Disclaimer - I had posted this first in B5 General, but later realized the hard core techs would be in this forum. I got no replies, and right now my car is not drivable, so I am a bit desperate. I apologize to those who have seen this topic before.
I have a 2002 1.8 wagon that threw a check engine light that won't clear, and the code is P0011. The engine ran smoothly even with this CEL on. About a month ago I had the CEL blink for a minute with the engine running rough like it was missing, but that cleared up. Then about a week ago, CEL came back with rough idle, and initial blinking became steady. I had just pulled into work. When I started it after work, no CEL or rough running. Couple days later the CEL came back and stayed.
Definition of P0011 from Autozone are camshaft position timing over-advanced or system performance - bank 1. Explanation given is Open or short circuit condition, with probable cause of Poor electrical connection, Failed camshaft actuator, or Blocked oil passage.
I searched Passat World for posts and found some camshaft-related issues, but I don't have any camshaft area noises like this example I found on YouTube
The car has 137,000 miles on it and had the sludge issue fixed at 60,000 - nothing but synthetic since. The timing belt, belt damper, water pump and tensioner were replaced at 102000 miles. We have called some dealers and local independent shops about what might this problem be exactly. We got such a variety of responses I'm puzzled as to what to do. I might be able to do some repairs myself, but if not I've got to trust someone else to know exactly how to fix this without expensive guessing.
1 - One dealer said the oil pump could be going, or oil pressure switch could be bad. Was not concerned with the actuator switch
2 - Dealer 2 says probably not oil sludge, but might be a camshaft actuator. The actuator moves based on oil pressure.
3 - Local repair shop said Honda and Acura have a similar coding set-up. When this code comes up on the Honda or Acura it is usually oil related. May not necessarily be the actuator could be sludge in one of the ports.
4 - Dealer 3 told us they normally do a guided fault finding. Could be a bad sensor. Does not believe it is a sludge issue. This is dealership that sold the car, but I now live out-of-state.
5 - Local specialty foreign car repair shop said timing is retarded, possible Hydro tensioner faulty. Might need to be replaced. Screen and tensioner might be clogged, and sludge should not have re-occurred if we used synthetic oil. Quoted a price of $1300-$1500, which includes the new tensioner that supposedly costs $700. Does not think it is an electrical fault.
Car just passed inspection a week ago after dropping about $500 to patch in a new flex pipe, replace rear brakes and rotors, and new tie rod. The oil was changed by the dealer 775 miles ago. The ABS light is on, but brakes work (common issue according to posts). The body is solid, no dents...lots of stuff put in this past year including new tires, battery and front brakes.
I don't know if this car is worth fixing. I depends on the actual problem, which no one seems to be able to determine. I might need to have a shop diagnose it, but want to go to the place that seems to have the best understanding. Can't afford to guess. Right now it's not even worth the $1200 a dealer had offered me (due to ABS light). The car is otherwise in really good shape...hard to believe I'd have to sell this for scrap.
Please...anyone with experience on this and what the correct problem would be, please help!!
Thanks so much ...