View Full Version : 1.8t AWM P0011, P0012 DIY Diag

12-07-2014, 09:34 PM
(If I have left anything out or misspoke, please correct me. This post is just a summary of my own research and sharing of information from tech sites such as identifix)

Hey Everybody!

Just thought I'd share how to diagnose P0011 and P0012 codes. I've been chasing this stupid code (P0012) down for about a year and a half. When I first purchased the car, the seller had replaced the Camshaft Chain Tensioner (CCT), about a month previous, but 3 months later it had failed again. Originally I replaced the CCT a year and a half ago when I first got both P0011 and P0012 codes. I replaced it with a cheap aftermarket part because I'm a college student and super poor. I DO NOT recommend this as you WILL be replacing it again in the near future. It did fix the problem for a little bit but now it's back. So do yourself a favor and pony up for a CCT from a solid company with a solid warranty. (You'll spend roughly $250 from MJM or other companies, or close to $700 from the Audi Dealership)
Now I decided to do this write up to summarize what I've read from other threads and post specs on what to look for.
The CCT can fail for numerous reasons...
1. Bad Oil Pressure and/or sludged up oil passageways causing the solenoid to fail.
2. The CCT solenoid has failed or is not providing the correct resistance? (I'm still not sure if this is why the solenoid fails or not. If someone wants to chime in and clear that up, that'd be awesome)
3. Sticky Camshaft

So before you go spending the beaucoup bucks, do the following tests to be sure that you're fixing the correct problems.

What You Will Need
1. Oil pressure testing kit ($20 to $35 from harbor freight)
2. Screwdriver
3. 1 inch or 24mm deep socket (to remove oil pressure sensor)
4. VCDS or VW/Audi compatible scanner that allows data logging (not necessary but very helpful in narrowing down potential problems)
5. Ratchet that fits the socket (typically a 1/2 inch drive)

Let's get started!
Plug in your scanner and find the data log for ignition advance degrees. I found this in a scanner at my shop under "ignition" for data logs. It included engine speed, camshaft advance and two other things I don't remember.
For VCDS, go to 01-Engine, function 8-read measuring value blocks. Display group 091. The value to watch is in the 4th field. (Far right values)

(For the most accurate results, it's best that the car is warmed up. It'll be hot so wear gloves or something to prevent yourself from getting burnt.)

First you'll want to remove the three screws securing the coolant reservoir.
Once this is done, just move it out of the way, you don't need to remove the hoses attached to it.

Second, you will need to disconnect the connector for the oil pressure sensor.
Third you will take the deep socket and remove the sensor. This shouldn't take a ton of effort but move slow to avoid stripping the edges or smacking your fingers once it breaks loose.

Now that it's loose, you should be able to remove it with your fingers.

Now go to your Oil Pressure testing kit and find the fitting that matches the thread pitch of the sensor. Once you find the correct one you have two options, screw the fitting in and then attach the gauge or screw the fitting into the gauge and then screwing it into the sensor location. I prefer to do the latter as I think it's easier. It takes some fiddling either way because you have to turn the whole hose as you thread it in. This can be frustrating but get the help of a second person or exercise some patience, you'll get there. DO NOT over tighten the attachment. You want it snug but does not need to be crazy tight. When the car is running, you will leak some oil, this is normal. (About a drop of oil every second) If you begin to over tighten the attachment into the housing you run the risk of stripping it out. Not a good scenario.

Rest the coolant reservoir back into place and start the car once all tools and other things are out of the way. The oil light will come on, this is normal. My gauge hose was long enough to reach around the side of the car allowing me to sit in the drivers seat and rev the engine. If this isn't the case for you, you'll need a second person to do this for you.
Let the car idle for about 3 minutes to get the air out of the hose. You'll know you have the air out when you rev the engine and the needle on the gauge moves in tandem with the engine speed.

At idle, pressure should be between 17 and 22 psi or 1.2 to 1.6 bar and if you have the scanner, camshaft advancement should be -3.0 to +6.0 degrees. (Non-advanced position)
This was my psi

Rev the engine to 2,000 rpms
Pressure should be between 36 and 65 psi or 2.5 to 4.5 bar and camshaft advancement should be at +16 to +25 degrees (full advanced position)
This was my psi

As you can see, my pressure at idle is fine, but my pressure at 2,000 rpms I was at the low end of the allowable spec. But my adjustment angle was where it should be at idle and under acceleration.

I had two options at this point. Cry and set aside a day to pull the oil pan and swap the oil pick up screen and clean the oil passage ways OR switch to a slightly thicker oil and cross my fingers that oil pressure improves enough to stop my noises. I really wasn't in the mood nor did I have parts and was due for an oil change anyway so I drained my oil and changed my oil filter for a mobile 1 oil filter and filled it up with Castrol 5w-40 full synthetic oil. (I was using 5w-30 previously)

*Side note: I recommend filling the filter before install as I have had some hard starts a couple of times due to the oil taking forever to cycle. Just my 2 cents.

After my oil change, this was my pressure at idle...

And my pressure at 2,000 rpms...

My pressure at 2,000 rpms increased by 10 psi. Which is to be expected with the slightly thicker oil. But that 10 psi put me back in a healthy middle area of specifications. And I haven't heard the noises since.
I cleared my codes and will post in about a week if codes come back.

But to conclude, if your oil pressure is fine, verify your timing and if that checks out then the problem lies somewhere with the CCT. (Solenoid or mechanical portion)

12-10-2014, 07:34 PM
I had codes P0012 and P1531, all readiness flags are up and those codes are all gone for now!
Now to deal with my P0411 code...

07-24-2015, 05:53 PM
I had codes P0012 and P1531, all readiness flags are up and those codes are all gone for now!
Now to deal with my P0411 code...

Where you able to resolve these codes completely or did they come back? I'm dealing with P0011 and P0012 myself.