issues with this circuit can affect the engine's performance and efficiency.

The specific criteria that must be met for the P0010 code to be stored in the OBD system vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Generally, the camshaft position actuator circuit must be malfunctioning or the circuit must be open or shorted in order for the code to be triggered.


How Serious Is It?

The severity of a P0010 code depends on the specific symptoms and issues that it is causing, as well as the underlying cause of the code.


We recommend to avoid driving the vehicle if it displays a P0010 fault code due to the possibility of a no-start situation, potentially resulting in a breakdown. It could also lead to further engine damage if left unfixed.


Some common symptoms of the P0010 code include a reduction in power, a decrease in fuel efficiency, and difficulty starting the engine. These symptoms can be inconvenient and may affect the vehicle's drivability, but they are typically not considered to be serious in and of themselves.

However, the underlying cause of a P0010 code may be more serious if left unaddressed.


For example, if the camshaft position actuator is faulty or damaged, it may cause the engine to operate poorly or inefficiently, which can lead to further damage or wear on the engine and other systems and components.


Similarly, if the actuator control wiring harness is damaged or disconnected, it may cause the engine to malfunction or fail altogether.

In general, it is important to diagnose and repair the issue causing the P0010 code as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to the vehicle's systems and components.


Potential Causes

There are several potential causes of the P0010 fault code, which is triggered when there is an issue with the engine's camshaft position actuator circuit.


Some of the most common causes include the following.


  • Faulty camshaft position actuator: The camshaft position actuator is a mechanical or electromechanical device that is responsible for controlling the timing of the engine's valves. If the actuator is faulty or damaged, it may malfunction and trigger the P0010 code.

  • Damaged or disconnected actuator control wiring harness: The actuator control wiring harness is responsible for providing power and communication to the camshaft position actuator. If the wiring harness is damaged or disconnected, it may cause the P0010 code to be stored in the OBD system.

  • Malfunctioning powertrain control module (PCM): The PCM is the vehicle's main computer, and it is responsible for controlling the engine and transmission. If the PCM is malfunctioning, it may cause the P0010 code to be stored in the OBD system.

  • Faulty VVT control solenoid valve: This causes improper opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves.

  • Damaged wiring: Damaged, frayed, corroded, or loose wiring could all be causes of a P0010 code.

  • Contaminated oil in the engine: Oil with contaminates or that hasn't been replaced can cause a camshaft position actuator fault code.

  • Malfunctioning crankshaft position sensor: The camshaft position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor work together to keep the engine in sync, if either one fails it can result in the other sensor not working properly.


Other potential causes of the P0010 code include a low level of engine oil or a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor. It is important to diagnose and repair the underlying cause of the P0010 code in order to prevent further damage to the vehicle's systems and components.


Signs & Symptoms of a P0010 Code

The P0010 fault code is triggered when there is an issue with the engine's camshaft position actuator circuit, which can affect the engine's performance and efficiency.


Some common symptoms of the P0010 code include the following.


  • Check engine light: This is one of the most obvious symptoms associated with a P0010 fault code. Typically the cars check engine light will illuminate.

  • Reduction in power: If the camshaft position actuator is malfunctioning or not functioning properly, it may cause a reduction in the engine's power output. This can make the vehicle feel less responsive and accelerate more slowly.

  • Decrease in fuel efficiency: The camshaft position actuator plays a role in controlling the engine's combustion process, and if it is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to consume more fuel than normal. This can result in a decrease in fuel efficiency and an increase in fuel consumption.

  • Difficulty starting the engine: If the camshaft position actuator is not functioning properly, it may cause the engine to have difficulty starting or to fail to start altogether.


You may also notice:

  • Rattling / knocking sounds

  • The engine running rough

  • A poor engine idle


In addition to these symptoms, the P0010 code may also be accompanied by warning lights or symbols on the vehicle's dashboard or instrument panel, such as the check engine light or a message indicating a problem with the camshaft position actuator circuit.


How Is the P0010 Fault Code Diagnosed and Repaired?

If the P0010 fault code is stored in a vehicle's on-board diagnostic (OBD) system, it is important to diagnose and repair the issue as soon as possible in order to maintain the vehicle's performance and efficiency.


  • Try replacing the oil and filling the oil up to the correct level.

  • Disconnect the negative (ground) terminal of the battery and wait 15-30 minutes before reconnecting the terminal.

  • If that doesn't work, try cleaning the camshaft position actuator.


The following are some steps that a mechanic or technician may take to diagnose the issue causing the P0010 code.


  1. Use a diagnostic tool to read and interpret the P0010 code: Using a diagnostic tool, such as an OBD scanner, to read and interpret the P0010 code can help identify the underlying cause of the problem.

  2. Inspect the camshaft position actuator: The camshaft position actuator is a mechanical or electromechanical device that is responsible for controlling the timing of the engine's valves. If the actuator is faulty or damaged, it may malfunction and trigger the P0010 code. Inspecting the actuator and check for any visible signs of damage or wear is a good starting point.

  3. Inspect the actuator control wiring harness: The actuator control wiring harness is responsible for providing power and communication to the camshaft position actuator. If the wiring harness is damaged or disconnected, it may cause the P0010 code to be stored in the OBD system. Inspect the wiring harness for any visible signs of damage or wear and te