Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

P0013 or P0014 Equinox after an oil change

Diagnose and fix P0013 or P0014 Equinox after an oil change

Trouble codes P0013 or P0014 Equinox after an oil change refer to components of the variable valve timing mechanism. To vary camshaft timing, GM uses a solenoid to pulse oil pressure to the VVT. It determines the pulse rate based on engine temperature and desired speed and acceleration. But it assumes you’ve used the recommended oil viscosity. If you use the wrong viscosity, you screw up all the VVT actions, which can set the trouble codes. If you’re seeing P0013 or P0014 Equinox after an oil change was performed, double check to see if the shop installed the recommended oil viscosity. If they used the right oil, then proceed to the next step.

P0013- Exhaust camshaft position actuator
P0014- Exhaust camshaft position performance

Check the actuator screens

Neglecting oil changes can cause sludge buildup on the screens in the solenoid actuators and that sludge can restrict oil flow, causing trouble codes P0013 or P0014. A P0013 trouble code can cause the P0014 code to appear, so direct your attention to the P0013 code first. Remove the exhaust solenoids and check for sludge or metal particles. If you see sludge, you’ve got problems. You can trying cleaning the screens or replacing the solenoid actuators, but your lack of oil changes probably also caused timing chain wear, which is NOT good.

varaiable valve actuator

Variable Valve Actuator

If you have access to a scan tool, check the data for the camshaft and crankshaft positions regarding desired versus actual settings. If they’re off, you’ve got a stretched timing chain or a bad timing chain tensioner. If they’re good, you can breathe a sigh of relief. In that case, change out the solenoid actuators. Check the wiring for signs of deterioration and replace the actuator pigtails if you see insulation damage or corrosion.

Equinox timing chain

timing chain tensionerExhaust actuators are known problems

GM’s actuators are known for internal shorts and opens and the wiring harness pigtails are also a high failure rate item.

If you have sludge on the screens

Do NOT get an engine flush; that can cause far more serious problems including catastrophic engine failure. Start changing your oil more often than the recommended intervals and use a high quality high mileage oil. High mileage oils contain more detergent than standard synthetic oil.

©, 2019 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat



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