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 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 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 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 instances.

How Severe is the P0012 Code?

The error code P0012 is a really critical problem, and you need 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. This may trigger everlasting engine injury.

In a best-case situation, in the event you nonetheless drive with the P0012 code, your truck may have diminished gas effectivity, and the engine will make loud noises when accelerating.

This may make driving an disagreeable expertise for you and for the folks round you.

The 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 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-

  • Verify the engine mild on
  • Exhausting beginning
  • Stalling
  • Tough idling
  • Loud engine noise when driving
  • Low gas effectivity
  • Low engine efficiency

Resolution 1: Change the Oil

The very first thing it’s good to verify is the engine oil. If you happen to’re utilizing the mistaken or contaminated oil, it could trigger the VCT solenoid to malfunction.

Ford recommends utilizing 5W-30 grade engine oil within the F150. Nevertheless, if you’d like the smoothest engine operation, you need 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 resolve the issue. Take a look at 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 following answer.

Resolution 2: Verify and Change the VCT Solenoid

Listed here 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 confer 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 driving force aspect, because the code signifies an issue solely with that one. However it’s essential to take away the air consumption pipe and energy steering reservoir to entry that.
  • Check 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 ought to be between 5-15 ohms. 

If the VCT solenoid shouldn’t be working, change it with a brand new one.

Supply: Ford

Resolution 3: Verify Continuity within the Wiring Harness

If the solenoids are okay, it’s essential 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 nicely.

Resolution 4: Verify the Camshaft Phaser

Subsequent, verify the camshaft phaser. Verify 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 may be indicated by the phaser indicator’s odd finger on the suitable aspect.

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

If that is so, you could have to disassemble the cam phaser to determine the underlying problem.

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 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 will have to switch it.

Resolution 5: Verify the Timing Belt or Chain

If the cam phaser shouldn’t 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 a substitute of a belt.

Verify 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 way to Take Care of the VCT Solenoid in Ford F150

Common upkeep can stop the P0012 code and maintain the VCT system wholesome in your Ford F150. Listed here are some tricks to keep the VCT solenoids-

  • Use the right engine oil: Utilizing the mistaken 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 elements: If it’s good to change the cam phaser, timing belt/chain, or solenoids, at all times attempt to use OEM elements as a substitute of aftermarket ones.

Remaining ideas

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

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