From high-end to mass-market budget vehicles, all car manufacturers will have a type of part failure that is most common to their vehicles. When it comes to MINI, one of the most common problems experienced by drivers is VVT or Variable Valve Timing issues. This is most commonly seen by the Cooper and Countryman.
It is important to state that part failure proclivities are not a negative of a brand. It simply shows how complex a car is with thousands of parts and systems and processes all happening systematically. No brand is perfect. It is simply part of the ongoing quest to achieve motoring perfection. Let’s take a closer look at VVT failure and how to deal with this issue.
The Purpose of Variable Valve Timing
In terms of the history of motoring, VVT is a relatively new innovation. The VVT works with the valve lift and helps your MINI to improve its drivability as well as change the way the engine digests fuel. When your MINI has perfectly-working variable valve timing, it will ensure your fuel wastage is next to none and will simultaneously streamline the driving experience through the opening and closing of valves for precise performance. The VVT was originally only intended to minimize gas wastage, but the increased performance was an added bonus that manufacturers quickly championed.
Signs of Variable Valve Timing Failure
As malfunction can cause some severe damage to your MINI, if you spot VVT issues, they need to be corrected quickly. To help tell if you have a VVT issue, you can keep an eye out for the following symptoms listed below.
1. Illumination of Check Engine Light
Your ECU can illuminate your check engine light for many reasons. It can also be triggered by damage or wear to the VVT unit. The check engine light is intended to illuminate to warn a driver of trouble with the engine or its connected parts. Because the VVT works with the valves of your engine as well as works with fuel consumption, a failing VVT can cause the onboard computer (ECU) to trigger the light in response to a dip in overall engine conditions.
2. Out of Date Oil
The health of your VVT can be directly connected to the status of your engine oil. When your oil starts to expire, it will break down, leaving debris and contaminants. These contaminants and sludge will affect the performance of your VVT by clogging the valves it needs to open and close. Therefore, keeping your VVT running relies on well-maintained oil.
3. Fluctuating Engine
A failing VVT will directly impact the performance of your gear box. This will result in frequent engine stalling and fluctuations, which will result in your MINI feeling unpredictable to drive. The rapid decline in performance could become a dangerous distraction, so must be dealt with swiftly.
4. Poor Gas Mileage
As your VVT’s primary purpose is to minimize fuel wastage, when it starts to fail, you are going to notice you need to visit the pumps more often. Given time, this can cost much more than VVT repair, so it is better to fix the issue as soon as you can.
Handling VVT Failure
VVT failure is best dealt with by expert mechanics, and as with all part failure, it is best nipped in the bud to prevent further and more severe damage to your car. Be sure to bring your vehicle to a MINI specialists, as this will ensure your car is only repaired by expert hands. You can help prevent the need to seek VVT repairs by keeping on top of general maintenance practices, such as keeping your oil topped up and having regular inspections by your trusted MINI mechanic.
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