Last Updated on November 20, 2019
An oil control valve is commonly used on engine with variable valve timing (VVT) system. This system is to control the engine performance using the method of retard and advance camshaft angle.
The benefits of a VVT system include: Fuel consumption efficiency, reduced gas emission, and increased engine performance. For more information about the oil control valve, please read the full article below:
What an Oil Control Valve Does
The oil control valve is controlled by the engine control module, or ECM. The oil control valve is basically what controls the flow of oil into the camshaft of the engine. This allows the internal moving parts of the engine to sustain their functionality.
If the camshaft cannot be lubricated at the right times by the oil, then the engine won’t be able to perform its job properly. So, what the oil control valve does is it opens and closes the camshaft at the appropriate times to let in oil when it is needed and prevent oil from entering when it is not needed.
The ECM will control the valve and let it know what appropriate action it must take based on the engine’s performance demands.
Common Symptoms of a Bad Oil Control Valve
If you have oil control valve problems, then there are certain symptoms you can look out for. Some of them include slow acceleration, poor brake performance, and a strange burning smell in the car.
Before it gets this bad, the computer in your vehicle should give you some warnings first on the dashboard. The most obvious warning will be when the “Check Engine” light is on. You may not know exactly why it’s on unless you experience those other symptoms mentioned before.
And also the fuel economy is what will be affected the most. Remember if the oil control valve doesn’t manage the flow of oil properly then it will cause the engine to overperform and use up more fuel. This means you’ll be spending more money on gas while causing your exhaust valves to open and close at the wrong time.
Sooner or later, the internal components of your engine will get damaged as a result. That is why it is best to take care of these problems as soon as you notice them happening. It is a lot cheaper to change your oil or replace the oil control valve then it is to replace your engine.
Common Causes of a Faulty Oil Control Valve
Believe it or not, there are lots of people who forget to change their oil on time. The reason you need to change your oil every 3-6 months, or every 5,000 miles, or whatever the manufacturer recommends is because debris and dirt build up in the oil after a while.
If the oil does not get changed then it will create a blockage which will prevent the oil from flowing into the camshaft and will cause the oil control valve malfunction. So always remember to change your oil and keep it as clean as you can.