The national cost for a variable valve timing solenoid replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $224 and $530 with an average of $377.

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What is a variable valve timing solenoid and how does it work?

A variable valve timing (VVT) solenoid is a device that controls oil flow to the VVT actuator to help adjust engine timing across a range of engine performance needs.

Engine function requires that a small army of moving parts - from four to eight pistons, a crankshaft, camshafts, and as many as thirty two valves, along with dozens of other components - all march together at the same time. Like instruments in an orchestra, all of these components must be synchronized. In an engine with traditional fixed timing, the relationship between moving pieces remains the same no matter what performance is called for.

With variable valve timing, the engine timing can be adjusted on the fly to accommodate low, mid, and upper-range performance. In the process, it helps to improve efficiency, horsepower, and emissions. The VVT solenoid changes the amount of oil pressure sent to the VVT actuator to allow the timing of the camshaft(s) to be advanced or retarded.


How is a a Variable Valve Timing Solenoid Replacement done?

In contrast to other engine timing services, replacement of a variable valve timing solenoid does not typically require significant disassembly of engine components. Rather, the solenoid is accessible from outside the engine.

In general, a technician might have to set aside some components for access, engine shields, wires, and the like. But removal of the old VVT solenoid requires only that one to three bolts be extracted and an electrical plug be disconnected. Care must be taken to ensure that the new part is properly seated and sealed to prevent oil leaks.

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National average cost of a a Variable Valve Timing Solenoid Replacement
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How do I know if a variable valve timing solenoid needs to be replaced?

The signs that a variable valve timing solenoid needs to be replaced can be subtle, and can sometimes be attributed to other causes. But a bad VVT solenoid can result in one or more of the following issues:

A loss of engine power as your engine speed increases

An inconsistent engine speed or vibration when your vehicle is idling

A decrease in fuel efficiency

The Check Engine Light comes on and reveals a diagnostic code related to incorrect camshaft timing

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Other questions customers ask

Can a car run without a VVT solenoid?
Yes, your engine may still function with a bad VVT solenoid. But it will not operate at peak efficiency. As a result, you will see less engine power, decreased fuel efficiency, and higher emissions output. If the solenoid fails in such a way that it causes the engine timing to remain in an advanced state, you might have difficulty starting your vehicle.
Where is the VVT solenoid located?
Unlike most timing components - the timing belt or chain, tensioners, camshaft, and VVT actuator - the variable valve timing solenoid is not found on the inside of the engine. Instead, it is usually accessed from the outside, at the top and near the front of the engine. That is where the timing belt or chain is located. It will be in close proximity to the camshaft underneath the valve cover.
What causes a VVT solenoid to fail?
Some variable valve timing solenoids fail simply due to age and mileage. However, premature wear and failure can occur due to dirty and degraded engine oil, or oil that is of the wrong viscosity or grade.

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