A vehicle’s variable valve timing (VVT) system improves engine performance and fuel efficiency. It regulates the opening and closing of the exhaust and intake valves, in turn, controlling the fuel-air mix.
This control allows for more power, better fuel economy, or a balanced approach depending on the demand on the engine at any given time.
The P0014 OBD-II generic code is only applicable to vehicles with variable valve timing and refers to a problem with camshaft timing, specifically the exhaust camshaft in bank 1, position “B.” This component is responsible for controlling the valves which release engine carbon emissions.
What Does Code P0014 Mean?
First, the code is telling you where the error is. “Bank 1” is the area of the engine containing the first cylinder. Position “B” is an exhaust camshaft located either in the rear or right of the engine from the perspective of the driver, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
Next, the error code is stating that this camshaft is over-advancing, meaning it is exceeding a threshold set by the ECM (engine control module) while advancing or retarding the camshaft timing.
Symptoms of Code P0014
Wondering how to identify when the P0014 error code occurs? Spotting the problem early reduces the amount of damage to your vehicle. Here are some of the key signs you need to watch out for:
- Difficulty starting: Does your car take a while to start? That’s commonly related to a camshaft problem. Listen for clicking noises as you turn the key. The vehicle may also start and then die. If the problem isn’t fixed, eventually, the car might not start at all.
- Stalling: Similar to issues starting, the car may have trouble idling or stall at random, especially at lower speeds.
- Reduced fuel mileage: Large decreases in fuel mileage might be a result of the P0014 code. The decrease often occurs overnight rather than a gradual decline, making it easier to notice.
- Noise and vibration: A camshaft problem can also lead to a rough ride as the vehicle receives an improper fuel-air mix. You may notice your vehicle shaking, more exhaust smoke, or the engine running louder than usual.
Causes of Code P0014
There are a few common causes of P0014 code that could be the source of the problem, including:
- The engine oil viscosity is too high and blocking passage to the camshaft. The flow of oil to the engine must be constant, which enables it to run smoothly.
- The camshaft might be lodged in a higher position, but it was instructed by the ECM to be lowered. The ECM needs to have full control of the camshaft for it to function correctly.
- The camshaft phaser (aka camshaft actuator) and bank 1 oil control solenoid need to be free to move as required. However, when they become stuck, it leads to the P0014 code.
Is Code P0014 Serious?
When a vehicle doesn’t start properly or stay running, that is a serious problem for most people. However, whether it is a serious problem to fix depends on what generated the code in the first place.
A faulty timing chain can cause serious engine damage. Continuing to drive your car can lead to further damage and a higher repair bill. Ideally, you want to drive to your nearest mechanic to get the problem looked at as soon as possible.
Are the symptoms mild? Are you considering ignoring the problem? If so, you’ll likely fail your annual emission test, which means you’ll still need to fix it later. It makes sense to get the repair out of the way sooner rather than later when you may have to pay more.
How to Fix
There are a couple of strategies you can use to fix a code P0014 error. You may need to change the oil and filter, which is usually a simple DIY job if you have the experience. Alternatively, it is an inexpensive maintenance service at most shops.
You may still need to reset the fault code to get your check engine light to go out. If the problem isn’t fixed, the light will come back on.
If it does, you may need to replace the camshaft. The difficulty of this procedure depends on how easily accessible the camshaft is. Mechanics will charge more depending how difficult it is to access and complete the process.
Finally, the phasers may need to be repaired or replaced. The cost and time to complete the repair vary depending on how much damage the components have suffered.
Overall, the P0014 code is of medium severity and deserves your attention before you do any long-distance driving. Pay attention to the symptoms and get the problem fixed early to avoid further complications.