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#4400467 - 05/09/17 06:59 PM Oil causing problems in VVT engines
nwjones18 Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1052
Loc: Warner Robins, GA
Recently my STS V8 began throwing several camshaft position sensor codes and having clattering/rattling noises that would appear under acceleration then go away at idle (I assume noise was when the VVT was trying to kick in I don't claim to fully understand how it works). I could not find a problem, but the noise was very concerning so I took it to my local mechanic and he said the oil was dirty and changed it. I've put 20 miles on it since picking it up with no noise or CEL, which was coming on within the first couple miles before. I can confirm that the oil looked extremely dirty on the dipstick, but had only 5k miles on it over the last 13 months (oil/filter in signature). Has anyone heard of anything like this? I'd love to have been able to cut open that filter but it was already gone. Just curious if this sounds as unbelievable to anyone else as it does to me. BTW oil was right on the full line.
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#4400474 - 05/09/17 07:06 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
car51 Online   content


Registered: 03/12/15
Posts: 10268
Loc: Southwest PA
I believe it. My 2008 Camry I believe has VVT but don't hold me to that. I use 5w30/10w30 without issues and no valvetrain noise. I attribute that to using FRAM ULTRA or MC filter wink
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#4400476 - 05/09/17 07:08 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
KingCake Offline


Registered: 11/19/15
Posts: 1462
Yes...oil level and quality greatly affect VVT systems. Both the solenoids and phasers. This is common knowledge. I suggest using a better filter like Fram Ultra. That might help. Your engine might have excessive blow by.

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#4400499 - 05/09/17 07:35 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
gabriel9766 Offline


Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 936
Loc: Missouri
If it has the 3.6L they are bad for chain stretching if run low on oil and extended oil changes.
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#4400505 - 05/09/17 07:45 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1924
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: gabriel9766
If it has the 3.6L they are bad for chain stretching if run low on oil and extended oil changes.


It's a RWD VVT 4.6L Northstar.

Without a UOA....You don't know what condition the oil was in.
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#4400640 - 05/09/17 10:44 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
benjy Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 874
Loc: pa
although your miles were not high your oil was in too long! 6 months is a good time frame especially if doing short runs where engine never warms enough to burn off moisture or any gas in the oil

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#4400689 - 05/10/17 01:29 AM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Shearing down in grade can affect the effectiveness of the oil as a hydraulic fluid for the VVT system.
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#4400733 - 05/10/17 05:47 AM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
nwjones18 Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1052
Loc: Warner Robins, GA
I've had the car 5 years and have always done an annual oil change on it so it was due, only reason I didn't do it before taking it to the shop is I figured whatever work they were going to have to do would involve an oil change. Go figure. My driving is 50/50 city/highway and the OLM was at 57%. I believe GM recommends annual regardless of what the OLM says. I'm just surprised that I was using good oil (car holds 7.5qts) and a good filter with reasonable mileage and had an issue.

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#4400758 - 05/10/17 06:32 AM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: DoubleWasp]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18958
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
Shearing down in grade can affect the effectiveness of the oil as a hydraulic fluid for the VVT system.


Yes, it causes nebulous "effects", but nothing is usually harmed.

Most oil actuated VVT setups have an extremely wide tolerance of different oil grades. May engage sooner/later but always seem to work
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#4400898 - 05/10/17 09:49 AM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: nwjones18]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6578
Loc: Hudson, NH
My old Camry had the stuck lock pin VVT issue plaguing many Toyotas. The infamous startup rattle, out of phase, etc. The controllers get plugged up if you don't change the oil on time, use a quality oil. And stay on the thin side. the veins are small, using thicker oils can cause VVT issue if things aren't squeaky clean. Fixed a few with this issue degunking the engine with whatever elixir or oil you prefer.
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#4473520 - 07/28/17 11:19 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: KingCake]
udidwht Offline


Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 14
Loc: Ca-Wa-Japan
Originally Posted By: KingCake
Yes...oil level and quality greatly affect VVT systems. Both the solenoids and phasers. This is common knowledge. I suggest using a better filter like Fram Ultra. That might help. Your engine might have excessive blow by.


Avoid using anything made by Fram. Pure [censored].

Mobil 1 Extended Performance, WIX and/or NAPA Gold

Nothing else.
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#4473897 - 07/29/17 01:24 PM Re: Oil causing problems in VVT engines [Re: udidwht]
car51 Online   content


Registered: 03/12/15
Posts: 10268
Loc: Southwest PA
Originally Posted By: udidwht
Originally Posted By: KingCake
Yes...oil level and quality greatly affect VVT systems. Both the solenoids and phasers. This is common knowledge. I suggest using a better filter like Fram Ultra. That might help. Your engine might have excessive blow by.


Avoid using anything made by Fram. Pure [censored].

Mobil 1 Extended Performance, WIX and/or NAPA Gold

Nothing else.


That's total B.S. As I've used FRAM ULTRA on VVT engines without issues
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