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).” 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 nasty timing belt may also set off this. With this code, you’ll expertise a lower in your truck’s efficiency.

Within the upcoming sections, we are going to 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 primary 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 severe challenge, and it is best to 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. It will trigger everlasting engine harm.

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

It will make driving an disagreeable expertise for you and for the folks round you.

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

  • Low, soiled, or mistaken 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 mild on
  • Exhausting beginning
  • Stalling
  • Tough idling
  • Loud engine noise when driving
  • Low gasoline effectivity
  • Low engine efficiency

Answer 1: Change the Oil

The very first thing it’s good to test is the engine oil. In case you’re utilizing the mistaken or contaminated oil, it may trigger the VCT solenoid to malfunction.

Ford recommends utilizing 5W-30 grade engine oil within the F150. Nevertheless, if you need the smoothest engine operation, it is best to 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, it’s good to change the oil ASAP, which ought to resolve the issue. Try this video for guidance-

F-150 Oil Change: 2011-2016 3.5L EcoBoost

Nevertheless, if that doesn’t work, let’s transfer on to the subsequent resolution.

Answer 2: Examine and Change the VCT Solenoid

Listed below are the steps to test the VCT solenoid-

  • Find the VCT solenoids: The VCT solenoids are normally situated behind the oil filler tube and beneath the facility steering. However consult with the proprietor’s handbook for affirmation. 
  • Disconnect the battery: Disconnect the unfavorable cable of the battery after which the constructive 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 have 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

Answer 3: Examine Continuity within the Wiring Harness

If the solenoids are okay, you have 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.

Answer 4: Examine the Camshaft Phaser

Subsequent, test the camshaft phaser. Examine the camshaft phaser for corrosion or harm. 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 may be indicated by the phaser indicator’s odd finger on the best facet.

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

If so, chances are you’ll must disassemble the cam phaser to determine the underlying challenge.

Here’s a video exhibiting the disassembly course of: 

3.5L EcoBoost DIY Cam Phaser Disassembly & Replacement

A corroded cam phaser may 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.

Go away the paste on the cam phaser for half-hour, then wash it off. If the cam phaser is broken, you’ll need to switch it.

Answer 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 an alternative of a belt.

Examine your timing belt or chain for harm. Additionally, test 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, exchange it.

Take Care of the VCT Solenoid in Ford F150

Common upkeep can forestall the P0012 code and maintain 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 mistaken engine oil can harm 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 exchange the cam phaser, timing belt/chain, or solenoids, at all times attempt to use OEM components as an alternative of aftermarket ones.

Ultimate ideas

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

Nevertheless, if the analysis is past your talent degree, contact an professional or take your Ford F150 to a talented mechanic.