2012 GMC Acadia P0011 Camshaft Actuator Solenoid

2012 GMC Acadia


  • 3.6-liter V6 engine
  • Horsepower: 288 hp
  • Torque: 270 lb-ft


  • 6-speed automatic transmission

Fuel Economy:

  • City: 17 mpg
  • Highway: 24 mpg

Decoding the P0011 OBD-II Code on a 2012 GMC Acadia with the 3.6L Engine

If you’re the owner of a 2012 GMC Acadia equipped with the robust 3.6L engine, you may have encountered the dreaded P0011 OBD-II code. This code can be a cause for concern, but fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down what the P0011 code means, its possible causes, and how to address the issue.

What is the P0011 OBD-II Code?

The P0011 code is an OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) trouble code that is specifically related to the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system. In the context of a 2012 GMC Acadia with the 3.6L engine, this code pertains to the VVT system on the bank 1 exhaust camshaft. The VVT system is responsible for adjusting the timing of the camshafts, optimizing engine performance, and improving fuel efficiency.



  1. Check Engine Light (MIL) Illumination: The most obvious symptom is the illumination of the check engine light on your vehicle’s dashboard. This light is designed to alert you to potential issues with your vehicle, including the P0011 code.
  2. Poor Engine Performance: You may notice a decrease in your vehicle’s overall performance. This can manifest as reduced acceleration, lower power output, and a decrease in fuel efficiency. The VVT system helps optimize engine performance, and when it’s not functioning properly, it can negatively impact these factors.
  3. Rough Idling: A common symptom of the P0011 code is a rough or unstable engine idle. Your engine may not run as smoothly as usual, and it might feel shaky or vibrate at idle.
  4. Stalling: In some cases, the P0011 code can lead to stalling or difficulty starting the engine. This is often more noticeable when the vehicle is cold.
  5. Engine Noise: You may hear unusual engine noises, such as knocking or rattling sounds. These noises can result from the improper timing of the camshaft.

Common Causes of P0011 on a GMC Acadia

  • Faulty Camshaft Position Actuator Solenoid: A common reason for the P0011 code is a malfunctioning camshaft position actuator solenoid. This component is responsible for adjusting the camshaft’s timing and can become clogged or damaged over time.
Camshaft Position Actuator Solenoid

A vehicle’s camshaft position actuator solenoid is an integral part of modern engine technology designed to enhance engine performance, efficiency, and emissions control.

  • Timing Chain Issues: The 3.6L engine in the 2012 GMC Acadia uses a timing chain to control the camshaft timing. If the timing chain stretches or wears out, it can lead to incorrect camshaft timing and trigger the P0011 code.
  • Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor: The camshaft position sensor monitors the position of the camshaft and sends data to the engine control module (ECM). A malfunctioning sensor can cause incorrect timing and trigger the P0011 code.
Camshaft Position Sensor

A vehicle’s camshaft position sensor (CMP sensor) is a critical component in the engine management system that plays a key role in ensuring the proper operation of the engine.

  • Oil Flow Problems: Adequate engine oil flow is critical for the proper operation of the VVT system. Low oil levels, poor-quality oil, or clogs in the oil passages can disrupt the VVT system and trigger the P0011 code.
  • Wiring and Electrical Issues: Damaged or corroded wiring connections, as well as electrical problems, can interfere with the VVT system’s operation.

Addressing the P0011 Code on a GMC Acadia

To resolve the P0011 code on your 2012 GMC Acadia with the 3.6L engine, consider the following steps:

  1. Check Engine Oil: Ensure that your engine has the proper oil level and that it’s of the right viscosity and quality. Change the oil and filter if necessary.
  2. Inspect Camshaft Position Actuator Solenoid: Examine the camshaft position actuator solenoid for any signs of damage or clogs. Replacing a faulty actuator may be necessary.
  3. Timing Chain Inspection: A thorough inspection of the timing chain and related components is recommended. If the timing chain is found to be stretched or worn, it should be replaced.
  4. Camshaft Position Sensor: Test and replace the camshaft position sensor if it is malfunctioning.
  5. Wiring and Electrical Checks: Carefully inspect wiring and electrical connections for any signs of damage or corrosion. Repair or replace as needed.
  6. Clear the Code: After making the necessary repairs, clear the P0011 code using an OBD-II scanner.


Encountering the P0011 code on your 2012 GMC Acadia with the 3.6L engine can be worrisome, but it’s a manageable issue with proper diagnosis and repair. Always consult your vehicle’s service manual and consider seeking a professional GMC Tech for assistance if you’re not confident in your ability to address the problem yourself. By taking swift action, you can keep your Acadia running smoothly and efficiently.

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