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Old 07-05-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
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VCT issues, and then some

I posted up about this on FJ yesterday and just for the sake of being thorough/hoping for new eyes to come across it now it goes here. Saturday evening I was pulling onto the highway and at about 5500 RPM in 2nd gear I felt the car surge forward and drop back. Then it threw a CEL. I had made plans to go visit my fiancee's family for the holiday and took the car up there so that I could have someone there pull the code for me.

Yesterday the code was read and it showed VCT bank 1. Nothing exactly about being over-retarded or over-advanced. I do not believe that the timing belt slipped a tooth since as best I know even a minor slip turns into a catastrophic failure type of issue. As of now the problems related to this is the car now accelerates about as quickly as a Smart car with an elephant on top of it and forget any sort of uphill grade. I am going to be forced to drive it as it is until I can figure out an alternate means of getting back and forth to work. I think I am going to pull and replace the VCT solenoid and hope that that solves the issue. Any alternate thoughts on this?

To add to my issues my parking brake is beginning to go, again. I left the car parked up by the house I was at yesterday and when it was time to leave I found the car had rolled itself forward about 3 feet and hit a trailer that I had parked behind. The trailer of course suffered no damage but it is time for me to locate a new bumper. fortunately on the one side the trailer prevented my car from continuing its way down the driveway and hitting anything from one of the family's vehicles to the house. I'd be ok with it if I hadn't just replaced the entire parking brake assembly from the cable back about 3 months ago. I use the brake solely for parking and only touch it once the car is immobile. To answer any other thoughts on this, YES the park brake was engaged and I don't like leaving my car in gear when I park.


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Old 07-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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I would find a local FF guy with a scan tool and send me a log of you car to see if the VCT is working properly

A quick way to somewhat do a feild test on the solenoid is to unplug it and do a short drive and see if the car feels the same power wower wise , If so then either the solenoid , VCT Gear or wiring has gone bad , very out side the cam sensor is bad

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Old 07-09-2010, 12:37 AM   #3
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I had the same thing happen when I was taking data and still could not find out what happened. The VCT just stopped, it appeared it was over advanced from what was requested, then went into failure mode and set a code. I cleared the code and it had not come back since, and this was about a year ago.
Did you try clearing the code and seeing if it sets again?
Worst case is the VCT control on the front of the cam, there are pressurized oil chambers on both sides of an arm that is connected to the cam. One falilure mode is when wear causes grooves and the VCT gets stuck. There is no repair other than a VCT control valve replacement. I've seen one on ebay for $149.
Definately try Tom's suggestions before the cam gear replacement.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
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