DIY Guide to Fixing P0020: Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open

DIY Guide to Fixing P0020: Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open

Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0020 stands for “Intake ‘A’ Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open (Bank 2).” This code is triggered when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects that the voltage from the variable valve timing (VVT) circuit has fallen out of specification for a calibrated amount of time. Essentially, it means there’s an issue with the camshaft position actuator circuit on the intake side of Bank 2.

How Serious Is This Issue?

The P0020 code is moderately serious. It can lead to poor engine performance and increased fuel consumption. If left unaddressed, it could cause more significant engine damage over time. It’s advisable to address this issue promptly to avoid further complications.

Is It Safe to Drive with This DTC Code?

Driving with a P0020 code is not recommended. The engine may stall frequently, especially when idling or accelerating, making the vehicle unsafe to drive. Additionally, continued driving can exacerbate the problem and lead to more severe engine damage.

Symptoms and Common Causes


  • Check Engine Light illuminated
  • Rough idling
  • Poor engine performance
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Engine stalling

Common Causes:

  • Variable valve timing actuator failure
  • Open or short in the VVT control circuit
  • Failed VVT (oil control) solenoid valve
  • PCM failure or software in need of an update
  • Wiring issues related to the camshaft position actuator circuit

How Can I Fix It?

Steps to Fix P0020:

  • Check Engine Oil: Ensure the engine oil level is correct and the oil is clean. Replace the oil and filter if necessary.
  • Inspect VVT Solenoid: Check the variable valve timing solenoid for proper operation. Replace if faulty.
  • Check Wiring and Connections: Inspect the wiring and connections related to the VVT system for any damage or loose connections. Repair or replace as needed.
  • Replace VVT Actuator: If the actuator is faulty, replace it.
  • Update PCM Software: Check if there are any updates available for the PCM software and update if necessary.

Can I Fix This DTC Code Myself?

If you have basic mechanical skills and the necessary tools, you may be able to fix the P0020 code yourself. However, diagnosing and repairing wiring issues or replacing the VVT actuator can be complex and may require professional assistance. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Parts That Might Need Replacement and Repair Costs

Parts That Might Need Replacement:

  • Engine oil and filter
  • VVT solenoid
  • VVT actuator
  • Wiring and connectors related to the VVT system

Estimated Costs:

  • Oil and Filter Change: $30 – $70
  • VVT Solenoid: $50 – $150
  • VVT Actuator: $200 – $500
  • Wiring Repairs: $50 – $200 (depending on the extent of the damage)

Will the Repair Be Expensive?

The cost of repairing a P0020 code can vary widely depending on the underlying cause. Simple fixes like an oil change are inexpensive, while more complex repairs like replacing the VVT actuator can be costly. On average, expect to spend between $200 and $500.

Can I Reset the DTC Code Myself?

You can reset the DTC code using an OBD-II scanner. However, if the underlying issue is not resolved, the code will likely reappear. It’s essential to diagnose and fix the root cause before resetting the code.

Will It Affect Performance or Fuel Efficiency?

Yes, a P0020 code can significantly affect engine performance and fuel efficiency. Symptoms like rough idling, poor engine performance, and increased fuel consumption are common. Addressing the issue promptly can help restore your vehicle’s performance.

How Can I Prevent It in the Future?

Preventive Measures:

  • Regularly change engine oil and filter as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Use the correct type of oil specified for your vehicle.
  • Perform routine maintenance checks on the VVT system.
  • Address any engine performance issues promptly to prevent further damage.


The P0020 DTC code indicates an issue with the intake camshaft position actuator circuit on Bank 2, which can lead to various engine performance problems. While some fixes are straightforward, others may require professional assistance. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any engine issues can help prevent this code from appearing in the future. If you encounter this code, it’s crucial to diagnose and address the root cause to avoid further damage to your vehicle.

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