September 29, 2023

The P0012 code in Ford F150 says, “A” Camshaft Place – Timing Over-Retarded (Financial institution 1).” Which means the camshaft place sensor detects that the engine’s timing is over-retarded on financial institution 1. Primarily, this code will get triggered by a defective VCT solenoid.

As well as, a broken cam phaser, defective wirings and a foul timing belt may set off this. With this code, you’ll expertise a lower in your truck’s efficiency.

Within the upcoming sections, we’ll focus on resetting the P0012 code on the Ford F150

Supply: Car Treatments

What does the Code P0012 imply?

The P0012 code on Ford F150 means the camshaft has an issue with the VCT solenoid.

The camshaft place sensor has detected that the camshaft timing is off in relation to the crankshaft timing. Meaning the camshaft is failing to open and shut on the applicable time.

Though a defective VCT solenoid is the principle trigger for triggering the P0012 code, different causes exist, like a defective camshaft place sensor or a defective ECM. However these are extremely unlikely and uncommon circumstances.

How Severe is the P0012 Code?

The error code P0012 is a really critical situation, and you must attempt to repair the issue as quickly as attainable. Because the Ford F150 has an interference engine, relying on the mistiming, the valves, and pistons can collide with one another. This can trigger everlasting engine harm.

In a best-case situation, if you happen to nonetheless drive with the P0012 code, your truck may have lowered gas effectivity, and the engine will make loud noises when accelerating.

This can make driving an disagreeable expertise for you and for the folks round you.

The way to Diagnose and Repair the Code P0012 on Ford F150?

Now that you simply get the gist of the issue, let’s dig deep to search out the options.


The primary cause for the P0012 code is a malfunctioning VCT solenoid. However the cause for the malfunction could possibly be totally different. For instance-

  • Low, soiled, or flawed engine oil.
  • Defective VCT solenoids
  • VCT solenoid circuit open or shorted
  • Camshaft phaser broken
  • Worn or cracked timing belt or chain 


P0012 Ford F150 signs are talked about below-

  • Examine the engine mild on
  • Laborious beginning
  • Stalling
  • Tough idling
  • Loud engine noise when driving
  • Low gas effectivity
  • Low engine efficiency

Resolution 1: Change the Oil

The very first thing you must test is the engine oil. In the event you’re utilizing the flawed or contaminated oil, it might trigger the VCT solenoid to malfunction.

Ford recommends utilizing 5W-30 grade engine oil within the F150. Nonetheless, if you need the smoothest engine operation, you must use a full artificial 5W-30. For the engine oil high quality, here’s a video to test the quality-

What Does Bad Car Engine Oil Look Like? Good Oil vs Bad Oil

Now, in case your engine oil is soiled or contaminated, you must change the oil ASAP, which ought to resolve the issue. Try this video for guidance-

F-150 Oil Change: 2011-2016 3.5L EcoBoost

Nonetheless, if that doesn’t work, let’s transfer on to the subsequent resolution.

Resolution 2: Examine and Change the VCT Solenoid

Listed here are the steps to test the VCT solenoid-

  • Find the VCT solenoids: The VCT solenoids are normally situated behind the oil filler tube and beneath the ability steering. However consult with the proprietor’s handbook for affirmation. 
  • Disconnect the battery: Disconnect the damaging cable of the battery after which the constructive one. 
  • Take away the VCT solenoids: Take away the VCT solenoid on the driving force aspect, because the code signifies an issue solely with that one. However you need to take away the air consumption pipe and energy steering reservoir to entry that.
  • Check the solenoid: Join the solenoids to a 12v battery utilizing alligator clips. The solenoids ought to make a clicking noise after connecting to the battery. Additionally, test the resistance of the solenoid utilizing a multimeter. The resistance needs to be between 5-15 ohms. 

If the VCT solenoid just isn’t working, substitute it with a brand new one.

Supply: Ford

Resolution 3: Examine Continuity within the Wiring Harness

If the solenoids are okay, you need to test their respective wiring harnesses. Use a multimeter to test the continuity of the wiring harness. This ensures energy to the solenoids.

If the connector doesn’t have continuity, you’ll have to substitute the wiring harness as effectively.

Resolution 4: Examine the Camshaft Phaser

Subsequent, test the camshaft phaser. Examine the camshaft phaser for corrosion or harm. In that case, inspecting the VCT (variable camshaft timing) phaser indicator fingers on each the left and proper heads is advisable. The phaser ought to have a complete of 5 indicator fingers.

Underneath regular circumstances, the phaser sprocket ought to exhibit an “L” marking above its odd-numbered finger. 

An incorrect set up could be indicated by the phaser indicator’s odd finger on the proper aspect.

Conversely, the odd finger on the left aspect might point out particles lodged inside, resulting in inadequate rotation.

If so, it’s possible you’ll must disassemble the cam phaser to determine the underlying situation.

Here’s a video exhibiting the disassembly course of: 

3.5L EcoBoost DIY Cam Phaser Disassembly & Replacement

A corroded cam phaser could be cleaned utilizing baking soda and water. Unfold baking soda everywhere in the corrosion, then use a small quantity of water to make a paste.

Depart the paste on the cam phaser for half-hour, then wash it off. If the cam phaser is broken, you will want to interchange it.

Resolution 5: Examine the Timing Belt or Chain

If the cam phaser just isn’t the issue, a wrongly timed or broken timing belt/chain could also be the issue. The Ford F150s made after 2007 have a timing chain as a substitute of a belt.

Examine your timing belt or chain for harm. Additionally, test the timing of the engine. This video could also be helpful for figuring out in case your car’s timing is accurate-

Ford 5.4L 3v Engine Timing Walkthrough

Within the occasion of incorrect timing, re-time your engine. But when the timing belt or chain is broken, substitute it.

The way to Take Care of the VCT Solenoid in Ford F150

Common upkeep can forestall the P0012 code and preserve the VCT system wholesome in your Ford F150. Listed here are some tricks to preserve the VCT solenoids-

  • Use the proper engine oil: Utilizing the flawed engine oil can harm the VCT solenoids and cam phasers.
  • Change your engine oil: Change and replenish your engine oil each 7,500 to 10,000 miles in case your engine makes use of full artificial engine oil. Usually the rule of thumb is to vary engine oil each 3,000 miles. 
  • Use OEM elements: If you must substitute the cam phaser, timing belt/chain, or solenoids, at all times attempt to use OEM elements as a substitute of aftermarket ones.

Closing ideas

So, that’s all in regards to the code P0012 in Ford F150. This can be a fairly critical situation that requires fast consideration, so do attempt to repair the issue as shortly as attainable.

Nonetheless, if the prognosis is past your talent stage, contact an skilled or take your Ford F150 to a talented mechanic.