'05 Camry SE - check engine scanner said "VTEC"

my wife took the car to local mechanic/s who expressed doubt as to what it ( Computer/ Code ) meant… “VTEC”, solinoid, timer or timing was mentioned (I wasn’t there) the only VTEC I’ve heard of is a Honda engine…any ideas ? the car runs well - no noise or overheating…it over revs to 2200 rpm when started cold - but it has done that for a long time and others have the same ; lower RPM when engine is warm…any ideas ?

Vvti solenoid most likely. They do occasionally fail. How many miles are on the car? The solenoids can be tested on the car with a scan tool.

Do you have a check engine light on? If so, you need to post the actual code (P0xxx) and not the interpretation.

Is your maintenance up to date and are you using the correct weight of oil (5w30)?

yes the check engine is on…69 K miles…tightened gas cap (was told the Check engine light may go off in 2-3 days after tightening the cap.) I don’t have a code reader…maybe rent one from O’reilly ? yes oil is 5w 30 (warm weather- Honolulu)…is it that critical ? (from your past advise, I trust your knowledge)


how often are you changing the oil?

Every 5000 miles, or every 6 months?

I believe you have a “maintenance required” light, which comes on every 5000 miles

I’m asking, because some people tend to ignore those messages

I’m just asking, not insulting you, by the way

VTEC, from what I understand, is the way Honda engines switch between two different types of valve operation as a function of rpm, engine load, etc. On older cars the engines used the same valve operation all the time. But at lower rpms, engines will run better with a one type of valve operation, and at higher rpms they’ll run better with the second type. Honda figured out a way to switch between the two. But the switch has to occur at the right time, and under the right conditions, otherwise problems may ensue.

The fact that your cold idle is 2200 rpm – that seems excessively high – could be a symptom that the wrong valve operation is being switched in, maybe the high rpm version is on all the time. That would likely turn on the CEL and throw a code.

When the engine is idling at 2200 rpm cold, doesn’t that cause a major drivability problem? It seems like it would be hard to get the car to maneuver slowly through neighborhood driving with an rpm that high.

The high rpm at idle is normal, it is done to bring the engine up to temp quickly for emissions reasons. The tech working on the car may have been used to Honda and simply said VTEC instead of VVTi.

The VVTi system uses oil pressure controlled by a solenoid to change the cam gear position. The other problems that can occur are the gear failing, but the first sign of this is usually a loud noise when the car is first started that goes away in a few seconds. Has any work been done on the engine recently ? If so I have seen bits of sealant get into the screen for the VVti oil feed restricting oil flow and causing codes to set.


I agree with Steve . . . the high idle when cold is normal

Many/most vehicles initially have a high idle, when started cold. It is for emissions purposes, as Steve said. It is also the reason why some automatic transmissions delay an upshift when cold. Staying in a lower gear longer serves to warm up the cat quicker. It’s all about emissions and fuel economy

I happen to have a 2005 Camry LE 3.0 V6, very similar to OP, and mine has a high idle when started cold. It’s always been that way

No…it’s “check engine” No work on the car recently and always change oil and filter at 5K …The high idle is only 4 seconds or so (still it causes me to cringe) …While I hunt for a scanner…might it just be a change of the solenoid …about $50-85 (aftermarket ok?) Boy these cars are getting complicated…thanks guys…HAPPY FOOTBALL

“always change oil and filter at 5K”

…but how long does it take you to accumulate 5k miles?
If it is more than 6 months, then you are not changing the oil often enough.

VTEC is Honda’s branding of variable valve timing. Now this feature is incorporated into just about every gas motor by all car makers.

I agree with SteveC76 also. The reason I asked about the oil was that not only sealant can cause a problem, but if the wrong weight of oil is used or it isn’t changed according to schedule and it gets gummy or sludgy, it can affect the operation of the VVTi system. Since you are following the schedule and using hte correct oil, this should not be your problem, but who knows, right.

That was assuming that the VVTi was the cause of the CEL coming on. But I am not convinced that it is the VVTi until I know the code. Many parts stores like O’Rielly’s, AutoZone, etc will read the codes for free, but they usually only give you the interpretation of the code. You have to ask them for the specific code.

At AutoZone, they will go in the store and enter the code into their computer and give you a cash register printout of the diagnosis. At the top of the printout will be the code. The printout is essentially the same thing you will get from this website http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/

Post the code here as some of us have more experience with certain codes on certain vehicles, information not found on that website above.

Anyone know the location of the solenoid (s) ? the youtube video seems to indicate on the top of engine and there is 2… an intake and out

The nice lady at Toyota Service said to tighten the gas cap and the "check engine light " may go out in 2-3 days…

That would work if the code was for an Evaporative System malfunction. But you said the code was for the variable valve timing. Could you please post the code, just the code, maybe we could help better.

On the 4cyl you remove the top engine cover. It will have a two wire connector and a 10mm bolt holding it in. Look above the alternator in the cylinder head.

I don’t have a scanner/reader to get a code …is there another way ?

Most chain auto parts stores – AutoZone, etc, places like that – will read the codes out for you for free.

I just found out that in Honolulu the "Oreilly Parts store won’t lend or test/scan for the code…they said it was against the law here ! …
sounds fishy (in Sydney - “a bit sus”) what was that word…oh yeah…“CAHOOTS”

It is true only in California and Hawaii. Does your local store have a tool loan program most parts stores will loan out a code reader at minimal costs.