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Old 04-20-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
jayeeyee
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Member#: 233640
Join Date: Dec 2009
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NYC
Vehicle:
'04 Subaru STi
WRB

Default Have P0011 on? Here's a checklist on what might be causing it.

For those who are unfortunate enough to experience the dreaded P0011 code (including me), knows how it feels when your CEL starts blinking and you plug in your scan tool and it reads back "Camshaft Position 'A' Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1". Sure, it might not sound as serious as you may think but you'd be wrong, especially on our cars where oil viscosity, level and pressure are so important that even the slightest changes to either or all of those criteria could result in the implosion of your turbo and/or engine.

"Camshaft Position 'A' Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1" - What does that mean? Quite simply, its a generic term stating that the Bank 1 camshaft can not operate the variable valve timing gear and the ECU has defaulted into limp mode to prevent any damage that may occur, however, this is not a fail-safe method and you should not take the blinking CEL for granted.

To fully understand what causes P0011, which in most cases other than an actual faulty AVCS solenoid or cam gear, our vehicles are more so than often caused by oiling issues which is what I'll be focusing on this topic. The AVCS cam gear and solenoid cannot run effectively if any of the following happens:

A) Low oil levels
B) Dirty or contaminated oil
C) Low oil pressure
D) Oil blockage
E) Incorrect camshaft timing

Other than (E), everything else is related to the oil system. To diagnose this problem and to find the culprit, you have to start at the very beginning of the oil system, the oil pan. Check if your oil pickup tube strainer is clogged or even worst and the more likely scenario, there isn't a fracture or crack. If you do see a crack, then there's a good chance this is problem causing low oil pressure and oil starvation. This can cause the symptoms of (A), (C) and (D).

If you do not see a crack or wire mesh isn't clogged, move onto the next step of oil system, the oil pump. If your OP is faulty and cannot build pressure, then I don't need to tell you how bad that can get as well. This can cause the symptoms of (A), (C) and (D)

Keep moving down the oil system, eventually checking the AVCS inline filters and make sure their not clogged. During this step, it's safe to advise the removal of the inline filters as well per Subaru's technical bulletin recommendation. Of course I don't need to say this, but I will just for the sake of reference, make sure to check the actual oil in your system. Be it the removal of the dip stick or during your next oil change. Inspect the oil, make sure it isn't contaminated by foreign objects such as metal shavings or sludge.

Lastly, improper timing will cause P0011 as well. Check your timing making sure it hasn't skipped a tooth or more. Check the belt tensioner and the rest of the timing system.

I know I'm not getting deep into the issue but this should be a good basic reference on where to start off. My 04 STI came up with the P0011 code, I was hoping it was the AVCS solenoid which I replaced and that didn't solve the issue. Now my turbo is on it's way out. I've decided instead of guessing and hoping for the best, I've decommissioned my car and will be replacing the oil pickup tube and oil pump as well as a timing belt service. While doing that I will inspect the AVCS cam gear and follow a replacement if deemed necessary. So to all unlucky future fellows who might get the P0011 code, DO NOT, under any circumstances take this code lightly. It is one of the worst codes imaginable that you can get.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
macintosh14568
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Default

Jayeeyee, Awesome information! So the P0011 code is Bank A which is the passenger side. There is a AVCS filter leading to the solenoid, where is this located? I tried looking last night, and took off the banjo bolt on top of the solenoid housing. No filter. I tried to follow the oil hard line, and it looks like it goes underneath the turbo inlet. Is this where the other filter is located?

I looked at the technical bulletin to locate the filters, but can't seem the find the passenger side one.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
alloutSTI
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Member#: 241552
Join Date: Mar 2010
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: El Paso TX
Vehicle:
2008 STI Hatch
Black yo!

Default

i got this code a few days ago i reset the ECU and it has not come back? this is odd to me
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
BeastianSTI
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Member#: 310506
Join Date: Feb 2012
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Florida
Vehicle:
2005 WRX STi
Silver - Stage 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by macintosh14568 View Post
Jayeeyee, Awesome information! So the P0011 code is Bank A which is the passenger side. There is a AVCS filter leading to the solenoid, where is this located? I tried looking last night, and took off the banjo bolt on top of the solenoid housing. No filter. I tried to follow the oil hard line, and it looks like it goes underneath the turbo inlet. Is this where the other filter is located?

I looked at the technical bulletin to locate the filters, but can't seem the find the passenger side one.
Although, a bit late... The filter is actually on the back of the passenger side head. I took mine out when I removed my turbo. I don't think I was able to access it without moving the turbo out of the way.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
BeastianSTI
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Member#: 310506
Join Date: Feb 2012
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Florida
Vehicle:
2005 WRX STi
Silver - Stage 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by alloutSTI View Post
i got this code a few days ago i reset the ECU and it has not come back? this is odd to me
It isn't an at fault recognition. If I recall correctly, it needs to happen a few times in order for it to throw the code. Mine did the same thing.

Are you near time for your oil change? If so, change it ASAP, in addendum to the oil filter.

The 08 shouldn't have the filters, but it wouldn't hurt to take a look.
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