Skip to content

P0013 OBD Fault Code: Signs, Causes & How to Fix

  • by
  • 4 min read

Last Updated on: 21st November 2023, 03:14 am

P0013 OBD fault code stands for: Exhaust ‘B’ Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit/Open (Bank 1) or ‘B’ Camshaft Position – Open or Short in Oil Control Valve (OCV) (Bank 1)

Quick Summary
  • The P0013 code, generally considered a moderate issue in severity, signifies a malfunction in the exhaust camshaft position actuator circuit of a vehicle’s engine.
  • It can negatively impact engine performance and efficiency, with symptoms such as rough idling and decreased fuel economy.
  • Although a vehicle with this code can be driven, it should be avoided and be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Neglecting the underlying issue may lead to issues and possible harm to the engine.

This fault code is related to the exhaust camshaft position actuator in bank 1 of the engine.

This article goes into the specifics of the P0013 trouble code, explaining its causes, symptoms, and how you can fix it.

What the P0013 Code Means

The P0013 code is a generic powertrain code related to the engine, including timing and fuel delivery.

It’s triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects a problem with the actuator circuit of the exhaust camshaft position in bank 1.

The ‘Bank 1’ denotes the side of the engine that contains the first cylinder.

How Serious Is It?

The severity of the OBD-II trouble code P0013 can generally be categorised as moderate.

  • Can Be Driven but Needs Repairing ASAP: A vehicle with the P0013 code can usually still be driven. However, it is crucial to address the issue as soon as possible. Delaying repairs could lead to further issues down the road.
  • Symptoms May Worsen: If left unresolved, the problem associated with this code can worsen. The exhaust camshaft position actuator plays a significant role in managing the engine’s timing and performance. Faults in this system can progressively impair engine efficiency and performance.
  • Potential for Further Damage: Operation of the vehicle without addressing the P0013 code could potentially lead to damage over time.

While this fault code is not so critical that the vehicle should immediately be taken off the road, but it is more serious than a minor inconvenience and should be fixed when you can and avoid driving if possible.

OBD Fault Code Severity Rating
  • minor (non-issue or doesn’t need fixing in any immediate manner, can still be driven)
  • moderate (can be driven still but needs repairing asap, symptoms may worsen or could lead to damage if left unfixed)
  • severe (do not drive or start the engine)


Several factors can lead to the triggering of the P0013 code, such as the following.

  1. Faulty Camshaft Position Actuator: This is often the primary cause, where the actuator is unable to adjust the camshaft’s position as needed.
  2. Wiring Issues: Damaged wiring or poor connections can disrupt the signal to the actuator.
  3. Oil Flow Problems: Insufficient oil flow to the actuator, often due to low oil levels or poor oil quality, can impede its function.
  4. ECM Problems: In rare cases, a malfunctioning ECM could erroneously trigger this code.


The symptoms of P0013 can vary, but commonly include:

  • Engine performance issues, such as difficulty in acceleration
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Rough idling of the engine
  • Check Engine Light illuminated on the dashboard


To accurately diagnose P0013, a technician will typically.

  1. Scan for Codes: Use an OBD-II scanner to confirm the presence of P0013 and check for any other related codes.
  2. Visual Inspection: Check the wiring and connectors associated with the camshaft position actuator for damage or corrosion.
  3. Oil Level and Quality Check: Verify that the engine has sufficient, clean oil.
  4. Component Testing: Use specialized tools to test the camshaft position actuator and circuit.

How to Fix

The repair process for P0013 involves the following steps.

  1. Replacing the Camshaft Position Actuator: If found faulty.
  2. Repairing Wiring or Connectors: If damage or corrosion is detected.
  3. Oil Change: If the oil is found to be low or contaminated.
  4. ECM Assessment: In rare cases, checking and potentially replacing the ECM may be necessary.


The P0013 code is a significant indicator of issues with the exhaust camshaft position actuator, impacting the engine’s performance and efficiency.

  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer. He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

Share this article
Available for Amazon Prime