P0014 is a relatively common trouble code for vehicles that have variable valve timing (VVT). This includes the Nissan Altima
The VVT adjusts the position of the camshafts to maximize the engine’s combustion efficiency. P0014 means the camshaft position is too advanced from where it should be relative to normal operating specifications.
Before doing anything, check your Altima’s oil level. Low oil is the number one cause of P0014.
P0014 Quick Reference Table
|“B” Timing of overshot camshaft position or system performance (Bank 1)
|Stalling, MPG dropping, rattling, rough engine, check engine light
|Low oil, incorrect oil viscosity, defective camshaft actuator, skipped timing chain or belt
|Risk of breakdown
|Normally not, but in rare cases, the underlying causes can damage the engine. Do not drive with P0014.
|Repair cost (parts only)
|Usually well under 200
Nissan Altima: P0014 Definition
The technical definition of P0014 for the Altima is “B” Overadvanced Camshaft Position Timing or System Performance (Bank 1). Here it is separated into its three main pieces, with a quick explanation of each one.
camshaft position “B”
VVT-equipped engines use camshaft actuators (often called phasers) to adjust the position of the cam. Adjusting camshaft timing allows an engine to have a better power curve and better fuel economy (the automotive equivalent of having your cake and eating it too).
Depending on the vehicle, camshaft “B” is the exhaust one, right or rear
Excessive or advanced system performance
VVT allows an engine to act as if it has different camshaft profiles at different RPMs; This is great for both power and fuel economy. You can advance or delay the timing at will. Sometimes the system gets stuck in a position that is too advanced.
When this occurs, your Nissan Altima will store the P0014 fault code.
Valve timing control methods can be very different on each engine, even from the same manufacturer, but the fundamentals are the same.
Camshaft actuators or phasers change the length of time the intake and exhaust valves remain open. They are hydraulic, meaning they use the vehicle’s engine oil to change the timing of the intake valves.
Some simpler systems change the cam timing, while others change the cam profiles entirely. Here is a detailed article on how exactly the VVT works if you are interested in learning more.
Bank one is the side of the engine with the first cylinder. If your Altima has an inline engine, you don’t have to worry about this.
But, if your Altima has a “V” engine, it will have two cylinder heads. You will have to look for which side is bank 1. It is usually the cylinder head that is closest to the front of the engine.
Symptoms of P0014
When the cam timing is out of adjustment, it can cause some engine problems. Here are some of the typical symptoms of P0014 on the Nissan Altima:
- Poor idle quality– If the camshaft actuator “B” fails when it is too advanced, the idle will be rough.
- rattling sound– You may hear the camshaft actuator rattling at idle as it is not where it is supposed to be. A rattling sound may also indicate that the timing chain has skipped a tooth.
- Reduction in gasoline consumption– Now that your Altima’s engine can no longer adjust its cam timing on the fly, it will no longer be able to produce optimal combustion, resulting in poor economy.
- Power loss– Your truck’s engine will not be able to produce as much power; This is because the cam profile will not allow it to run a performance power curve when you need more power.
- engine maintenance light– Most of the time, you will be able to feel or see one of the above symptoms, but if you can’t, the check engine light will come on and let you know something is wrong.
- Difficulty starting– With the timing too far forward, it will not be easy to start the engine, especially when it is hot.
Nissan Altima P0014: Causes + How to Fix
These are the most common causes of the P0014 code on your Nissan Altima. Start by checking your car’s oil level.
Here are the most common causes, presented in order from easiest to check to most difficult:
The first thing you should do is check the oil in your Altima. There are three ways it can cause P0014:
- low oil: The most common cause of P0014 is low oil level. The oil level must be low enough to reduce engine oil pressure (dangerously low). If the oil flow decreases enough to throw the p0014 code, it is likely low enough to stall the engine.
- Dirty oil: If the oil and/or oil filter has not been changed in a long time, it can sometimes cause the camshaft actuator to become clogged with sludge.
- Incorrect viscosity (Too Thick or Too Thin): If you recently had your oil changed and your Altima now has this code, change the oil again and verify that the shop used the correct oil.
Defective exhaust camshaft position actuator or solenoid
The actuator solenoid can go bad over time. You certainly don’t want to start here as, many times, it will be something else that causes P0014 to appear. Here is a good video explaining how to check the camshaft actuator with a scan tool:
If your Altima’s camshaft or camshafts are no longer properly synchronized with the crankshaft (for example, if the timing chain has skipped a tooth), the engine timing may be off enough to cause P0014 to appear (probably also P0011), even if it is not the fault of the actuator
The wiring from the solenoid to the ECM may become damaged or broken, this will trigger the OBDII code P0014. The wiring harness to the intake camshaft position sensor may also develop a poor connection – YouTube How to find a short or open circuit quickly and easily.
Defective ECM (very unlikely)
If your Altima’s engine controller goes bad, it may throw this code along with other problems. This is how you can tell if you have a faulty ECM Autoblog: Symptoms of a faulty ECM.