P0015 Mercedes: What Does It Mean?

Having a hunch that something is wrong with your car is quite common. But knowing what the issue is and where the problem lies may make things easier when diagnosing it yourself. Moreover, in many cases, it can also save you money if you are able to solve it yourself. 

Therefore, knowing some of the error codes that can be triggered for different vehicles can be fruitful from time to time. One such code is the p0015 Mercedes error code. Keep on reading to find out more about what this code indicates and what your next steps should be! 

P0015 Mercedes

What Does It Mean?

This code is referred to as Camshaft Position B – Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1).  The P0015 code is triggered when there is a camshaft control circuit malfunction. This problem code can be caused by mechanical faults such as timing concerns. 

P0015 is a generic code alerted by the engine control module (ECM). It appears when the condition exhaust camshaft timing for bank 1 has worsened, even more than what the ECM had initially claimed to be. 

What Are The Symptoms Of The P0015 Mercedes Code?

It’s recommended to look out for possible signs for this code in your Mercedes, as it will help you to diagnose it yourself before taking a trip to an auto repairs shop. The possible symptoms are: 

  • If the timing is ordered to shift yet it remains retarded, the Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon light illuminates.
  • Decreased engine fuel efficiency, which means a fewer number of miles will be covered by the Mercedes within a specific amount of fuel.
  • The engine of the Mercedes may stall or show erratic behaviors when running or hesitate to run at all. 
  • A delayed timing position will cause the engine to have a rough start and power dissipation.

What are the Causes 

Now that you know what symptoms to look out for in your Mercedes, let’s look at the possible causes that could be triggering the p0015 Mercedes and BMW P0015 DTC code

  • Low Level of Oil:

To run the VVT system requires a continual flow of oil at the correct pressure. This is a common problem, so you should be checking the oil level before running to a mechanic first. 

  • Buildup in the oil Passages and of Sludges:

Proper oil flow is essential for the engine to operate optimally. Sludge clogs the oil pickup tube, reducing the amount of oil flowing to the engine. The buildup of sludge can be caused by driving your car with low levels of oil or using poor-quality oil. It can also be caused by putting off oil changes for extended periods of time. 

This sludge buildup can clog oil passages, and as a result, the camshaft phaser can be jammed in a retarded position. 

The incorrect viscosity of oil:

The computer calculates how frequently to pump the oil control valve to produce camshaft activity depending on that viscosity. Using a different viscosity oil will create incompatibility and trigger the p0015 code in the process. This, as a result, can cause oil flow problems. 

A faulty or clogged oil control valve (OCV) or phaser:

Sludge accumulation in the filter screen of the oil control valve (OCV) or the phaser can cause it to malfunction and produce a trigger code. This can be a result of waiting too long for oil changes. 

Therefore, it is recommended to check the phaser or OCV as well if the other options did not give you the appropriate answers.  Sometimes an open OCV circuit could also be the reason. 

Incorrect Oil Filter:

Utilizing any oil filters may not always be compatible with engines. Certain oil filters lower oil fluid pressure to the point that the pressure drops significantly enough to cause faulty VVT operation, resulting in a P0015 error code.

Therefore, if you get a p0015 error code soon after changing your oil filter, it’s safe to assume that’s the root cause of the problem. 

How Do You Fix The P0015 Mercedes Code?

How Do You Fix The P0015 Mercedes Code

Fill up the oil level

If you have a low oil level, it’s better to fill it up, clear the code, and go back on the road and check whether the code returns or not. If it doesn’t, then you have found your solution to the problem. Just make sure you don’t cause the stop vehicle leave engine running code due to mistake while filling up the oil.

Regulating oil changes and preventing buildups:

The best option to prevent buildups of sludge is to make sure your oil changes are regular and you are using good quality oil. This will reduce the number of buildups and are less likely to clog oil passages more frequently. 

Using the right viscosity of oil:

Incompatible oil viscosity is another probable cause of the code. Therefore, clear the code and drive the car after changing the oil and filter to the appropriate viscosity. If the code doesn’t return, you’ve discovered the source of the problem.

Repair or replace fault OCVs: 

A faulty OCV, such as a circuit problem, may cause problems with oil flow. In such cases depending on the condition, repairs or replacements by professionals may help with the p0015 error code. 

Check the oil filter:

Incompatible oil filters can restrict oil flow, which is likely to trigger the code. In such cases, it is better to change the oil filter and get a more compatible one by consulting a professional. 

How To Diagnose The P0015 Error Code in Mercedes?

It’s easy to diagnose the error code with just a few simple methods, and they are: 

  • Perform a visual inspection of the OCV’s connections and wiring for any issues before opting for any replacements. 
  • Check the engine oil to make sure it’s full of clean and right viscosity oil. 
  • Restart and activate the Check Engine Light again and perform another road test to check if the error code reappears.
  • Runs the P0015 code’s manufacturer’s checks as per the guidelines to verify the error. 

To What Extent Is the P0015 Code Serious?

The severity of the code depends on the condition of the camshaft delay. These are the most likely complications that may arise:

  • Irregular oil flow can lead to excess fuel usage, which can result in engine stalling as well as the carbon to foul within some components. 
  • Based on the faulty part, driving the car for an extended period of time with the faulty camshafts may cause additional engine difficulties and damage. 
  • Engine can behave erratically, and stalling and rough idling can be experienced. 

What’s The Cost to Fix It?

The cost, like any other diagnostic and repair of such codes, varies greatly depending on a number of criteria. For example, a significant portion of it will be determined by labor rates, which will vary according to the region, automobile model, and engine type.

However, the charges in auto repair shops will be hourly based, ranging from $70 to $155 on average.


Therefore, whenever you get this p0015 Mercedes code, with these steps, you can diagnose and even solve problems at their initial stage. Depending on your Mercedes’s condition, your cost rates will vary. 

However, a trip to the auto repairs shop is likely to solve the direst of issues with this code, so fear not. Good luck solving the problem! 

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