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3 Things to Know About Variable Valve Timing (VVT)

1. Irregular oil service is a leading cause of failure.

Variable Valve Timing (VVT) systems are designed to reduce emissions and maximize engine performance and fuel economy. The electro-mechanical system depends on the circulation of engine oil. Lack of oil circulation can cause VVT components to fail prematurely.

Every Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system is slightly different, but there are three general rules to follow to ensure proper performance. First, regularly service the engine oil and filter. Second, use the manufacturer’s required engine oil type. Lastly, service the engine oil and filter after you install new VVT solenoids or VVT sprockets. Even so, one of the leading causes of failure for the Variable Valve Timing system is irregular oil service.

2. VVT is a high-tech, high-failure category.

As we just noted, poor maintenance is a leading cause of failure. But there are a few specific applications that are known to have high failure rates for VVT solenoids. One such application is the GM 2.4L engine (2010-09). If the VVT solenoid fails, common DTCs include P0011, P0014, P0016, and P0017 and common symptoms include rattling noise at startup and unstable idle. Other applications with known issues are the Toyota 3.0L and 3.3L engines (2007-01). If the VVT solenoid fails on these particular engines, the common DTCs include P1354 and common symptoms include rough idle.

Because VVT is such a high-tech, high-failure category, it’s critical to stay on top of the latest VVT training. Take the Ford 5.4L engine, for example. To help perform this extremely in-depth repair, here are a few repair tips:

  • When replacing the VVT sprocket, use a pick tool to make a scribe on the timing chain. The scribe will show you where to put the chain with the new sprocket to avoid retiming the engine.

  • Remove the entire camshaft. Otherwise, it will be difficult to align the sprocket’s dowel pin. If the pin isn’t aligned perfectly, it will be sheared off, causing damage to the camshaft.

  • Tighten the sprocket bolt to 40Nm, then tighten an additional 90 degrees.

  • Torque the camshaft caps to 10Nm, working your way from the center to the outside.

If you’re replacing the VVT sprocket, experts recommend replacing the VVT solenoid, too. Here are a few repair tips to keep in mind during replacement:

  • Make sure the solenoid screens are clean. The buildup of engine oil sludge is a leading cause of solenoid failure.

  • Tighten the solenoid hold-down bolt to 5Nm.

  • Perform an oil change following the repair.

To view more installation videos, including other VVT repairs, visit the Standard® YouTube channel at YouTube.com/StandardBrandParts.

Bonus Tip: Pick Up a Cam Gear Wedge Tool

To prevent the chain tensioner from collapsing during your VVT repairs, pick up a cam gear wedge tool. This custom-designed tool locks the sprocket in place. Here’s a tip, though: don’t remove the wedge tool while the cam gear is out. If the tool comes out, the timing cover will need to be removed and the engine will need to be retimed.

3. Standard® Has the Most Comprehensive VVT Coverage in the Aftermarket

Providing a premium-quality replacement for this high-tech, high-failure category, Standard® is proud to supply the aftermarket’s most comprehensive coverage for VVT components with more than 500 SKUs in its line.

In addition to comprehensive coverage, Standard® is committed to supplying professional technicians with the premium quality that’s critical for this category. That’s why Standard® VVT solenoids and sprockets undergo in-depth design and testing processes to ensure performance and reliability under real-world conditions. Learn more at StandardVVT.com.

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