Lincoln MKS P0010: “A” Cam Position Actuator – Circuit (Bank 1)

P0010 is a relatively common trouble code. It affects vehicles with variable valve timing (VVT). The list of VVT vehicles is growing, and the Lincoln MKS can have VVT, and is prone to developing this code.

 

Lincoln MKS P0010
 
P0010 is a generic OBDII code. This means that it has the same definition regardless of the make or model of the vehicle. It has the same definition for the Lincoln MKS as it does the Ford Taurus.

If your MKS has the P0010 trouble code it will typically not pass the State emissions tests.

 

P0010 Definition Lincoln MKS

P0010 Lincoln MKS

The Lincoln MKS utilizes camshaft actuators to change the valve lift depending on the RPM of the motor. This allows for a more efficient cam profile at any speed. This increases both engine efficiency and power.

Camshaft Position Actuators change the lift of the camshaft up to 25 degrees. They are hydraulic, which means that they use the vehicle’s engine oil to control lift. So, if you have low oil pressure or dirty oil, it can keep them from doing their job properly, and trigger P0010.

When these camshaft actuators go bad, the engine will no longer be able to properly change the valve timing and there may be a noticeable loss of fuel economy and power.

 

Lincoln MKS P0010 Symptoms

P0010 Symptoms Lincoln MKS

When the camshaft actuators go bad, they can leave the engine timing a wreck. Here are some of the typical symptoms of P0010 in the Lincoln MKS:

  • Poor Idle Quality– If the camshaft actuator fails while giving the engine aggressive valve timing, it’ll idle roughly.
  • Decreased Gas Mileage– Now the engine can no longer adjust its cam timing on the fly, it will no longer be able to produce optimal combustion which equals poor economy.
  • Lost Power– The engine will not be able to produce as much power. This is because the cam profile will not allow it run a performance power curve when you need more power.
  • Service Engine Soon Light– Most of the time, you’ll be able to feel or see one of the above symptoms, but if you can’t, the service engine soon light will still come on and let you know that something is wrong.

 

Possible MKS P0010 Causes

P0010 Causes Lincoln MKS

There are quite a few different things that can cause the P0010. Here are the most common causes:

  • Engine Timing– If the camshaft(s) are no longer synced to the crank properly (such as if the timing chain jumped a tooth), it can cause the engine timing to be off enough to throw the P0010 even though it’s not the Actuator’s fault. Here’s more on that from this site: Timing Chain Jumped Symptoms and Diagnosis
  • Engine Oil– If the engine oil is dirty or low, it may cause the actuator to function improperly.
  • Bad Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Solenoid– The actuator solenoid itself can go bad over time. You certainly don’t want to start here, since a lot of the time it’ll be something else that causes the P0010 to appear. They typically aren’t that expensive.
  • Wiring Issues– The wiring going from the solenoid to the ECM can become damaged or broken. This will throw the P0010 OBDII code. The wiring harness to the intake camshaft position sensor may also develop a poor connection. YouTube: How to Find an Open or Short the Fast Easy Way.
  • Bad ECM (highly unlikely)- If the MKS’s computer goes bad, then it may throw this code along with other issues. Here’s how to tell if you have a bad ECM Autoblog: Symptoms of a Bad ECM.

Here’s a phenomenal video on how to test a cam/crank actuator. It’s on the page instead of a link because it’s that worth watching. Always make sure that you check everything else that you can before actually opening up an engine.

Good luck diagnosing the P0010 in your Lincoln MKS. If you would like to add anything, please leave a comment below.