Fault code P0020 – “A” camshaft position actuator circuit (Bank 2)

Fault code P0020 is called “”A” Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 2)” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.

Technical description and explained code P0020

This Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) is a general powertrain code. Error P0020 is considered a general code because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles. Although the specific repair steps may vary slightly depending on the model.

Fault code P0020 –

Code P0020 refers to variable valve timing (VVT) or variable camshaft timing (VCT) components. Also the vehicle’s PCM (Powertrain Control Module) or ECM (Engine Control Module). VVT is a technology used in an engine to give it more power or efficiency at various points of operation.

It consists of an oil control valve (OCV), also called a solenoid valve, and other components. Normally, the engine check indicator and the corresponding fault code P0020 means. That the circuit voltage has dropped below a certain limit for a certain time (depends on make/model/engine).

This code is relevant to Bank 2. Bank 2 is the side of the engine that does not contain cylinder #1.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P0020 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. Check engine control lamp (malfunction indicator) on the control panel illuminates.
  2. Uneven operation of the power plant at idle speed.
  3. Increased fuel consumption.
  4. Reduced power at high engine rpm.
  5. No control of exhaust emissions.
  6. Other symptoms may also be present.

If fault P0020 appears, the vehicle’s engine may be erratic when the vehicle is accelerating, and fuel consumption may also increase. If the problem is not solved for a long time, it can lead to the accumulation of an excessive amount of carbon on the valves and piston rings.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P0020 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • OCV oil control valve is defective.
  • Engine oil deposits (due to lack of oil change).
  • Clogged oil passages.
  • Open or short circuit in VVT/VCT circuit.
  • OCV / solenoid valve short circuit or open circuit.
  • Worn timing components (chains, gears, guides).
  • Damage to crankshaft or timing.
  • Damaged variable camshaft or timing controls.
  • Damaged PCM computer.
  • Outdated ECM software.
  • Internal ECM malfunction.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P0020

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P0020:

  1. Thoroughly inspect Bank 2 VVT/VCT. System wiring, circuits and connectors. Make repairs as required.
  2. With engine warmed up, check OCV operation, replace/repair if necessary.

Diagnose and repair of problems

To properly diagnose error P0020, you will need an advanced diagnostic scanner. It is capable not only of reading stored error codes, but also of viewing real-time data from various sensors.

First, all stored data and error codes must be read with an OBD-II scanner. In order to determine when and under what circumstances the error occurred. Then clear the error codes from the ECM memory and test drive the vehicle. This will help you find out if the P0020 code appears again and if the error is intermittent.

Since the most common cause of this error is sediment buildup, due to irregular engine oil changes. The oil control solenoid valve must be removed. Check the strainer for contamination and clean it if necessary.

When the error is intermittent, you need to visually inspect the solenoid valve as well as the electrical wires for damage. This is what may be causing the malfunction.

If after cleaning and rechecking the system, the error code appears immediately. It is necessary to observe the voltage of the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors in real time. To do this, use a scanner and, if necessary, replace the faulty sensor.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P0020 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Audi (A6)
  • Citroen
  • Ford (Focus, Fusion)
  • Lexus
  • Mercedes-Benz (W203)
  • Nissan
  • Opel
  • Peugeot
  • Subaru
  • Toyota (Highlander, Tacoma)
  • VAZ

Fault code P0020 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P0010, P0011, P0012, P0021, P0022, P0102, P0135, P0155, P0303, P0304, P0352, P0354, P0443.


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