Symptoms of a faulty variable valve timing solenoid and how to replace them


Variable valve timing solenoid allows adequate amount of supply of oil which makes the engine efficient and gives you a great performance.

The variable valve timing solenoid or VVT is used to economize fuel by making alterations to the valve lift event. In the innovation of automotive, it is among the noted breakthroughs. It allows adequate amount of supply of oil which makes the engine efficient and gives you a great performance. It uses electronic techs in which to apply electronic system that is variable through variable valve timing solenoid. When it lubricates improperly, it causes lots of disruption and damages to the timing chain and the gear.

When you come across these problems with variable valve timing solenoid, lots of symptoms are may be the issues.

Symptoms of bad variable valve timing solenoid

These are the symptoms you must checkout for to know if your VVT solenoid is failing or isn’t functioning properly:

1. Check if the engine light is on

The engine control unit warns you as soon as possible if it finds deficiencies in the engine. It individually monitors all the car parts practically. So if the variable valve solenoid is failing, it is going to disturb you all the time with check engine light.

So when you face these problems, you need to contact a certified mechanic to diagnose the problem with it and also help you reset it.


Variable valve timing solenoid failure due to engine light

2. Dirty engine oil

This is one of the symptoms of the variable valve timing solenoid. The VVT solenoid performs better with clean engine oil. Viscosity is lost when the oil is not pure and when this happens, the variable valve timing solenoid is clogged which also clogs the gear and the chain.

So if your engine oil is dirty, that means your VVT solenoid is out of order.

3. Declining fuel efficiency

The VVT’s function is to control when the valves open to economically maximize fuel. If you notice any malfunctioning, it can cause the engines performance to dip and waste fuel. if you notice a reduction in economy fuel, it means the VVT system is failing.

4. Roughness in idling engine

When you notice the system isn’t working properly, additional oil passing to the VVT is a possibility. When the RPM of the engine is fluctuating when the VVT begins to work it means you are experiencing a rough idling engine. When you ignore this, it prematurely wears out the engine.

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How to restore variable valve timing solenoid

Once the problem of the variable valve timing solenoid has been diagnosed, the best course of action is to repair it or have it replaced with immediate effect because without doing this, it will make your engine plummet or decrease the fuel economy.

Here are the things you will need

  • Service manual
  • Sockets
  • Extensions
  • Pry bar- 18 long
  • Pick set- long set
  • Ratchet
  • Telescoping magnet
  • ¼ sockets
  • ¼ ratchets
  • ¼ extensions- 3 and 6
  • Bungee cords- 12
  • Box of rags
  • Lithium grease
  • Flashlight
  • Dialectic grease
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Channel lock pliers

Replacement process of the variable valve timing solenoid

10 steps you can replace it.

1. Open the hood and engine cover

Start by opening the hood and securing it so it won’t fall and if the engine has a cover, remove it so you can get on with what you want to do.

2. Disconnect the battery

Loose both the terminals of the engine by disconnecting. Just twist and then pull, and after you have done this just keep the cables aside by putting them apart with a bungee cord so as not to come in contact with one another.

3. Locate the VVT solenoid

It is located where you can see the engine. Things will be easier if you take the new solenoid to locate the one you want to replace it with, then you will see a connector at the exposed end of the VVT solenoid and after you have found it, use bungee cord to clear the space of wires.

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4. Locate and remove mounting bolts

You will always find a bolt. Carefully remove the bolts then and keep in a safe place and also do not allow the bolt falling into the compartments of the engine.

5. Disconnect and remove solenoid

A video has been provided below but carefully disconnect the connector on the solenoid. Remove solenoid by using channel locks and pull and twist on the biggest metal parts.

Variable Valve Timing Solenoid replacement could be done by yourself following these steps.

6. Inspect VVT solenoid

Make sure everything is out because at times some small parts of the maybe left. Then remove any debris you find using needle nose pliers.

7. Prepare and insert the new solenoid

Take the solenoid and lubricate, then put lube on the part where you want to insert the solenoid with lithium grease. Then put the new variable valve timing solenoid in the hole and shift.

8. Secure the VVT solenoid

All you have to do is replace the removed screws and tighten.

9. Install connector

Make use of dielectric grease and apply on the face of the connector to prevent corrosion.

10. Replace and pack

Put back the engine cover and put back the battery cord and connect the battery carefully and tighten.


After all the tutorials given to u by, I believe you know all about variable valve timing solenoid and what to do when you notice its damaged and also how to replace them.

Meanwhile, you can check out for more tips and answers on our car maintenance and car buying advice section for more juicy tips.

Bello Hammed