Keeping Up With Variable Valve Timing

VIDEO: Keeping Up With Variable Valve Timing

Just as with the engine itself, oil is critical to the VVT system. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

Cam phasers may sound like futuristic technology out of science fiction, but it’s a fact – this technology is in your customers’ engines right now, and it’s critical that your team isn’t “stunned” by the challenges.

It’s not actually “new” – different types of variable valve timing or VVT have been used in vehicles since the ‘60s, really gaining popularity with Honda’s VTEC engine in the late 1980s. Since then, VVT has become the dominant underhood technology in gas-powered vehicles. In just the past five years, the percentage of light- and medium-duty vehicles with VVT systems has skyrocketed from around 40 percent in 2015 to nearly 80 percent in 2020.

VVT actually alters the timing or duration of a valve lift event to improve performance, fuel economy and emissions. It’s controlled by a carefully integrated system of parts consisting of VVT solenoids, VVT actuators, an oil control valve and, yes, those cam phasers.

Here’s how it works: Phasing advances or retards the timing event by means of oil pressure and directed flow. The oil-control valve routes oil through a series of passages in the camshaft that force the hydraulic phaser to rotate back and forth in relation to the orientation of the camshaft. This rotation determines the amount of advance or retard of the cam, and therefore the valve timing. The oil-control valve contains the solenoid, which opens and closes internal passages in the valve’s body, changing the flow direction and rate as dictated by the PCM.

Just as with the engine itself, oil is critical to the VVT system – the leading cause of all VVT failures is oil contamination. The screens in the solenoids are smaller than the diameter of a human hair and can easily be clogged with sludge. The blockages of these oil passages can reduce oil flow and even limit the full travel of the cam phasers. In many cases, sludge and debris build up because of a lack of maintenance or using the wrong-viscosity oil. That’s why it’s critical that your customers follow the recommended service intervals for their vehicle, and that they ALWAYS use the oil viscosity that’s recommended by the manufacturer.

By 2025, it’s estimated that nearly all gasoline-powered vehicles will employ VVT technology so the repair opportunities will continue to increase. Luckily, many aftermarket companies continue to make significant improvements to the quality of the original OE designs.  Use of these advanced components will help your customers’ cars live long and … well, you know.

This video is sponsored by The Group.

You May Also Like

Educate Your Customers Utilizing AI

Discover how to generate quick, accurate explanations for repair orders and estimates, boosting your shop’s credibility and customer trust.

In this video, Andrew Markel shares a game-changing solution: Artificial Intelligence. Learn how AI, specifically ChatGPT, can create informative and concise content to educate your customers effectively. Discover how to generate quick, accurate explanations for repair orders and estimates, boosting your shop’s credibility and customer trust.

Key Topics Covered:

AMN Drivetime: Mike Mohler

For Mohler, it all began in Monroe, Louisiana, where he worked for his father, Ray.

AAPEX: Navigating the Automotive Aftermarket’s Digital Evolution

The shift toward digital platforms has reshaped how businesses operate, from inventory management to customer interactions.

What the Future Holds for the Aftermarket at AAPEX 2024

Attending AAPEX provides automotive professionals with the latest insights and innovations from industry leaders.

The Vital Nature of Multi-V Belt Systems

From the alternator to A/C, the multi-v belt uses a truck’s engine to operate crucial components. Here’s how to keep things running smoothly.

Other Posts

Navigating The Legal Landscape with Succession Planning

Planning for a successful business handover means doing things by the book.

AMN Drivetime: Cal Ganda’s Continental Journey

Ganda embodies servitude leadership, prioritizing team success and customer-centricity.

Replacing Your Power Steering Reservoir

Discover why simply flushing out contaminants from power steering reservoirs may not be sufficient to prevent potential failures.

Planning for Your Shop’s Success In The Future

Understanding succession planning before you need it is critical. This series is presented by Standard.