P0022 Code (Symptoms, Causes, and How to Fix)

If a P0022 fault code is the cause of your check engine light coming on, it can be both frustrating and puzzling. This diagnostic trouble code (DTC) suggests that there is an issue with the camshaft timing that could affecting your vehicle’s performance.

Keep reading to learn the common causes of P0022, how to properly fix it, and whether or not you can continue driving until you have the time or money to resolve it.

p0022 code

What Does Code P0022 Mean?

OBD-II Trouble Code P0022 Description
"A" Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 2)

Diagnostic fault code P0022 is indicative of overly-retarded or delayed timing on an engine’s bank 2, intake camshaft, in relation to the affected engine’s crankshaft.

This particular fault code applies almost exclusively to engines featuring variable valve timing (VVT). DTC P0022 is generally used to signify a problem with an engine’s ability to phase its respective camshafts as desired.

To better understand this principle, you must first familiarize yourself with the idea of VVT technology. Engines featuring such technology possess the ability to index or phase its camshafts, in relation to its crankshaft, which is static in nature.

This “phasing” takes place when called for by a vehicle’s ECM or PCM. The process of indexing or phasing an engine’s camshafts involves the actuation of camshaft phasers, via solenoid engagement.

The development of VVT technology is rather recent, in relation to other developments in internal combustion engine technology. The implementation of this technology grew out of a call for increased combustion efficiency across the automotive industry. In turn, VVT technology made it possible to vary engine timing on the fly, thereby reducing emissions output.

In the case of diagnostic fault code P0022, the vehicle’s main computer has determined that the engine’s bank 2 camshaft position is retarded beyond the degree acceptable, as specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer. The computer relies upon feedback from an engine’s camshaft and crankshaft position sensors to make this determination.

Related Codes: P0008, P0010, P0011, P0013, P0016, P0021

Symptoms of Code P0022

engine stall

Diagnostic fault code P0022 is often accompanied by a number of secondary symptoms, several of which directly affect a vehicle’s driveability. For those in the know, these symptoms will serve as potential clues, allowing one to determine the cause of such hardships.

The following are several of the most common symptoms associated with DTC P0022.

  • Illuminated check engine light
  • Stalling at idle
  • Starting-related difficulties 
  • Erratic or otherwise irregular idle
  • Increased fuel consumption 

Causes of Code P0022

oil smells like gas

Diagnostic fault code P0022 can be caused by a number of underlying conditions, some of which tend to be more difficult to pinpoint than others. Those familiar with such potential causes often prove well adept at diagnosing issues of this type.

The following are several of the most common causes of DTC P0022.

Is Code P0022 Serious?

Diagnostic fault code P0022 is generally considered to be quite serious in nature, and serves as an immediate cause for concern. This stems from not only from the numerous driveability-related symptoms that often accompany DTC P0022 but also the potential underlying conditions that such a fault can allude to, such as timing chain and/or tensioner fatigue.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for a vehicle’s engine to begin stalling when timing-based issues are experienced. Furthermore, you might find that your vehicle idles erratically, or fails to start at all. This alone can be quite troubling, as these conditions present the possibility of becoming stuck roadside, with little available recourse.

Regardless of the specifics, a P0022 code signals that swift diagnosis and repair should be a top priority. Allowing camshaft timing issues to persist unchecked will likely cause cascading damage and leave you stranded mid-commute. While savvy do-it-yourselfers can attempt their own repairs, most drivers should schedule a service appointment at the first available opportunity.

Entrusting the repair to trained technicians mitigates delays from trial-and-error fixes and ensures certified equipment is used to comprehensively verify the exact fault and return your vehicle to reliable operation.

How to Fix Code P0022

variable valve timing engine

The following steps can be used to assist in diagnosing and repairing the root cause of your vehicle’s P0022 fault code. As always, factory-specific service literature should be consulted for your particular make and model of vehicle, before attempting any such repairs.

#1 – Scan For Additional DTCs

Before beginning the diagnostic process, check for the presence of additional fault codes. Any such fault codes that are present, should be thoroughly diagnosed before proceeding.

#2 – Inspect Engine Oil

As is the case with any VVT-related issue, you should begin the diagnostic process by carefully inspecting the affected engine’s oil to ensure that it is clean and filled to capacity.

If this fault was generated shortly after an oil change was conducted, drain the engine’s crankcase, before refilling it to capacity. This rules out any issues related to the use of oil of the wrong viscosity.

#3 – Perform Visual Inspection

Next, one should inspect, to the degree possible, any VVT-related components. This includes the camshaft oil control valve and all related wiring. If damage to any of these components is observed, replacement will be necessary.

#4 – Inspect Crankshaft/Camshaft Position Sensors

Inspect an engine’s camshaft and crankshaft position sensors for signs of damage. The same should also be done for all related wiring. Any damage that is observed should be repaired before proceeding.

#5 – Analyze Freeze Frame Data

Next, study the freeze frame data stored for DTC P0022, using a quality scan tool. Look for any anomalies within this data, such as irrational camshaft position feedback or other erroneous values. Any irregularities should be recorded for further assessment.

#6 – Use Manufacturer-Specific Pinpoint Tests

Due to variances in VVT systems among automakers, diagnosing complex VVT issues often requires the use of specific pinpoint tests specified by the affected vehicle’s manufacturer. These tests can be found in the maintenance and repair manual for your particular model of vehicle.

Josh Boyd

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