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Code P0013. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Solution

The P0013 code refers to a problem with the variable valve timing (VVT) system. Variable valve timing allows the camshaft to adjust itself to the required setting when moving.

This process improves fuel management and efficient performance. But if it appears the code P0013means that something in the system is failing, causing certain symptoms detectable for the driver.

Code P0013

VVT System Operation

Car engines come with variable valve timing (VVT) as part of their components.

A perfectly operational vehicle cannot run without an engine that has all of its features intact, but when the opposite occurs, then the P0013 code may be present.

The P0013 code Sets if there is a timing problem in the VVT ​​system. VVT systems rely on proper oil pressure generated by proper oil level and viscosity.

The ECM determines the proper camshaft angle and commands a shift based on driving conditions and requirements.

Engine oil pressure adjusts camshaft timing as well as facilitating variable valve timing. As a result, the vehicle has an aggressive cam profile as long as its engine is under a more docile profile.

This also happens when carrying a heavy load while cruising for improved fuel travel distance.

This process is monitored by a comprehensive component monitor (CCM) that involves voltage changes. When the P0013 code is indicated, it shows that the electrical circuit that controls the variable valve/cam timing system is defective.

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What is Code P0013?

P0013 is a generic code that indicates an open or short electrical circuit detected in the VVT ​​or VCT system. It is available on vehicles with a variable timing system that regulates the timing of the intake and exhaust valves.

In some car models, the camshaft position actuator helps change the camshaft relative to the crankshaft angle.

A control module sends signals to the actuator solenoid, which controls the amount of engine oil that flows to the actuator. When there is a problem with the CMP actuator solenoid, code P0013 is indicated.

What Are the Symptoms of Code P0013?

The camshaft actuator solenoid valve control circuit may be in danger if you neglect the symptoms of this fault.

You can’t risk damaging part of your car’s engine. So always pay attention to these P0013 code symptoms:

  • High fuel consumption.
  • Reduced fuel consumption in case of an open or shorted OCV.
  • The engine may have difficulty starting.
  • Low engine power.
  • Irregular idle.
  • Difficult start.
  • Engine hesitation.
  • The Check Engine light comes on.

You should keep in mind that you should not expect similar symptoms every time. They are likely to change as the timing position of the camshaft changes when its progress is stopped.

However, whether you encounter code P0013 or P0014, be sure to check your camshaft timing.

What Are The Causes Of Code P0013?

Although the code P0013 It is generic, it has different labels for each brand of car, although all pointing out the same problem. Some common causes for the P0013 code include:

  • Low oil pressure. The car needs a constant flow of oil with the right pressure for the VVT ​​system to work smoothly.
  • Dirty engine oil. High viscosity and contaminated engine oil influence the pressure which affects the operation of the VVT ​​system.
  • A faulty or clogged oil control valve.
  • Actuator solenoid open or shorted.
  • Poor electrical connection at the actuator solenoid.
  • Defective actuator solenoid.
  • Defective ECM.

How to Diagnose and Fix Code P0013

The wiring and connections to the camshaft oil control valve should be checked for damaged wires or loose connections. The diagnostic information of the error code should be noted to see the circumstances that triggered the error.

The code should then be cleared and the engine restarted to see if the error returns. The proper resistance for the OCV should be between 6.9 and 7.9 ohms, so this should be checked to see if there are any problems.

Shorted ECM wiring can also cause problems, so it should be inspected. If, after performing these checks, the error returns, precise tests must be carried out to find the exact cause of the P0013 error code.

Visual inspections should always be carried out before carrying out any repair work, including simple checks such as ensuring that all connectors are connected correctly.

The engine oil should be inspected to ensure that sufficient oil is circulating and that the viscosity matches the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Below, we show you the details of the steps

Tools to use

  • An OBD2 scanner.
  • A digital voltmeter or ohmmeter
  • Service manual.
  • Manual tools.

1. Scan your car

  1. Connect the scanner to your car to check the P0013 code.
  2. Then clear the code and restart the car to check if the code comes back.
  3. If the code returns, you should continue diagnostics, starting with a visual inspection of the system.
  4. If the code takes a while to return, your car may have an intermittent condition.
  5. In extreme cases, intermittent failure can be difficult to diagnose. However, to fix it, disconnect the connector from the affected sensor and check the reference voltage and ground (key on/engine off).
  6. If you cannot detect voltage or ground, disconnect the connector and test the circuits for continuity and resistance.

2. Check the system control valve

  1. Start by carefully removing the engine compartment to access the actuator solenoid.
  2. Then check if there is an open or short wiring problem coming from/to the oil control valve and repair it.
  3. Always clear and retest the system for the code after each repair. This will help you determine if the problem is fixed or not.

3. Check the condition of the oil

  1. Check the viscosity and level of the engine oil. Make sure you are using the right oil for your engine and that it is in the best condition.
  2. If the viscosity is not correct or the oil is dirty or old, you should change the oil. Remember to also change the oil filter.
  3. As usual, clear the codes and test drive to see if the code returns.

4. Check the OCV valve

  1. The OCV valve can become stuck or open, which is usually due to an internal short circuit.
  2. To diagnose this, you should use a digital multimeter to measure the resistance of the camshaft oil control terminal.
  3. Typically, results should range between 6.9 and 7.9 ohms. If the readings do not match, the OCV valve is defective and should be replaced.

5. Check the PCM

  1. If everything is normal, but you still receive the code, this may mean that the PCM is faulty.
  2. PCM failure is very rare and replacement will require reprogramming.
  3. You may even need to replace the camshaft and crankshaft sensor while replacing the PCM.

Common Errors When Diagnosing Code P0013

Common errors include:

  • Failure to perform a visual check to see some common problems and repair them.
  • Replace sensors or other components before testing.
  • Do not delete and retest code after a repair before other activities.
  • Failure to follow testing procedures step by step.

If you make a mistake in the diagnosis, you will end up changing elements and parts of the system that are in good condition, and you will leave the component damaged, without repairing the fault.

This results in a loss of money, time, and effort. The key is to make a correct diagnosis to reach the fault safely and quickly.

How to Repair Code P0013

As with most OBD2 codes, the first step should be to reset fault code and perform a road test. This will help detect precisely what circumstances trigger the code.

Any defective wiring or connectors should be replaced as necessary, particularly those for the exhaust camshaft oil control valve for bank 1.

More extensive repair work may involve replacing the camshaft oil control valve for the bank 1 exhaust camshaft or replacing the ECM, but this will usually be a last resort.

The P0013 error code is triggered when the OCV connector has become corroded and acts as an open circuit, or when there is actually an open circuit in the OCV.

There may also be an internal short circuit, which can stop the engine by placing the camshaft in an advanced position. The repair will always depend on the results of the diagnosis.

How Serious Is Code P0013?

The P0013 code It is moderately serious and does not need immediate attention. However, if left unattended, engine fuel consumption can worsen or cause carbon buildup on valve components.

There is also a chance that the engine will run rough or even stall, which could end up leaving you on the road.

If you choose to continue driving with a P0013 error code logged, you will experience the following;

Rough engine idling and hesitation. You will get high fuel consumption and carbon buildup in the valve compartment. Driving with this problem for a long period of time can cause the PCM to malfunction.

We do not recommend that you drive in these conditions.

Tips to Avoid Code P0013

To avoid the P0013 fault code, you should perform a regular checkup and change your vehicle’s oil frequently.

You should only use clean oil with the correct viscosity as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, check the oil level and make sure it is at the correct level.

This will ensure a constant flow at the correct pressure to operate the system.


You may also be interested in Code P0014. Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Repair

The P0013 code It’s not healthy for your car. It means pending risks that can worsen if they are not resolved in time. When variable valve timing begins to malfunction, mechanical failure can undoubtedly occur in the engine.

Be sure to check your car whenever you notice unusual engine and oil level symptoms. Repair the code P0013 as soon as you verify its presence in your car.

If you want to know other articles similar to Code P0013. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and How to Repair You can visit the category Fault Codes.


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