- Basic System Overview and Operation

The Ford 4.6 Liter 3-Valve motor is the first modular Ford V8 to incorporate variable camshaft timing (VCT). Variable valve timing adjusts the angle of the camshaft while the engine is running to increase horsepower, and fuel economy. This system is controlled by the engine computer, which operates a solenoid on the top of each cylinder head inside the valve cover. This solenoid allows pressurized oil to flow to the camshaft sprocket, which on this system, Ford calls a “Cam Phaser.” The cam phaser becomes pressurized by engine oil and changes the camshaft timing by varying the offset of the camshaft gear. (See our post http://www.autopartsdirecttoyou.info/?p=70 for more information on the cam phaser).

- VCT Solenoid Failure

VCT Solenoid

You can click here to find the Original Equipment Ford VCT Solenoid

The VCT (Variable Cam Timing) solenoid is one point of potential failure in this system. The solenoid is exposed to harsh conditions inside the valve cover. Excessive heat, and lack of engine oil changes are two of the most damaging factors that can kill the VCT Solenoid. When the engine computer recognizes that the VCT solenoid is not operating properly, it can trigger any of the trouble codes listed below. Failure of a VCT solenoid can also cause poor engine performance, rough running, and decreased fuel economy.

- Trouble Codes indicating possible VCT Solenoid Failure

** Please note, these codes can all be indications of other problems in the VCT system, such as the camshaft phaser or wiring.

P0010 : Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit Open, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0011 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing Over-Advanced, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0012 : Intake Camshaft Position FTiming – Over-Retarded, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0020 : Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit Open, Bank 2 (Driver Side)
P0021 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing – Over Advanced, Bank 2 (Driver Side)
P0022 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing – Over-Retarded, Bank 2 (Driver Side)

** Please note, these codes can all be indications of other problems in the VCT system, such as the camshaft phaser or wiring.

 

Drivers Side VCT Solenoid. Passenger side is similar.

VCT Solenoid Location

VCT Solenoid