VCT solenoid is a variable camshaft timing solenoid, a part of the valve timing mechanism which regulates the oil flow to monitor engine RPMs.
Driving with VCT Solenoid Unplugged can break the tensioner, modifies oil flow time, breaks the valves, and damage the VCT phaser. In addition, it causes increased emissions, damages the power train module, and reduces the engine performance of your truck.
It does not affect the engine functions immediately because the motor achieves the standard rotations in a few minutes. However, it has a long-term impact due to incorrect oil flow, which causes engine stalling.
Is it dangerous to drive with VCT Solenoid Unplugged?
It is not dangerous for the driver or pickup truck. But, it is unsafe for the VCT system because it causes internal damage.
A tensioner stabilizes the tension around the timing chain, which surrounds the sprocket of the camshaft. Due to the tensioner, the chain works smoothly and prevents loud rattling sounds.
In its unplugged condition, the load increases on the tensioner and breaks it. In addition, the movement of the phaser changes, which results in incorrect lubricant discharges inside the bearings.
Due to the broken tensioner, the valves and pistons rub against each other and produce high friction. As a result, internal failures happen that reduce the efficiency of the motor.
These rattling noises distract and annoy the driver. The system plugs into the variable timing circuit.
Due to prolong unplugging, the electric motor undergoes catastrophic system failure with broken pistons and valves.
Insufficient oil flow and modified time
Several people unplug the VCT solenoid, which changes the oil flow inside the camshaft. As a result, for correct combustions, the engine cannot get enough lubrication.
The standard time changes cause mechanical problems. For example, they lose energy, and phasers lose their mounting positions.
Oil does not move in the parts, which affects the combustion rate. The pistons cannot move at their standard levels.
The system malfunctions and affects the acceleration of the pickup truck. VCT stops responding to the input signals for the steering wheel.
Broken valve due to dryness
The plugged VCT solenoids monitor the constant flow of lubricant inside the engine components. In unplugged conditions, it cannot transfer the oil, and low levels lead to dryness of the VCT system.
The dried components of the timing mechanism cannot stabilize their efficiency. As a result, the inlet forcefully moves, which produces internal friction.
They break due to a lack of lubricant and constant movement. Due to its failure, the crankshaft stops working immediately.
The pistons loosen from their mounting positions and strike into the inlets. According to the strength of inlet and piston collision, the walls of cylinders break.
Damage to pins and phaser
It is a camshaft sprocket, and you can turn it on with a computer-controlled system. According to its design, it comprises dual pins.
One of them is stationary, and the other can move independently. The stationary pin connects the phaser and camshaft for their combined performance.
The secondary pin protects the undesirable movements and keeps the rotations of the sprocket within the circuit. Due to the unplugging, the pins undergo load pressure and break.
They cannot allow the oil to move within standard time limits and make the phaser immovable.
Phaser failure happens, which damages the crankcase. In addition, it breaks the sensors of the camshaft, which causes excessive fluid leakage.
In these conditions, you can access the high-speed idling of the motor.
Increased level of emission
It controls emissions and regulates exhaust gases. Due to unplugged timing equipment, the gases cannot reside in the exhaust system.
An unplugged solenoid cannot control the emission of gases. It cannot suppress the nitrogen oxide inside the system.
The emission of gases from the exhaust increases more than the threshold. As a result, it increases the combustion producers and burns more fuel.
It reduces the fuel economy of pickup trucks and decreases the life expectancy of the motor.
The malfunctioning power train system
The power train control module of the pickup truck monitor and regulates the crankshaft and fuel flow. With the PCM, the oil enters the phaser of the camshaft.
It controls the discharge of lubricant on standard time limits. During unplugging, PCM loses its connection with the variable camshaft timing circuit.
The position of the spool inlet modifies. However, it cannot stop the alternative lubricant pressures.
It cannot retard the VCT through the power train control module of the truck. It develops false codes in the computer due to incorrect lubricant flow and uncontrollable timing.
Reduced performance of the engine
It maintains an oil pressure inside the electric motor. As a result, the lubricant reaches all the moveable and rotating components during its plugged situations.
These parts can move at their rotational speeds without interference. However, it is challenging to drive with an unplugged VCT solenoid because it does not provide smooth riding.
Due to inadequate lubricant flow, the internal parts of the motor become stiff and lose their functionality. As a result, the motor cannot promote standard combustions.
The camshaft cannot approach the strokes; spark plugs break and cause improper ignitions.
Why would you drive a truck with the VCT solenoid Unplugged?
Several people remove the plug of the VCT solenoid from the camshaft to make the engine quieter. Due to internal failures, the valves and pistons produce loud and unnecessary sounds.
During long-distance trips, people remove the plugs and remove these rattling noises. However, you cannot leave the circuit unplugged for more than one day because it leads to several hydraulic and mechanical problems.
Sometimes, the engine check light appears to indicate the faults of the camshaft. As a result, many people unplug the VCT solenoid and then re-plug it to stabilize the motor efficiency to remove the warning sign.
The built-in sensors are vulnerable and cannot withstand pressurized conditions. They break and malfunction due to high voltage flow and alternative current waves.
You can remove the solenoid to stabilize the sensors in emergencies. Sometimes, the circuit does not attain the base time for the lubricant flow. To reset the PCM, you can unplug it for 3 to 5 minutes.
How to unplug VCT solenoid on your pickup truck?
Typically, pickup trucks have two VCT solenoids on one pickup truck on each side of the valve. In case of failure, one can support the other solenoid.
These pairs mount on the forward position of the engine. Usually, you can find them near the valve cover.
A few people remove them by prying off the cover of valves. On the older models of the Ford F150, you can carry out the activity without removing the plastic covering.
The valve cover has a cap, which you can pry off with a sharp tool. Then, stop the current flow, open the hood, adjust a flat T shape screwdriver under the cover, and move it inside the valve cover.
You can approach the screw that connects the VCT solenoid with the circuit. Rotate the screwdriver on the counterclockwise side and remove the screw.
Hold the solenoid and unplug it from the mounting position. You can install a new option in around 40 to 50 minutes. The removal cost is negligible because it does not involve high-performance tools.