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P0011 Volkswagen Fault Code: Intake Camshaft Position Timing—Over-Advanced (Bank 1)
Receiving a P0011 VW code with an OBD-II scanner on your Volkswagen will read “Intake Camshaft Position Timing—Over-Advanced” or “Camshaft Position A – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance” . When this fault code pops with a Check Engine Light (CEL), it is typically one of two things: dirty oil that has the wrong viscosity or a failing Variable Valve Timing (VVT) solenoid. This is common to occur on VW/Audi engines that have Variable Valve Timing (VVT). When receiving a P0011 fault code, it means that the intake camshaft in Bank 1 is more advanced than the ECM has commanded it to be. To put it in simple terms, the angle of the camshaft is above the ECUs set limit causing engine timing to be off.
What is VVT? VVT or Variable Valve Timing is a type of engine valve timing that has become popular over the last two decades in VWs and Audis. Engine valve timing is one of the most crucial processes of an internal combustion engine. Essentially it is the timing of the engine’s valves. The intake and exhaust valves act as the vehicle’s nose, ie where the engine breathes. If the timing of those valves happen to off in the slightest, whether it be over or under what the ECU has set, the engine will function poorly.
Can you still drive with a P0011 VW Fault Code? The short answer is yes, but not for an extended period of time. We would not advise driving on this code for more than a week without it getting it checked out. Depending on the cause of failure, if ignored could cause catastrophic engine damage resulting in expensive repairs.
P0011 VW Symptoms
- Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminating
- Rough starts
- Rough idle
- Engine stalls
- Engine knocking or rattling
- Reduced fuel economy
- Failed emissions
Causes of P0011 Engine Code for Volkswagen
- Engine oil is dirty or low
- Engine oil is the wrong viscosity
- Failing VVT solenoid
- VVT solenoid is stuck or clogged
- Camshaft phaser/adjuster/actuator stuck in the advanced position
How to Repair a Volkswagen with a P0011 Engine Code
Before going into the fixes, we strongly suggest owning an OBD-II scanner in case your engine pops a CEL. It could save you hundreds to even thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs. When your Volkswagen or Audi gets this code, it is relatively difficult to diagnose if the first two fixes don’t remove the fault code. If you were to end up taking your vehicle to the shop to solve this fault code, you could be looking at costs anywhere from $200-$500. The wide range depends on what is wrong with the engine. It can be an easy fix, such as an oil change, or it can be more difficult, such as replacing the camshaft actuator.
Change the Engine’s Oil and Oil Filter
One of the most common solutions to a P0011 fault code is simply getting an oil change. If you happen to be outside of the maintenance intervals VW or Audi has drawn out, your engine could have dirty, low, or the wrong viscous oil. A simple oil and filter change, with the recommended VW/Audi oil, will replace all of the bad oil and hopefully remove the code. An average oil change for a Volkswagen is $25 – $70, depending on how much oil your vehicle requires and if you choose to go conventional or synthetic. While an average Audi oil change can range from $140 – $170.
Clean or Replace the VVT Solenoid or Oil Control Valve
If the oil and filter change doesn’t do the trick, the next most likely cause is the VVT solenoid, or often referred to as the oil control valve, being dirty or failing. A VVT solenoid is a component of the VVT system that controls oil flow and, when it is functioning properly, it improves performance and fuel efficiency. Since the solenoid controls oil flow, it can have a tendency to get gunked up if oil changes are not done regularly. A simple cleaning of the solenoid could resolve the P0011 code.
If not, then you will want to replace your VVT solenoid. Depending on what vehicle you have, Audi or Volkswagen, the cost of the part and the cost of labor can vary. Scrolling through many forums online it looks like the average Volkswagen VVT solenoid cost is ~$250. The average cost of replacing an Audi VVT solenoid is ~$600.
Here is a video of someone cleaning and replacing the VVT Solenoid on a Volkswagen Jetta SE.
Replace the Camshaft Actuator
Lastly, if none of the above works, you could replace the camshaft actuator, or commonly referred to as a cam adjuster. A camshaft actuator is mounted on the camshaft gear that advances or retards the timing of when the camshaft opens or closes the intake/exhaust valves. Depending on what VW or Audi you have it can cost anywhere from $300 – $1,000.
P0011 VW/Audi Conclusion
To sum it up, a P0011 engine code for your Volkswagen or Audi is something that needs to be addressed ASAP. Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific engine this fault code occurs on. A short version is to change the oil and filter, clean or replace the VVT solenoid, or replace the camshaft actuator. This should alleviate the P0011 VW fault code. If you are looking to read up on more Volkswagen or Audi fault codes, here is an article on P2015 VW fault code.