Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

P0014 cam phaser trouble code

Fix a P0014 cam phaser code

P0014 cam phaser trouble code can be caused by dirty oil or sludge

The cam phaser shifts the timing of the camshaft to provide variable valve timing.

camshaft phaser

New cam phaser

If you get a P0014 cam phaser trouble code it’s because the computer is detecting a difference between the commanded advance/retard and the actual advance/retard.

The first thing to check is the OIL. You heard me. Cam phasers are solenoids that pulse oil pressure to a hydraulic actuator to advance or retard the timing. Many P0014 cam phaser trouble codes are caused by dirty oil or oil sludge clogging the filter screen in the cam phaser. Or, the engine is running with an oil that’s a higher or lower viscosity than the factory recommendation.

P0014, clogged oil screen on cam phaser

Clogged oil screen in cam phaser

If the vehicle has been well maintained using the proper oil, the filter screen should be completely clean. If you remove the phaser and find a clogged screen, you can clean it with brake cleaner. But don’t think you’re out of the woods. Chances are it will clog again unless you immediately change the oil and filter and repeat several more times. Do NOT perform an engine flush as this can dislodge even more buildup!

A P0014 cam phaser trouble code will also cause misfire codes. You would think that the most common misfire code would be P0300 for random misfires. That’s common, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes it only takes one cylinder to exceed the misfire threshold. In that case you’ll get a specific cylinder misfire code. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve only got a problem in one cylinder. If your scan tool is capable of reading Mode $06 data, check the history misfires for each cylinder. In many cases you’ll see that every cylinder is accumulating misfire codes. However, since the PCM is programmed to only set a code when misfires exceed a certain threshold in a certain time period, the other cylinders may simply have not exceeded the threshold.

Finally, another tell-tale sign of a failing cam phaser is oil in the electrical connector.

cam phaser

Oil in the electrical connector of cam phaser

Remember, the cam phaser is exposed to full line oil pressure and is pulsing the solenoid based on duty cycle to move the cam actuator. If the cam phaser seal fails, oil can seep backwards into the electrical connector. If you see oil, don’t clean the cam phaser. Replace it!

©, 2015 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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