Hi – all methods I have found for testing a VVT oil solenoid appear to ignore the fact that the solenoid is PWM driven. To my mind, this means that the shaft position can be held anywhere along the travel of the shaft. The tests I have seen simply apply 12V DC to the coil and verify that the shaft pulls all the way in.
I am fairly sure that that the PWM duty cycle set by the ECM can vary close to 100%. Which means that the shaft can be positioned almost anywhere along its travel. If the solenoid is perhaps old, there may not be enough magnetism to pull the shaft all the way to the one end of its travel. In this case the ECM will be expecting the cam position to be far advanced but will measure that it is not as advanced as expected. This would trigger the engine warning light or even cut the engine – which happens occasionally in my case, when applying power up a hill.
Surely a proper test of the solenoid would be to see that it can hold a position anywhere along its travel? I expect that the shaft position can be held anywhere along its travel as determined by the feedback from the cam sensor.
I have connected a multimeter across the coil and can see while driving that the voltage varies as the PWM duty cycle varies. How can I test that the solenoid shaft can travel its full extent? Is my understanding correct?
(The solenoid has been cleaned. My car is Toyota Camry 2.4 VVT-i. )
Feedback would not only be much appreciated but would also be very interesting.
Cheers – Neville in South Africa
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