P0020 Ford F150 | Meaning, Causes, Symptoms & Solutions

The diagnostic trouble code P0020 may appear on Ford F150’s display when the bank two is having an issue that is resulting in poor engine performance and more fuel consumption. 

DTC code p0020 on Ford F150 means that Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit is open. PCM or power control module recognizes the voltage from different valve timing circuits. So, when it detects that it has fallen out of a calibrated time limit, the code shows up.

When the Diagnostic trouble code P0020 appears on your Ford F150, it alerts the driver about an internal issue causing engine problems. Mechanics can easily detect the situation following the code in the manual. But the person driving this vehicle can also fix it by reading and following the steps in this article.

What Does Code P0020 Mean on Ford F150?

DTC P0020 appears on your Ford F150 when the PCM or Powertrain Control Module detects variable valve timing, which increases the system’s fuel consumption by a large gap.

The variable valve timing faces a short circuit, which causes the voltage to run out for a limited time. Power control module recognizes this issue, and it shows the code P0020 on the vehicle.

Basically, the DTC P0020 on Ford F150 means the Engine’s Ambient Air temperature sensor circuit is open or short. Here’s the breakdown of the code:

  • P = Powertrain ( engine and gearbox mainly ). The source that keeps the vehicle on the move (generic).
  • 0 = Low primary air intake. In this case, the idle air controlling valve is faulty.
  • 0 = Air Ambient temperature sensor sending a false signal to the Powertrain Control Module.
  • 2 = Supercharger inlet pressure sensor circuit. Which means the circuit is either short or open.
  • 0 = Shift solenoid or gear transmission is being restricted. Our problem is with the faulty VVT.

Common Symptoms Of A P0020 Ford F150 Issue

The trouble code P0020 appears only when your car is having some trouble internally. This helps the driver to understand the issue.

Your Ford F150 will behave abnormally, a symptom of your car. Different codes appear on different kinds of problems. Symptoms are also unlike. Here are some of the most common symptoms of the code P0020 on Ford F150:

Engine Light or Service Engine Soon Warning Light turns on

Engine service light might appear when there is any minor issue like a faulty gas cap. But sometimes, it can indicate serious issues like rough running or idle problems.

Check the Service Engine Soon light on your Ford F150.  If it blinks, you will notice some performance issues with your car. In our case, an increase in fuel consumption is the problem.

So when the PCM detects the issue by determining voltage, it turns the lights on as an alert.

Reduced Engine Power Mode at High RPMs

Decreased power on the engine is noticeable because when DTC P0020 appears, the car performance is intentionally limited. When the PCM recognizes an issue on your system, it sets a limit to the Engine Power.

As a result, no matter how much you push your car to accelerate faster, even at high RPM, the vehicle will be set to a limit, and the maximum speed will be much lower than usual. The power might not reduce instantly, but you will notice it in time slowly.

Engine Runs or Starts Roughly 

Ford F150 sometimes starts roughly or even accelerates roughly, and this problem happens because of a vacuum leak.

Oxygen sensors in your Ford F150 monitor the exhaust system to help the PCM separate fuel and air combinations.

It is pretty noticeable because when you start your Ford F150, sometimes it won’t start, and even if it runs, it won’t perform well. This can also happen because of OCV or an oil control valve.

Engine sometimes stops / Rough Idle

Ford F150’s internal combustion engine requires air, fuel, and spark to start the engine. So when any of these is not working or switched off, it can cause rough idle. 

If the truck fails to achieve ignition, it simply won’t start.

On the other hand, it is rare, but sometimes while the car is on the run, one of the ignition keys gets detached from the system, which alerts the system, and DTC P0020 pops up.

Increased Fuel Consumption 

Every driver has an eye on the money they spend on their vehicle. Some won’t notice immediately, but internal damages like dirty fuel injectors or malfunction of airflow sensors can increase the fuel consumption of their Ford F150.

It won’t stop your truck or anything else, but the fuel requirement will increase drastically, and whenever the control module identifies this problem, the code P0020 shows on display.

What Are Some Potential Causes Of A P0020 Ford F150 Code

Every problem has a cause; the same goes for Ford F150’s DTC P0020 issue. These reasons do not happen outside your truck; they are internally damaged or accidental disconnection of a part.

Some of the potential causes of DTC P0020 on Ford F150 are given below:

  • Camshaft Oil Control Valve (OCV) is not working correctly (defect)
  • PCM or ECM system damaged
  • Damaged crankshaft
  • Variable valve timing short circuit or open circuit
  • Oil passing lines blocked
  • Lack of regular oil changing
  • Solenoid valve short or open circuit

How To Diagnose And Fix P0020 Ford F150 Code

If you want to diagnose the trouble code  P0020 on your Ford F150 thoroughly, you will need a scanner that can show the real-time sensor data for more accuracy. That way you can figure out where the exact problem is and solve it faster.

On Board, the Diagnostic-II scanner can clear the DTC from the electronic controller module’s memory. After that, it runs a test on the vehicle’s system to diagnose again and see if there are other errors.

After diagnosing using the scanner you should follow the steps underneath to solve the code P0020 issue on your Ford F150 before going to the dealership and spending more than you should.

Camshaft Oil Control Valve (OCV) Replacement

The Camshaft OCV is located at the top of the engine of your Ford F150. Remove it carefully with a ratchet and wrench. Use a valve cleaner to clean the camshaft OCV. Now use a multimeter to test the resistance with should be around 6.9 to 7.9 in ambient temperature.

If the reading is not accurate or not visible that means the valve is damaged and needs to be replaced. Buy a new one and replace it. A new OCV costs $48.

Install New PCM or ECM

There is a chance that the Powertrain Control Module or Electronic control module on your Ford F150 is receiving false signals or not operating properly as they can get faulty over time. 

Open the front hood and locate your ECM and PCM. Check the circuit of both. If the scanner is having wrong readings that means that part needs to be replaced.

Disconnect it from the battery and open the wires connected to the ECM or PCM  (whichever is broken).

Buy a pre-programmed new control module from a well-known third-party seller. Now, replace it. DTC P0020 should be reset by itself now.

Pre-Programmed ECM or PCM will cost $80 to $100 max.

Replace Air filter

Sometimes because of Dirty and Clogged air filters, the airflow gets disrupted and the oxygen sensor tends to not work.

This alarms the ECM and its module set boundaries in the vehicle by setting the code P0020. 

So, when the engine of your Ford F150 doesn’t get enough airflow the optimal performance reduces.

Open the hood and unscrew the air vent. Beneath that you can see the blocked air filter.

Buy a new one and replace it. Once the engine receives proper air, it will operate like before. Air filters are cheap and cost only $15.

VVT Solenoid Circuit Fix

The variable valve timing solenoid’s circuit can be short or open due to some accident which will create transmission issues for the Ford F150.

The gearbox will also face difficulties because of it. So, it’s best to fix it asap.

Firstly disconnect the battery from any kind of connection. Remove the engine cover if there is one then look for variable valve timing solenoid.

Use a manual if you can’t locate it. Remove the bolts and pull out the old VVT solenoid. Install a new one and test drive.

Fix the Oil Lines and Change Oil

This solution is for two oil-related issues mentioned. Locate the Oil Drain and place a bucket underneath. Use a socket ratchet to unplug the bolt of the drain and let all the oil out. 

Once the drain is empty replace the plug and close it. Now locate the oil filter under the hood and replace it with a new one. Remember to put some oil around its gasket.

On top of the engine, take off the oil fill cap and put new oil according to the amount of the Ford F150’s manual. Close it and start the engine for a minute to pump up the oil level. 

Check the oil level. You can always replace the used oil at any auto repair shop. The cost of this depends on the oil you will be using.

How To Prevent A P0020 Ford F150 Issue From Happening In The Future 

It is not impossible to drive a Ford F150 with DTC P0020 on display. Your car won’t stop immediately but it will show problems in time. There are ways that you can follow so that the code P0020 doesn’t show up.

If you are careful and follow the steps or prevention methods below you will be able to save yourself from big trouble.

Here are some prevention methods:

  • Excessive weight carries always creates problems for any car. Avoid that and your car engine won’t be under any pressure.
  • Check the circuit regularly. If it’s open or short, fix it immediately.
  • Keep an OBD scanner and run diagnostics regularly for pre-cautions.
  • Change oil regularly. Old oils going to the same old machine, again and again, can damage the engine.
  • Keep the oil filter clean and heat the engine before starting.
  • Go to a mechanic once at least two months for a check-up.
  • If there are any false readings, reset the ECM.

Note: If you are not confident enough then the best is to go to the mechanic always.


Ford F150’s DTC P0020 is one of the most common trouble codes around there yet it is also one of the easiest to solve if you follow the steps. Fortunately, it is not too complex or expensive to fix this issue. You must take the necessary steps as soon as you see some performance change in your Ford before it’s too late. 

If you don’t fix it soon then it will be hard to repair and cost more money. Just be alert of any malfunction in your car and locate the origin of the problem. Study the problem by reading our article and fixing it yourself. If you don’t have the courage then a mechanic is your only option.

Repairing the diagnostic trouble code P0020 on Ford F150 is very costly if you go to mechanics or Ford dealerships. You can save that cost by fixing the issue yourself.  We tried our best to help you and we hope all the answers to your questions are given above.

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