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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last 3 months, I've had an issue where, at least once every 2 weeks, the engine has trouble firing, then when it does turn over, I smell gas for a few seconds.

Then, tonight, the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. P0014 was the code when the AutoZone tech used his handheld reader.

P0014:
The ECM has detected the camshaft phase angle has exceeded its tolerance value.
Probable Causes:
  • Loose can or crank sensor
  • Excessive timing chain free play
  • Blocked oil passage in the camshaft actuator or engine
  • Incorrect oil quality or viscosity

Could these two issues be related?

I checked the forums, and saw this useful thread. Not sure I have the correct tools to clean the camshaft position actuator solenoid, tho.

I don't really have trouble idling, but on a trip to Mt. Mitchell, NC, the engine did conk out a couple of times about 5000+' in altitude when we stopped to admire the view. It didn't occur on a trip over the 4th of July weekend to Clingman's Dome (about 5600' up) however.

Any additional advice I would appreciate. Specs in the sig.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip.

146k miles, needs oil change (was planning to do it this weekend), no other fluid changes needed I'm aware of.
 

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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Old oil can contribute to clogged screens on the cam position actuator. See if new oil helps.

And I just have to make sure you knew that the transfer case fluid interval was 50K, not the expected 100K. And the differentials are due at 100K. Plugs (Delco 41-103) at 100K and many members also change the front O2 sensor at the same time.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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997 Posts
How old is your battery? If more than a few years old, you should get it load-tested. When they get marginal, they start to drop voltage; first at occasional cranking, and then hard starting always.

What happens is that the voltage drops below 5 volts and the PCM loses the crank position sensor setting. It defaults to a best guess and it suddenly becomes VERY hard to start. It bucks and runs rough for a few minutes until the voltage comes back up.

So clean your throttle body as this is by far the likeliest cause, and get your battery load-tested. (It is free at any good battery shop and takes 10 seconds, literally.)
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bad gas?

Well I wanted to give an update about this issue, and it's still got me puzzled.

Without doing anything (other than plan to visit the mechanic) the SES light went off, then back on again not too long afterward (maybe 30 miles later), then, I get the oil changed and it's still on.

I then get set to take it to a mechanic to run a full comp diagnostic, and I'm low on gas, so I put 87 octane gas in the tank. I crank the motor, and the light's now out, and has yet to reappear.

I've been going for almost 2 weeks without any further issues. I used 93 octane super unleaded on my fillup before a trip I took to Mammoth Cave, KY, and I'm still going with no issues.

If it was a blockage in the camshaft actuator, it must have cleared itself out. If it was an issue with the oil, it took an awful long time to clear out. If I leave the gas cap off accidentally, it takes 10-15 miles to shut the SES light off, and it was about 80 miles (two round trips to work) before the light went out after my oil change.

I have *NO* idea what the camshaft actuator does exactly, nor would I know what the consequences of not doing anything immediately to fix it would cause, although I'm sure if it went on long enough something major would happen (anyone want to fill me in?).

Could it have been a bad tank of gas? All this occurred on one tank.:bonk:
 

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2004 gmc envoy_sle
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132 Posts
1. Remove the camshaft actuator solenoid from the cylinder head.

2. Using some jumper wires, manually power and ground the actuator solenoid and see if the valve inside it is moving back and forth.

3. If it does not move, replace the actuator solenoid and see how the engine runs.

4. If the actuator is working correctly, then most likely the phaser on the end of the camshaft is stuck. :m2:
 

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2002 gmc envoy_sle
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1,380 Posts
It could be bad gas but when you use an octane higher than the engine is designed to run on the PCM has to compensate by changing the timing. Maybe that is contributing to making the SEL going out.
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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23 Posts
Just wanted to let you know that changing to 93 octane gas for 1 fill up cured the problem for me. Went back to 87 for 3 weeks and still no trouble. Figured I'd start with the easy fix first this time.
 

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Premium Member
2007 chevy trailblazer_ss_1ss
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1,852 Posts
That code 99% of the time means the screens on the camshaft actuator solenoid valve are either clogged or missing. You need to remove the actuator and inspect it (and yes you have to drop the power steering pump down a bit to get the valve past. I would just go ahead and replace it, it's only a $100 part anyway.
 
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