SureTrack Real Fix: Getting Traction

Real Fixes from Mitchell 1’s SureTrack® expert information resource are documented issues from actual shop repair orders and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you correct issues that are not easily diagnosed using OEM information alone. SureTrack is available at no additional cost in our ProDemand product.


What does the traction control system have to do with engine performance? Quite a bit as the systems typically reduce engine power to help counteract traction loss. Follow this Real Fix to see how a problem with valve timing, which disable the traction control, on this Chevrolet Impala was diagnosed and corrected.

Vehicle
2008 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.5L

Title
C0561, P0011, Traction Control Light On, Replaced Variable Valve Timing Actuator (B1)

Complaint
The customer states the traction control light is on. The customer also states the check engine light is on.

Cause
Confirmed the customer’s complaint and found the traction control light was on. Connected a scan tool and found codes: C0561 – System Disabled Information Stored Invalid Serial Data Received and P0011 – A Camshaft Position – Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1).Performed an inspection of the engine oil and found it was at the proper level and clean. Ran the engine and increased the engine speed to 1,500 RPM. Used the scan tool to observe the camshaft phase angle (B1) parameter while commanding the variable valve timing solenoid (B1) from 0% to 100% and found the angle did not change. Used the scan tool to command the variable valve timing solenoid (B1) on and off and found the solenoid was responsive. Removed the engine oil pressure sending unit and connected an oil pressure gauge to the sending unit fitting. Raised the engine speed to 1,800 RPM, observed the oil pressure gauge and found the measured oil pressure was within the specified range of 30-45 PSI. Removed the valve cover, performed an inspection of the variable valve timing actuator (B1) and found it was seized. These test results verified the variable valve timing actuator (B1) was faulty.

Correction
Replaced the variable valve timing actuator (B1), cleared codes, and verified the vehicle operated properly. The customer’s concern did not return.


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About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.