October 1, 2023


Just Do Automotive

How Do You Reset Code P0012 on Ford F150?

6 min read

The P0012 code in Ford F150 says, “A” Camshaft Place – Timing Over-Retarded (Financial institution 1).” Which means that 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 also can 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 severe difficulty, 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 may trigger everlasting engine injury.

In a best-case situation, in case you nonetheless drive with the P0012 code, your truck can have lowered gasoline effectivity, and the engine will make loud noises when accelerating.

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

Methods 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 principle purpose for the P0012 code is a malfunctioning VCT solenoid. However the purpose for the malfunction may very well be completely different. For instance-

  • Low, soiled, or unsuitable 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 gentle on
  • Arduous beginning
  • Stalling
  • Tough idling
  • Loud engine noise when driving
  • Low gasoline effectivity
  • Low engine efficiency

Resolution 1: Change the Oil

The very first thing you could test is the engine oil. When you’re utilizing the unsuitable or contaminated oil, it may possibly trigger the VCT solenoid to malfunction.

Ford recommends utilizing 5W-30 grade engine oil within the F150. Nonetheless, in order for you 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 could change the oil ASAP, which ought to remedy 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 Exchange the VCT Solenoid

Listed below are the steps to test the VCT solenoid-

  • Find the VCT solenoids: The VCT solenoids are normally positioned behind the oil filler tube and beneath the ability steering. However check with the proprietor’s handbook for affirmation. 
  • Disconnect the battery: Disconnect the adverse cable of the battery after which the optimistic one. 
  • Take away the VCT solenoids: Take away the VCT solenoid on the driving force facet, because the code signifies an issue solely with that one. However you will need to take away the air consumption pipe and energy steering reservoir to entry that.
  • Take a look at 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 must be between 5-15 ohms. 

If the VCT solenoid is just not working, exchange it with a brand new one.

Supply: Ford

Resolution 3: Examine Continuity within the Wiring Harness

If the solenoids are okay, you will 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 exchange the wiring harness as nicely.

Resolution 4: Examine the Camshaft Phaser

Subsequent, test the camshaft phaser. Examine the camshaft phaser for corrosion or injury. 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.

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

An incorrect set up might be indicated by the phaser indicator’s odd finger on the best facet.

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

If that is so, you might have to disassemble the cam phaser to establish the underlying difficulty.

Here’s a video displaying the disassembly course of: 

3.5L EcoBoost DIY Cam Phaser Disassembly & Replacement

A corroded cam phaser might 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 have to exchange it.

Resolution 5: Examine the Timing Belt or Chain

If the cam phaser is just not 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 injury. Additionally, test the timing of the engine. This video could also be helpful for figuring out in case your automobile’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, exchange it.

Methods to Take Care of the VCT Solenoid in Ford F150

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

  • Use the proper engine oil: Utilizing the unsuitable engine oil can injury 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 components: If you could exchange the cam phaser, timing belt/chain, or solenoids, all the time attempt to use OEM components as a substitute of aftermarket ones.

Ultimate ideas

So, that’s all concerning the code P0012 in Ford F150. This can be a fairly severe difficulty that requires instant consideration, so do attempt to repair the issue as shortly as attainable.

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

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