P0015 – Camshaft position (CMP) exhaust/right/rear, bank 1 -timing over -retarded

By Patrick (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2016-03-23
Red Seal Certified Mechanic

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P0015 Camshaft position (CMP) actuator, exhaust/right/rear, bank 1 -timing over -retarded Valve timing, engine mechanical fault, CMP actuator

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What Does Code P0015 Mean?

Camshaft is the shaft that controls your valves, crankshaft is the shaft that controls your piston. That being said, the two shafts need to be timed to a certain specification in order for the engine to run properly and smoothly. When this code is set, the ECM has detected the camshaft and crankshaft timing is off. They detect the camshafts position compared to your crankshaft position using camshaft position sensors and crankshaft position sensors. Timing over retarded means the camshaft timing is behindin relation to where it should be in relation to the crankshaft. Causing drivability issues among other things. The ECM aims for the target timing using VVT (variable valve timing). VVT uses various sensors, solenoids, control valves in conjunction with the ECM to adjust and monitor the mechanical camshaft valve timing of the engine. Not only does VVT help with performance of the engine but also helps regulate fuel mileage by advancing/retarding camshaft timing depending on the vehicles needs.

vvt

What are the common causes of code P0015 ?

  • Dirty oil (lack of maintenance)
  • Timing belt/chain stretched
  • Timing belt/chain skipped a tooth
  • Camshaft timing control valve (and filter) for camshaft
  • VVT actuator
  • Timing gear assembly
  • ECM
  • Wring issue

What are the symptoms of code P0015 ?

  • Poor idling
  • Poor performance
  • Engine misfiring
  • Hard starting
  • Stalling
  • Poor fuel mileage

How do you troubleshoot code P0015 ?

TOOLS:

Whenever you are working with systems, some of the basic tools you will need are:

  • OBD code reader
  • Multimeter
  • Basic socket set
  • Basic ratchet and wrench sets
  • Basic screwdriver set
  • Rag/shop towels
  • Battery terminal cleaner
  • Service manual

SAFETY STEPS:

  • Let engine cool
  • Chalk wheels
  • Wear PPE (Personal protective equipment)

BASIC STEP #1:

Check your oil. A lot of times problems within the VVT system may be caused by dirty oil. Your camshaft timing is controlled via oil pressure. Check when the last time you changed the oil was. If you have been running on same oil for more the 10-15k, forget about continuing. If you do not know when you changed the oil last, visually inspect the oil. If it isn’t somewhat clear in colour, replace oil and filter. It is very possible that this is the cause of the issue. Make sure to use manufacturers specific oil rating.

oil

BASIC STEP #2:

Pop the hood and locate the camshaft position sensor. Most of the time you can find the sensor located at one of the ends of the camshaft(s). Once located, look for any signs of physical damage or leaking oil from sensor. If everything is good, look at the electrical connections themselves for signs of loose connections or corrosion around the plug(s). Its a good idea to identify the wiring harness and follow it as far as you can, inspecting for chafes or cuts in wires themselves. Most of the time, wiring issues like these are difficult to pinpoint. NOTE: These harnesstypically run along the valve cover so it exposed to heat! Perform any necessary repairs, clear codes and test drive vehicle.

camshaft-pos-sensor

BASIC STEP #3:

Check your timing. You will definitely want to refer to service manual to check your camshaft timing as every manufacturer varies. If you can access the timing cover, you may be able to remove and inspect timing marks. For the most part, these procedures get pretty invasive, you may want to bring to reputable facility at this point. If you do not, you may end up with an out of time engine that no longer runs. 

camshaft-timing

BASIC STEP #4:

Check the Camshaft timing control valve. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to easily access the valve. If so, and it is a 2-wire, you can check for resistance between the pins. This heavily varies so please refer to service manual to get specific procedures and desired values. If everything looks ok, bring to repair facility and let them figure it out.

Codes Related to P0015

  • P0013 – Camshaft position “B”, Actuator circuit
  • P0014 – Camshaft position “B”, Timing over advanced
  • P0016 – Crankshaft position, Camshaft position correlation (Bank 1 Sensor A)
  • P0017 – Crankshaft position, Camshaft position correlation (Bank 1 Sensor B)
  • P0018 – Crankshaft position, Camshaft position correlation (Bank 2 Sensor A)
  • P0019 – Crankshaft position, Camshaft position correlation (Bank 2 Sensor B)

BAT Team Discussions for P0015

  • P0015 glk 350
    Hello i own mercedes 350glk all the time im putting premium fuel and synthetic oil...last time i changed my oil was on my vacation trip with kids and i did it at the local shop,after that few days later i noticed check engine code p0015.My question is can this code be caused by non synthetic oil?...