The average cost for a VVT solenoid replacement is $50 to $400, depending on whether you perform a DIY project or take it to a mechanic.
This price range reflects the national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in any taxes or fees, and does not include estimates for a specific make or model. Related repairs are also not included in this estimate. For a more accurate estimate using your particular vehicle make, model, and location, check out the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $170 to $400
- Parts: $50 to $220
- Labor: $120 to $180
Replacing the VVT solenoid should take less than an hour for most trained mechanics. It could take longer if you have a VVT that’s hard to get to in your engine, but most are relatively straightforward.
Cost To DIY: $50 to $220
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Parts Needed:
For the mechanically inclined DIYer, replacing a VVT solenoid is a relatively simple car repair. You can save money on labor by replacing this component yourself. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to replace a variable valve timing.
Keep in mind: All engine components are specifically designed for each vehicle’s make and model. When replacing the VVT solenoid, ensure you get the correct parts for your vehicle. If you’re unsure about the parts to use, consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
What Is VVT Solenoid Replacement?
The VVT solenoid is a variable valve timing system component that engages and disengages the simple variable valve timing systems. Before we continue, we recommend that you read this guided to learn everything you’ll need to know about a VVT solenoid.
The VVT solenoid is constantly working to adjust the intricacies of the variable valve timing system to provide you with better fuel efficiency and more power. The power management computer controls the VVT solenoid electronically to either advance or delay the valve timing under certain conditions.
What Does a VVT Solenoid Replacement Include?
To replace the VVT solenoid, disconnect the battery and use bungee cords to hold the terminals apart and prevent contact. On some new cars, you may need to remove the engine cover, a cosmetic feature commonly used to dress up the engine compartment or limit the amount of engine noise that can be heard inside the vehicle. Watch this video to learn how you can remove an engine cover yourself.
Once you have removed this cover, look for the VVT solenoid, which is usually found near the valve cover at the front of the engine.
If there are wiring harnesses or vacuum lines in your way, you’ll want to use another bungee cord to secure them in a manner that clears your work area. Locate the one or two mounting bolts and remove them to locate the VVT solenoid. Disconnect the VVT solenoid by applying pressure to the tab, releasing the connector’s lock. Remove the solenoid using channel-lock pliers, paying particular attention to gripping the solenoid at the strongest point. Gently twist the VVT solenoid from side to side until it breaks free. Examine the VVT solenoid to ensure it came out in one piece.
Clean up any debris inside the mounting surface hole using a long needle-nose plier or curved pick. Add lithium grease to the VVT solenoid seals and insert the new solenoid into the mounting surface hole. Add the mounting screws and tighten them up before installing the electrical connector using a small amount of dielectric grease on the connector’s face as well as the seal. Reassemble everything in the reverse order, re-routing anything you moved aside to clear the work area to put it back in place. Once the battery is reconnected, you can test everything out.
What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your VVT Solenoid?
If your VVT solenoid has failed, you’ll notice that your P0016 check engine light is on. If you continue to drive your vehicle, you will notice a loss of power and performance, as well as a rough ride during acceleration and idling. You’ll also notice an increase in fuel consumption. A failed VVT solenoid may also mean that your vehicle won’t start, leaving you stranded, which is why it’s best not to drive.
How Often To Replace Your VVT Solenoid
VVT solenoids are vehicle components that don’t have a regularly scheduled maintenance routine for replacement, and they have been known to fail at varying mileage markers. VVT solenoids are designed not to fail; however, broken down oil, thinner oil, or dirty oil can cause your VVT solenoid to fail. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance on all of your vehicle’s components can help keep your entire vehicle running smoothly.
Common Symptoms Indicating You Need to Replace the VVT Solenoid
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms that indicate you need to replace the VVT solenoid:
- Rough idle. When the VVT fails, the engine will often idle roughly or stall altogether.
- Excessive vibrations. You may notice your vehicle feels like it’s vibrating when idling.
- Check engine light. Your vehicle will warn you of a VVT solenoid failure with the check engine light, usually yielding a P0016 code.
- Rough acceleration. You may notice a loss of power during acceleration or poor acceleration due to a failed VVT solenoid.
- Decreased fuel efficiency. Your car may start to use more fuel because the timing is off.
- Poor engine performance. Overall, your engine’s performance will suffer because the timing and RPMs are off.
Related Maintenance Services
You may experience one or more of the related codes* when your VVT solenoid fails:
- P0444 – Evaporative Emission System Purge Control Valve Circuit Open
- P1811 – Maximum Adaptive & Long Term Shift
- P0445 – Evaporative Emission System Purge Control Valve Circuit Shorted
- P1505 – Idle Speed Control Actuator Signal Low
- P1443 – Evaporative Emission System Control Valve Low/No Flow
*this is just some of the trouble codes you might get with a failed VVT solenoid.
To help beginners with their first DIY repairs, we’ve compiled our top car maintenance tips here.
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