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2007 Infinity G35 Repair or Salvage?

My sporty G35 was up for renewal of registration… thus inspection. I had figured the pesky engine light that had recently come on was due to gas cap not correctly screwed in (happened before) so I wasn’t concerned.

I should have been concerned. Now I find out the light signaled error code 024 and the repairs are severe. In mechanic language, this: “A P0024 code refers to the VVT (variable valve timing) or VCT (variable camshaft timing) components and the car’s PCM (powertrain control module) or ECM (engine control module).”

So now my car is past inspection and out of registration and the repair (if it is as mechanic thinks) would be $2500-$4000. Then we also need new breaks.

Mileage is 135k and other than this code/inspection issue the car still drives great. Also has brand new tires :frowning:

ADVICE?
We live in Austin, Texas (if that matters on selling a car not able to pass inspection).

You might consider getting a second opinion just to be safe.

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Yes, a second opinion is definitely in order.

I presume your shop is thinking the variable valve timing actuator needs to be replaced. That looks to be a 9+ hour job, plus the cost of the part, so I can see how replacing it might get expensive. But the $2500-$4000 estimate still seems a little on the high side. I’m guessing the shop is thinking they’ll do some diagnostic tests first, as it is possible resolving this problem might not require replacing the actuator. But they want to be sure you understand you’ll be on the hook for the costs of this testing whether or not the actuator is the problem or not. My suggestion is to cross your fingers for good luck & tell the shop to proceed with the diagnostic testing up to the point that they know for certain if the actuator needs to be replaced or not. At that point you can post back for more ideas here on how to continue.

Most modern engines use variable valve timing (VVT). It improves engine power, mpg, and emissions, so what’s not to like? This: it adds complexity which can result in less reliability & some pretty high repair bills. Hopefully you’ll get this vehicle back on the road and in good running condition again. To help it stay on the road be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the engine oil spec, and the change-out intervals. If anything error on the change the oil more often than suggested side. VVT engines are very sensitive to sludge forming in the engine oil caused by deferred maintenance. Much more than non-VVT engines.

I would get a decent low-cost code reader, and attempt to get this thing through emissions by clearing the codes (or disconnecting the battery) then seeing if there is a distance you can drive which will set all but one monitor as “ready” without setting any codes. Most likely it will be possible to get through the emissions test without paying all this money.

Note that by “decent low-cost code reader” I mean something which will let you view and clear DTCs, view sensor data, view inspection readiness status, and view freeze frame data which is stored when certain trouble codes are set. I paid about $70 for mine.

Thank you for the suggestion. Our mechanic did clear the codes with this very goal in mind - if we could drive it just enough to enable inspection to pass but not enough to trigger the code. The light came back on at 6 miles. My understanding is we would need about 50 miles to get the monitors “ready” for inspection?