P0013 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

This code shows that there is an open or short in the oil control valve bank one.

Meaning

The P0013 code means that the engine control module (ECM) has found an open or short circuit within bank one of the exhaust camshaft actuator circuit valve. It is a OBD-II generic code that will trigger the engine control module to illuminate the check engine light on the dashboard.

Causes

There are several causes that can trigger the P0013 OBD-II code to appear. The common causes are related to either the engine control module or the oil control valve. This code can trigger as a result of the engine control module telling the oil control valve to operate at less than 80 percent of the duty cycle while the output is at 100 percent.

It can also be triggered by the engine control module telling the oil control valve to operate at up to 70 percent duty cycle while the output is less than three percent. Another potential cause is that there is a short within the oil control valve or the wiring to the exhaust camshaft in bank one. An open circuit or open wiring within the oil control valve can also cause the P0013 OBD-II diagnostic trouble code to appear.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the P0013 code include illumination of the check engine light on the dashboard, a hard start condition for the engine if the oil control valve is shorted, a reduction in fuel mileage for the engine if the oil control valve is open or shorted and stalling, hesitation or rough running of the ending if the oil control valve is open or shorted.

Diagnosis

A mechanic will begin the diagnostic process by checking the electrical connector, valve or wiring for issues with the camshaft oil control valve for bank one of the exhaust camshaft. They will then use a scanner to freeze frame data from documents and computer codes to determine when the failure occurred. These codes will then be cleared, and the vehicle will be retested to see if the P0013 appears again.

The oil control valve will be checked for the correct resistance ranging from 6.9 to 7.9 ohms. The connections within the engine control module will be removed and checked for any shorted wiring. If this code appears again, the pinpoint tests that are specific to the manufacturer of the vehicle will be performed for the P0013 code and any repairs will be applied.

Common mistakes

One of the most common mistakes with addressing the P0013 code is that no visual inspection was performed to check for common problems such as checking to see if all of the electrical connectors are properly connected. Another mistake is that the engine oil was not checked to see if it is clean, full and of the correct viscosity.

The system should be tested to verify that the test is coming back before any other repairs or tests are performed. Following the pinpoint test procedures that are specific to the manufacturer can help prevent misdiagnosis of the code or replacing components that are perfectly fine. Sensors or components should not be replaced unless the tests indicate that a problem is occurring.

How serious is this?

The P0013 DTC-II is a fairly serious code because it can damage the engine control module. The engine may stall or run rough, which can leave the driver stranded on the side of the road. The engine fuel consumption may worsen or the internal valve components in the engine may get carbon foiling. Driving the vehicle with a shorted circuit for an extended period of time can cause damage to the engine control module.

  • Engine may run rough and stall.
  • The engine fuel consumption may get worse or the engine may get carbon fouling of internal valve components.
  • Driving the vehicle for a prolonged time with the circuit shorted may damage the ECM.

What repairs can fix the code?

There are several repairs that can repair problems associated with the P0013 code. The fault codes can be reset and a road test can be performed. The wiring to the exhaust camshaft oil control valve for bank one may need to be replaced or repaired.

The camshaft oil control valve for bank one exhaust camshaft may need to be replaced altogether, or the engine control module may need to be replaced.

Related codes

None listed.

Conclusion

It is important to properly diagnose and repair problems associated with the P0013 code as soon as possible. If left untreated, the engine in the vehicle could stall and leave the drive stranded.

Applying the proper diagnosis and repairs can prevent a driver from being stuck on the side of the road with an inoperable vehicle. Hiring a professional mechanic is a great way to ensure that the proper diagnosis and repairs will be performed.