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P0015 OBD Fault Code: B Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)

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Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 11:16 pm

The P0015 OBD fault code stands for: “B” Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)

Quick Summary
  • The P0015 code can vary from minor to moderate in severity.
  • It indicates a problem with the engine camshaft timing, specifically that the timing is more retarded than it should be.
  • This issue can affect engine performance and efficiency, potentially leading to symptoms like reduced power and fuel economy.
  • While a vehicle with this code could be driven, it should monitored, and addressing it should not be delayed.
  • Ignoring this code could lead to long-term damage to the engine.

This fault code relates to the timing of the engines camshaft system. This article delves into the intricacies of this code, outlining its causes, symptoms, and how you can fix it.

What the P0015 Code Means

The P0015 fault code is a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that pertains to the camshaft (cam) timing.

In many vehicles, this code indicates that the camshaft timing is delayed or not in the position recommended by the manufacturer.

How Serious Is It?

The severity of the OBD-II trouble code P0015 typically ranges from minor to moderate, depending on the specific vehicle and context.

  • Can Be Driven but Should Monitor Closely: In most cases, a vehicle with the P0015 code can still be driven. However, it is important to monitor the vehicle closely. While immediate repair might not be essential, neglecting the issue for an extended period is not a good idea.
  • Potential for Long-Term Damage: If left unfixed, the issue associated with this trouble code could potentially lead to more extensive damage over the long term. Issues like increased wear on engine components and reduced fuel efficiency are possible.

While the P0015 fault code typically does not require the vehicle to be immediately taken off the road, it’s usually more than just a minor inconvenience and should be addressed fixed as soon as possible.

Continued use of the vehicle should be accompanied by increased attention to any changes in its performance.

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)


Diagnosing the P0015 code involves understanding its various triggers. Some of the most likely causes include:

  • Worn Timing Chain or Belt Tensioner: A common culprit, a worn-out timing chain or belt tensioner can lead to improper timing, triggering the P0015 code.
  • Loose or Worn Timing Chain or Belt: Similar to the tensioner, the chain or belt itself being loose or worn can disrupt the camshaft timing.
  • Low Oil Pressure or Level: Adequate oil pressure and level are vital for the proper functioning of engine components. A drop in either can result in this code.


Common signs of a P0015 fault code include the following.

  • Reduced Fuel Economy: A change in camshaft timing can affect the engine’s efficiency, leading to increased fuel consumption.
  • Engine Performance Issues: The vehicle might experience reduced power, rough idling, or difficulty in starting.
  • Check Engine Light: The most apparent indication is the illumination of the check engine light on the dashboard.

Diagnosing and Fixing

Accurate diagnosis is essential for resolving the P0015 fault code. Professional diagnostic tools (such as an OBD scanner) and expertise are recommended for a comprehensive assessment.

Potential solutions include the following.

  • Timing Chain or Belt Replacement: If the timing chain or belt is identified as the problem, replacing it is often the solution.
  • Oil Level and Pressure Check: Ensuring the oil level and pressure are within the recommended parameters can sometimes resolve the issue.
  • Professional Assessment: In cases where the cause is not immediately apparent, consulting with a professional mechanic or technician is advisable.
  • 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.

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