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2006 over 230,000 mi. Variable valve control

My son in law in college and a few states away is wanting his CRV to be fixed. He is smart, but mechanically challenged. He can do things if I walk him through it. I say this because the process I’m using to walk him through this may not be done the way it should. He pulled codes P2646 and P1009. I obviously don’t have accessibility, so I started the old shot gun method and had him replace the VVS solenoid. It seemed to work for a couple of weeks but now the symptoms are back. Symptoms are sporatic. When accelerating and RPM goes above 3000, the engine starts bucking accompanied by check engine light and the VSA light. sometimes the car runs fine and CEL turns off. After a day or so it acts up again. Oil changes have been kept up since they owned it. But there was one previous owner. I think I have it down to either oil sludge in engine, bad VVC circuit, or stretched timing chain. I had him do a jiggle test with Key on engine off and also with Key on and engine running. That did not throw the codes. It may be important to note that he let the oil get pretty low once before this problem occurred. He doesn’t have the tools time or knowledge to check for stretched timing chain. So I am going to recommend that he do an engine flush and hope the seals hold up. They are coming home soon and would like it taken care of before they make the long trip back. My question is do you think I am going in the right direction and what oil flushes have you used, and which one would be best for this vehicle.

230k miles? he should have replaced the engine or the car by now.Its probably at the end of its life.

I agree. But if it’s bad wiring or just sludge and a flush will fix it, then there’s probably enough miles left in it to make that worthwhile. If it needs a timing chain, then it’s definitely time for retirement. He can handle a flush, I just need recommendations on which product to use. If the flush doesn’t work and he can’t get the wiring checked, he will get rid of it.

The safest product to use is Seafoam motor treatment.

Just follow the directions on the can.


He ended up bringing it in to have an engine flush. Been almost a week and no problems yet. I think it’s resolved.


The most common cause of this imho seems to be oil change abuse… Every failure, except one, that I have come across was an oil related issue. Which can of course extend all the way down to the oil pump…oil return ports…low max oil pressure.

Whenever I saw low max pressure I would try higher viscosity oil…but that wont always do it if wear and tear is the culprit as it will be across the entire engine internals.

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I totally agree with that evaluation. That is probably my fault because she (before my son in law got it) drove the car exclusively to work and back, which was 45 min. Each way exclusively highway. So I told her to change the oil every 10,000 miles, which was okay with the owners manual guidelines. But she drove in cold climate area, and in hindsight I should have had her use synthetic if I pushed it that far. And she did change every 10,000. The previous owners: who knows.

Yeah that sounds about right… You could push an oil change that far… on Synth… However, you really need to be on top of your game with checking and maintaining the level.

My biggest “issue” with such a long interval is not Synths ability to make it… its the Oil level maintain regime. Which for normal people is non extant usually. Tell them they can go xx number of miles and they think…OK…“now all I need to do is drive…because we just poured the oil in the engine, so its gonna stay there… right?” That’s where it all falls apart imho

Personally my max is 7K with Full Synth, a Turbo and regular level maintenance…and even then I feel like I’m pushing my luck…

So non synth, 10K, sporadic or non extant checks etc…is almost a death sentence. It’d be different if the oil just stayed put with no checks needed, but we all know how that goes.

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Haaa! It’s funny (not really) that you say that. When my daughter had the car, she lived only an hour away and I’d see her once a month or so. So Daddy would always check her oil and such and nag her to do it. A few months after they moved out of state and Daddy wasn’t there to do these things, I get a call that the car was way low on oil on the side of the road. After they filled it it seemed to run fine, but shortly after is when this VVT issue started. Anyways you make a very good point about the dangers of extended oil changes even if they are “legal”.

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