P0015 BMW Error Code: Everything You Need to Know

Is your check engine light on, and you have found that the reason behind it is the P0015 BMW code after doing the OBD2 scan? Seeing this random code may leave you puzzled if you are someone who hasn’t dealt with such matters before. 

You need to clear this as quickly as you can, and to do that, you need to know what it means, its diagnosis, and much more. It must be your lucky day because we have all of it covered in one article right here!

P0015 BMW

What does P0015 BMW Mean?

First, let’s address the ‘P’ at the beginning of the code; it means that there is an issue with the powertrain of your BMW. You will see the P0015 code pop up when the car’s camshaft position timing of exhaust ‘B’ in bank 1 becomes over-retarded. 

To be more specific, this code often points to malfunctioning of the variable camshaft timing (VCT), which you may know as variable valve timing (VVT) as well. You will see this code being shown when the powertrain control module (PCM) gets the signal that the BMW’s camshaft timing has become over-retarded.

Unlike the P0013, the severity of this issue is moderate, so you may be able to drive with it until you can’t get to a mechanic’s workshop. However, driving with this code long-term can cause internal damage to your BMW engine. 

What are the Symptoms?

If you can recognize the symptoms of the P0015 BMW code, then it can help a lot with the diagnosis. The symptoms of this code may vary slightly depending on the BMW model that you have. So, we will be talking about the most common ones that you may be able to notice if you have some automobile knowledge. 

Check Engine Light has been Lit

This is the first symptom of any trouble code, and after seeing that the engine light is on, you should connect the OBD2 scanner immediately. Most car owners already know about this symptom and know how to deal with it. 

Stalling After Stopping

After stopping at a stop sign, you may notice that your engine is stalling. This is a common sign that there is an issue with the camshaft timing of the car and that you will see the P0015 code upon doing an OBD2 scan. 

Decreased Fuel Economy 

When there’s an issue like the P0015 BMW code, your vehicle tends to use more oil than it normally would. Therefore, you should see that there is a significant decrease in fuel economy. A huge disadvantage of having this symptom is that it means that your fuel expenditure will increase. So, clear the code to get your fuel costs normal again.

Engine Not Starting Easily

Although hard starting is a symptom of several automobile issues, this code also triggers it. So, if you notice that it’s taking you more than a couple of tries to get your engine running, then consider the possibility that your BMW has the P0015 code problem.

Drop in Engine Performance

If the exhaust ‘B’ camshaft position timing is over-retarded, then it will decrease the power of your engine. The most noticeable change that you will see is that the acceleration will be much lower.

Rough Idle and Rattling Noise

The P0015 code can also make your car vibrate excessively during idling, which is a very unpleasant feeling for everyone in the car. Your engine will also be shaking more, and you may also hear a rattling noise coming from it due to the vibrations, just like the P0015 mercedes fault code. This noise coming from the engine may also sound like knocking.

Possible Causes for P0015 BMW

  • Bad camshaft position sensor
  • Low level of engine oil
  • Sludge in the Engine
  • Worn out timing belt
  • Variable valve timing solenoid, also known as oil control valve, has failed.
  • Electrical problems in the variable timing system’s circuit
  • Defective variable valve timing (VVT) actuator

How to Diagnose P0015 BMW

How to Diagnose P0015 BMW

Before you roll your sleeves up to get your hands dirty for diagnosing the P0015 BMW, you should know that this task can be quite backbreaking and confusing. It is definitely not something a common person can successfully complete with the knowledge of a few automobile articles.

So, unless you’re someone who has had ample experience with automobile repairs and is very knowledgeable in this field, you should hand this job over to the professionals. 

If your mechanic is highly-skilled, then they will check every possible cause of this code and will run various tests to find out what is triggering the code. They will check all the sensors to see if any of them have become faulty or not, and most importantly, they will take a look at the engine oil level. Unless you’re doing the diagnosis yourself, your only job will be to ensure that the mechanic has checked everything to rule out all the possibilities. 

Cost of Diagnosis

Since the diagnosis of anything is just labor, you will only have to pay the labor cost. The price to pay will vary depending on the wages of the mechanics, and the wages depend on the country you live in and how professional the workshop is. 

Fancy workshops can charge you even more than $150, whereas local ones will get the job done within $80. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to go to a very fancy workshop to do the diagnosis, a regular mechanic will probably do the job as good as them for a lower price. However, you don’t want to be too cheap with it either. 

How to Fix the P0015 BMW

Surprisingly the fixing part is usually not as difficult because, after the diagnosis, you already know what fixes you need to make to clear the code. So, all you or, in most cases your mechanic has to do is complete the repairs or replacements needed. Although that is also very complex, we’re assuming that someone else will be doing it for you.

Since we’re actually not giving you a tutorial on each of these fixes, let’s look at the possible cost of clearing the P0015 BMW code. This code will rarely be associated with a full engine failure, so you don’t have to stress about that. Oftentimes this can be cleared just by simply replacing the engine oil, and the good news is that you can get the engine oil replaced within just $50!

Faulty sensors or valves will require replacements, and this can be moderately costly. The price of the sensors will depend on which one you’re specifically replacing and the brand. To give you a rough estimate, the sensor replacements can usually be done within $500. 

Final Thoughts

We know that all this information about the P0015 BMW trouble code may seem overwhelming to you if you’re a newbie. But we promise you’ll know exactly how to deal with this code and recognize its symptoms after you go through the information a couple of times. Don’t neglect this code and its issues because it’s not that serious; you will just end up regretting it later!