Having a smooth running car is no accident. A lot of different parts have to work in conjunction with each other for the engine to run smoothly. The variable valve timing (VVT) system has a lot to do with how your car idles and runs. This system has both a solenoid and switch that help to regulate the amount of pressure that the system takes in. The oil pressure in a car is very important, which is why there are so many different components that are built to regulate it. The VVT switch records the amount of oil sent to the variable valve timing system and then sends this information back to the engine computer.
Just like other sensors and switches on your car, the VVT switch is designed to be a lifetime part. The heat of the engine is what usually causes repair issues with this part of the car. Another common cause of damage to this switch is not getting oil changes on a regular basis. Having thick and sludge filled oil can gum up this switch and make it nearly impossible for it to do the job that it is intended for. Making sure that the oil in your car is changed is also important in keeping your engine running as it should.
The first indication that you will usually have when this switch is going bad is the illumination of your Check Engine Light. Once this light comes on, you will need to take your vehicle in to have a diagnostic check ran. The mechanics will have the machinery needed to pull the trouble code from your OBD system. This will help you to narrow down what the issue is and to get the appropriate repairs performed.
The following are some of the warning signs that your VVT switch is going bad:
- The engine is running very rough
- The fuel economy is starting to decline
- The car will not idle without cutting off
Without this switch to help regulate the flow of oil to the VVT system, it will be nearly impossible to get the performance you have come to expect from your engine. Have a certified mechanic replace the failing variable valve timing switch to eliminate any further problems with your vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Switch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.