How Do You Reset Code P0012 on Ford F150?

The P0012 code in Ford F150 says, “A” Camshaft Place – Timing Over-Retarded (Financial institution 1).” Because of this 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 nasty 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 are going to talk about 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. Which means 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 Critical is the P0012 Code?

The error code P0012 is a really critical difficulty, and it’s best to attempt to repair the issue as quickly as doable. Because the Ford F150 has an interference engine, relying on the mistiming, the valves, and pistons can collide with one another. This can trigger everlasting engine injury.

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

This can make driving an disagreeable expertise for you and for the individuals round you.

The right way to Diagnose and Repair the Code P0012 on Ford F150?

Now that you just get the gist of the issue, let’s dig deep to seek out the options.


The principle cause for the P0012 code is a malfunctioning VCT solenoid. However the cause for the malfunction could possibly be totally 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
  • Exhausting beginning
  • Stalling
  • Tough idling
  • Loud engine noise when driving
  • Low gas effectivity
  • Low engine efficiency

Answer 1: Change the Oil

The very first thing it’s good to verify is the engine oil. If you happen to’re utilizing the unsuitable or contaminated oil, it will probably 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, it’s best to use a full artificial 5W-30. For the engine oil high quality, here’s a video to verify 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, it’s good to change the oil ASAP, which ought to clear up the issue. Take a look at 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 following answer.

Answer 2: Examine and Exchange the VCT Solenoid

Listed below are the steps to verify 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 guide for affirmation. 
  • Disconnect the battery: Disconnect the detrimental cable of the battery after which the optimistic one. 
  • Take away the VCT solenoids: Take away the VCT solenoid on the motive force aspect, 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, verify the resistance of the solenoid utilizing a multimeter. The resistance needs to be between 5-15 ohms. 

If the VCT solenoid will not be working, change it with a brand new one.

Supply: Ford

Answer 3: Examine Continuity within the Wiring Harness

If the solenoids are okay, you will need to verify their respective wiring harnesses. Use a multimeter to verify the continuity of the wiring harness. This ensures energy to the solenoids.

If the connector doesn’t have continuity, you’ll have to change the wiring harness as effectively.

Answer 4: Examine the Camshaft Phaser

Subsequent, verify 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.

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

An incorrect set up will be indicated by the phaser indicator’s odd finger on the correct aspect.

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

If that is so, chances are you’ll have to disassemble the cam phaser to determine the underlying difficulty.

Here’s a video exhibiting the disassembly course of: 

3.5L EcoBoost DIY Cam Phaser Disassembly & Replacement

A corroded cam phaser will be cleaned utilizing baking soda and water. Unfold baking soda all around the corrosion, then use a small quantity of water to make a paste.

Go away the paste on the cam phaser for half-hour, then wash it off. If the cam phaser is broken, you have to to interchange it.

Answer 5: Examine the Timing Belt or Chain

If the cam phaser will not be 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 an alternative of a belt.

Examine your timing belt or chain for injury. Additionally, verify the timing of the engine. This video could also be helpful for figuring out in case your car’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, change it.

The right way to Take Care of the VCT Solenoid in Ford F150

Common upkeep can forestall the P0012 code and hold the VCT system wholesome in your Ford F150. Listed below are some tricks to keep 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 alter engine oil each 3,000 miles. 
  • Use OEM components: If it’s good to change the cam phaser, timing belt/chain, or solenoids, at all times attempt to use OEM components as an alternative of aftermarket ones.

Remaining ideas

So, that’s all concerning the code P0012 in Ford F150. It is a fairly critical difficulty that requires fast consideration, so do attempt to repair the issue as rapidly as doable.

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