2011+ V6: Engine Error Code P0012 - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013 Thread Starter
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2011+ V6: Engine Error Code P0012

I think I might have discovered the source of the surging idle my 2011 V6 has been experiencing since nearly the day it was new 3 years ago:

Code P0012 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)

The error code and description I'm getting is precisely the one described in the link above.

I've had tune after tune over the past 3 years, perhaps 7 or 8 or more from Bama and now 1 from MPT, and none of them have been able to smooth out the idle entirely. Intake porting and a new TB has not accomplished this either, though I've read that a few members here have experienced smoother idles after porting.

The error code just appeared, though the surging idle symptom has been there for years. Actually, the engine light came on, then I discovered the error code. I contacted MPT and they said this is not tune related. I've more or less confirmed this by reading other threads where folks thought their tunes were the source, only to discover later it was a sticking VCT valve.

So...

Has anyone else had to deal with the sticking VCT solenoid described in the link?

This seems to be a problem that has cropped up in several models over the past decade, and Ford has obviously not done a whole lot about it during their model redesigns.

Is this solenoid/valve difficult to locate? Is it difficult to clean or replace? If you've had any of the symptoms described in the link and you've conducted the recommended inspection and made the repair, did this clear up the issue for you?

Thanx much!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Another interesting link:

2011 Ford Mustang Engine Problems

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Looks like the crazy thing's on the upper intake, unless for whatever unknown reason they tossed up a random pic. Don't know why they would do that though. I'll take a peek tomorrow.

Green Car Congress: New 3.7L V6 for 2011 Mustang Features Ti-VCT System Also Slated for 2.0L EcoBoost
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013
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According to this guy who has the same code it was the VCT Solenoid, sadly he didn't post what he did to fix it.

Heres the link so you can check it out.

p0012 code alternator related?

2011 V6 Black Mustang Automatic: Magnaflow Competition Series Cat-Back Exhaust, Airaid Cold Air Intake, Raxiom Smoked Projector Headlights, Raxiom Smoked Aero Tail Lights, 93H-R3.1 Bama tune, BBK Long Tube Headers, BBK Catted X Pipe
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Thank you for the info! Looking forward (fingers crossed) to this being an easy and low cost fix.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013
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Another link that might help.


Code P0012 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)


Boring Video about it on an 08 F-150 not sure if it will help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufj-7YNGLtk

2011 V6 Black Mustang Automatic: Magnaflow Competition Series Cat-Back Exhaust, Airaid Cold Air Intake, Raxiom Smoked Projector Headlights, Raxiom Smoked Aero Tail Lights, 93H-R3.1 Bama tune, BBK Long Tube Headers, BBK Catted X Pipe
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Examining the 3.7L assembly manual, I see the VCT solenoid is L-shaped, unlike its I-shaped predecessors. What this means is the valve cover will have to be pulled off to get to it unlike older models where you just had to pluck out the VCT seal and pull the solenoid straight up to remove it.

What's odd is that I've not noticed any change in sound or performance since this light came on. I think I might toss the factory tune back on for a day or two. If this code goes away, I'll know it's not anything related to a mechanical failure of some kind. Not sure where I'd proceed from there though, other than putting the aftermarket tune back on and just ignoring the light when it pops back up. I don't like the idea of doing that though. I'd rather locate the source or at least rule out the possibility of it just being a "ghost" error.

Several days ago I returned the car to stock, fired up the engine, noticed the light and the code were gone, then turned the car off and reloaded the aftermarket tune. Same results. No light and no code. The light and code reappeared after a day or two of driving. Not really sure what to make of that. You would think that if the solenoid were sticking, it would do it under the stock tune. I guess I'll have to drive stock for a few days to see what happens.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013
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check your connections on the solenoid. if it's dirty or has any condensation it will throw the code.If everything looks ok then put a little dab of dielectric grease on it to keep it from getting corroded.if you get the code again then take it in and have it replaced. if your still under the 60,000 mile mark then it's warranty.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013 Thread Starter
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I just now put the factory tune back on. The engine light is off for now. Will put at least 50 miles behind her with plenty of WOT, to see if I can trigger this code again. If I can't, then it has to be the MPT tune causing it for whatever reason. Will likely have to wait a few days to see if it returns, as it didn't pop up right away on the new tune. Never had the code while running the Bama tune. But then MPT says this is not tune related, so who really knows at this point? Time will tell.
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Im curious too because im considering an mpt tune.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013 Thread Starter
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I just got back from dogging her as best I could for about 40 miles (guessing, as the odo was closer to maybe 55-60 miles; it's off because of the stock tune and 3.55's). Most I could rev her was around 5K RPM because of the speed limiter. I could crank her up a little higher if I were crawling in 1st or 2nd, but what's the point?

Ran diagnostics afterward. Nothing. Clean as a whistle. No engine light either. Becoming more suspicious of the MPT settings. But as stated earlier, she runs just as problem-free with no funny noises or performance issues on the MPT, as on any other tune, so maybe I just need to get used to the engine light being on if I'm gonna run MPT? Will run my stock tune for another day or two, keep thrashing her, and see if anything more pops up. If not, then I need to decide whether I'll go back to MPT or settle for the less potent Bama 91R.

I think I'll have to borrow a friend's laptop and do some data logging with it, but first I'll check to see if it's possible with the SCT SF3 tuner.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013 Thread Starter
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I've described the situation to a co-worker who has used Diablo and SCT tuners, and a variety of tunes on his F-150 and '07 GT500. He says it sounds more like a benign software bug in the MPT tune than anything else, as he's had similar issues over the years, from time to time.

More testing to do though. I'll weed through this ghost in the machine crap sooner or later.
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While the MPT tune may not be causing a failure of anything and it just be a software bug, I'd be leary of just living with a check engine light because then how will you know if something else goes awry?

By no means am I implying Mike at MPT is doing anything wrong, but it somewhat bothers me that his first response is to say it isn't his tune. I would have expected he would request some datalogging to see if he can definitely rule out his software or tuning before making such a declaration. Hope you can get it straightened out since you seemed so pleased with MPT otherwise.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPinTX View Post
While the MPT tune may not be causing a failure of anything and it just be a software bug, I'd be leary of just living with a check engine light because then how will you know if something else goes awry?

By no means am I implying Mike at MPT is doing anything wrong, but it somewhat bothers me that his first response is to say it isn't his tune. I would have expected he would request some datalogging to see if he can definitely rule out his software or tuning before making such a declaration. Hope you can get it straightened out since you seemed so pleased with MPT otherwise.
If the light were to stay on permanently, it would just be a matter of plugging in the SCT periodically to check wether any new codes have appeared.

Actually Mike at MPT did request a data log. I just need to get it to him. I was running the stock tune all yesterday and no codes popped up. The light went out and I couldn't coax it back on. The MPT tune is on the car again and still no light and no code. I need to wait for it to occur again before I datat log.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V6 Cannonballer View Post
If the light were to stay on permanently, it would just be a matter of plugging in the SCT periodically to check wether any new codes have appeared.

Actually Mike at MPT did request a data log. I just need to get it to him. I was running the stock tune all yesterday and no codes popped up. The light went out and I couldn't coax it back on. The MPT tune is on the car again and still no light and no code. I need to wait for it to occur again before I datat log.
Keep us posted. It could be the tune, or a combination of mods, or both. Hopefully, I stand corrected on my previous comment.


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