How Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Works

Variable valve timing (VVT) systems are usually found in newer cars. The purpose of this system is to enhance the engine’s performance by increasing its flexibility when facing various driving conditions.

The system helps circulate internal exhaust gasses so that it cuts down on emissions. Many lawmakers are forcing auto manufacturers to create cars that cut down on carbon emissions. Therefore a VVT system is a way for automakers to be in compliance with various state and federal laws.

In addition, the system provides better torque for the engine and is more efficient in handling the valves of the engine. The result of this optimized performance will mean better fuel mileage and overall better driving functionality.

There are many advanced hydraulic and mechanical processes involved in the engine of a car in order to make variable valve timing possible. The way these processes work can vary slightly in each type of car.

For example, the variable valve timing system inside the engine of a Honda uses a camshaft to lower its RPM. The computer monitor in the engine calculates all of the conditions of the vehicle in order to make this happen.

It looks at the engine’s speed and the throttle pedal’s position in order to decide if switching to a high-performance camshaft is necessary or not. If it decides that it is necessary, hydraulic pressure is then activated to change the camshaft to a high performing one in order to accommodate the high RPM of the car.

Symptoms of a Faulty VVT System

If you have a failing VVT system then there are a few signs you can look out for in order to have this fixed immediately.

1) Check Engine Light On

The first easy step is to simply watch for the “Check Engine” light to turn on. You never want to take any chances with your engine or its VVT system so make sure you have your car checked immediately if this happens.

2) Dirty Oil

Now if you are the type of person who changes their own oil, then be on the lookout for dirty oil because that can cause problems with the VVT system. Dirty oil contains debris in it that clogs up this system and diminishes its functionality.

3) Decrease Fuel Mileage

Lastly, if your fuel mileage starts to decrease then it could mean that your VVT system is not properly processing the exhaust. Regardless of what the situation is, it is important that you take care of it right away.

If you don’t and it gets damaged, then you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repair costs.

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