Topic: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

My daughter recently purchases a 99 Accord with a 4-cyl ULEV engine.  When she bought the car the CEL was on, and it was giving an O2 sensor code.  I replaced that, and now it is giving a P1259 code, which is for the VTEC.  A quick internet search suggested an oil and filter change and cleaning the screen for the VTEC oil pressure sensor.  I did the oil/filter change (with a Honda filter) and put in a new screen (yes, the old one was pretty bad).  Unfortunately, the light came back on about 1 mile after completing these services.

Does this pretty much leave me with a bad VTEC solenoid?  Could that oil sending unit be bad and cause that light?

The only symptom other than the light is if you do a hard acceleration, once it hits 4,000 rpm it starts to buck and stumble until you ease off the throttle.

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

In all of my years playing with Honda’s I have never seen a failure of a VTEC part.  From what you are saying, I agree that the VTEC solenoid is probably the next thing to try.  Have you had the valve cover off?  There is a plug in the oil line that supplies the VTEC and if it fell out and the oil pressure can’t buid up in that line then VTEC won’t engage either.  The car running poorly at higher rpm is consistent with VTEC not engaging.

Three Pedal Mafia: IOE > Overall
Wartburg | Wagovan | The Boat | Rolls Royce | Civic Giraffe | Citroen SM | TR7 3800SC | Cressida | Isuzu Hombre
Some IOEs, class wins, org choices, heroic fixes, I got screwed's, etc.

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Sonic wrote:

In all of my years playing with Honda’s I have never seen a failure of a VTEC part.  From what you are saying, I agree that the VTEC solenoid is probably the next thing to try.  Have you had the valve cover off?  There is a plug in the oil line that supplies the VTEC and if it fell out and the oil pressure can’t buid up in that line then VTEC won’t engage either.  The car running poorly at higher rpm is consistent with VTEC not engaging.


As a matter of fact, we did replace the valve cover gasket.  Where is this line and where is the plug?

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

The oil restrictor is normally on the block side in the supply path for the VTEC solenoid.  You wouldn't see it unless you pulled the head.  Odds that anything happened to it are pretty close to zero, unless the motor has been screwed with, or poorly rebuilt.  My money says it is the VTEC solenoid.  If it was the pressure sending unit, the ECU should drop the motor into limp mode.  It wouldn't let you rev up to VTEC engagement range.

I'm thinking for testing purposes you could bypass the pressure sender with a resistor, but you'd need a service manual with the sensor graphs to figure out which resistor value.

Disclaimer - most of my experience is with D and B series motors.  I've not looked directly at the F motors VTEC system...

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
I'm a WINNER!

5 (edited by fleming95 2018-01-24 11:19 AM)

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

I don't have my Honda shop manual at hand for my '02 Insight - probably identical in function as your Honda, but YMMV -  but I didn't glean from your message whether -

- the CEL is triggered:

a. only when you rev past 4krpm (which is when the solenoid is turned on, and oil pressure on the VTEC circuit is checjked, and if not acceptable throws the CEL and goes into limp mode.  If you unplug the solenoid you'll see the resulting code and stutter easily.)
b. or when kept below 4krpm, which would suggest a continuous fault such as a wiring short or open

Try pulling the solenoid and blowing through it as you activate it and see if it too is clogged up?

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

fleming95 wrote:

I don't have my Honda shop manual at hand for my '02 Insight - probably identical in function as your Honda, but YMMV -  but I didn't glean from your message whether -

- the CEL is triggered:

a. only when you rev past 4krpm (which is when the solenoid is turned on, and oil pressure on the VTEC circuit is checjked, and if not acceptable throws the CEL and goes into limp mode.  If you unplug the solenoid you'll see the resulting code and stutter easily.)
b. or when kept below 4krpm, which would suggest a continuous fault such as a wiring short or open

Try pulling the solenoid and blowing through it as you activate it and see if it too is clogged up?


It would be option B.

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

7 (edited by jfbeam 2018-01-25 06:32 PM)

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Sonic wrote:

In all of my years playing with Honda’s I have never seen a failure of a VTEC part.

In a "racecar", VTEC is being actuated several times per minute, for hours at a time. They will eventually break. In a street car, that thing should outlast the chassis.

In this case, I suspect (a) bad solenoid, (b) trash in the solenoid, (c) trash in the VTEC line. It's easy enough to check "A" -- energize it and listen for a click, and see if you can blow air through it.

(There's a bad one, or two, sitting around the Duff shop)

Duff Beer Civic (#128) -- 2014 Sebring - Class B (#1 of 7), 2016 Barber - Class B
1981 Jet Electrica 007 [Plymouth Horizon TC3] (#128) -- Mk.1 - Index of Effluency Eco (IOEe) @ 2016 Lemons South Fall, Mk.2 - Judges' Choice @ 2017 'Shine Country Classic, Mk.3 - Index of Effluency @ 2017 Southern Discomfort

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Okay gents, the help has been appreciated.  Here is the latest.

I finally got to get my daughter's car again last night.  I cleared the code and went for a test drive.  I was driving the car with an eye on the tach, keeping it below 2500.  The light did not come on until I was accelerating to get on the highway.  I was doing so as gently as possible, and was only at 2800 when the light came on.

I got the car again today and tried again.  I cleared the code and went for a test drive.  I had gone no more than a mile, and not over 2500 rpm and the CEL light came on.

Does any of this info help point to place to check?  My daughter is a college student, and only works part-time.  She doesn't have the funds to just start throwing parts at it.

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Hey Rob'
I have seen the Vtec solenoids go.
First is to clean the screen...but it still can fail.
I chased one in a car we did a head gasket in.....Finally the solenoid fixed it.
(Not that it sounds like your problem, but a loose cam carrier bolt gave us lack of oil pressure to the solenoid,(probable caused the fail.) just some extra info)
Good luck Brother.

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Ugggggh.  I feel like I am chasing my tail.

I replaced the v-tec solenoid and that issue is fixed.  But, just when I thought we were good to go the CEL light comes on again.  This time  it is "EGR insufficient circulation" and "knock sensor" codes.  I had the EGR off when we changed the v-tec solenoid and I cleaned it out.  It looked good to go, and was not giving us codes before.  I am starting to wonder if it could be an electrical issue, like a bad ground.

F'n Honda......  smile

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

11

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

racinrob wrote:

Ugggggh.  I feel like I am chasing my tail.

I replaced the v-tec solenoid and that issue is fixed.  But, just when I thought we were good to go the CEL light comes on again.  This time  it is "EGR insufficient circulation" and "knock sensor" codes.  I had the EGR off when we changed the v-tec solenoid and I cleaned it out.  It looked good to go, and was not giving us codes before.  I am starting to wonder if it could be an electrical issue, like a bad ground.

F'n Honda......  smile

Cleaning the EGR solenoid area isn't enough. You'll need to clean the intake runners. Drill and tap the little brass plugs on the intake manifold that are in line with EGR. Then slide hammer them out. Get to cleaning out all the carbon, then replace the brass plugs.

Should be able to find them on ebay, amazon, etc.

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

Neither one of those codes would keep me from racing it. If you step on it do you hear a bunch of knock? If not, I would just drive it.

Absolutely don't swear at it. It will get her home when other cars will just quit. I am constantly amazed at how many things can go wrong with a Honda engine and it will still run. We have finished races knowing the power went down along the way and the tear down revealed some really bad problems that would have sidelined almost any other car brand.

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

moparfan wrote:

Neither one of those codes would keep me from racing it. If you step on it do you hear a bunch of knock? If not, I would just drive it.

Absolutely don't swear at it. It will get her home when other cars will just quit. I am constantly amazed at how many things can go wrong with a Honda engine and it will still run. We have finished races knowing the power went down along the way and the tear down revealed some really bad problems that would have sidelined almost any other car brand.


The issue is when she needs to get it inspected in June.  CEL on means it won't pass the emissions inspection.  If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be that worried about it.

"She's a brick house" 57th out of 121 and 5th in Class C, There Goes the Neighborhood 2013
"PA Posse" 21st out of 96 and 2nd in Class C, Capitol Offense 2013.
"PA Posse" 29th out of 133 and Class C WINNER, Halloween Hooptiefest 2013
"PA Posse" 33rd out of 151 and 2nd in Class C, The Real Hoopties 2013

14

Re: VTEC whisperers, I need some help.

racinrob wrote:
moparfan wrote:

Neither one of those codes would keep me from racing it. If you step on it do you hear a bunch of knock? If not, I would just drive it.

Absolutely don't swear at it. It will get her home when other cars will just quit. I am constantly amazed at how many things can go wrong with a Honda engine and it will still run. We have finished races knowing the power went down along the way and the tear down revealed some really bad problems that would have sidelined almost any other car brand.


The issue is when she needs to get it inspected in June.  CEL on means it won't pass the emissions inspection.  If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be that worried about it.

Yeah, the EGR is crucial for emissions, since it is re-burning exhaust to get that last bit of carbon.