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Variable Valve Timing Solenoid Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your variable valve timing solenoid replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard™ to get fair cost estimate for your variable valve timing solenoid replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a variable valve timing solenoid?

You can expect an average total replacement cost of $270 for a variable valve timing solenoid replacement, with $130 for parts and $139 for mechanic labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle.
How long does it take to replace a variable valve timing solenoid? In general, it takes around 1.2 hours for a certified mechanic to complete the job. Your mechanic will perform a preliminary inspection to determine if a replacement is necessary, then follow through with the full replacement. 
Here’s an overview of variable valve timing solenoid replacement costs for different vehicles:
Variable valve timing solenoid replacement cost for various vehicles
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 26, 2024
Acura TL 3.3
$367
$212
$155
1.2 Hours
May 24, 2024
Saturn Ion
$347
$212
$135
1.2 Hours
May 23, 2024
Land Rover LR3
$243
$106
$137
1.2 Hours
May 23, 2024
Buick Encore
$413
$279
$134
1.2 Hours
May 21, 2024
Porsche Cayman
$252
$106
$146
1.2 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my variable valve timing solenoid replacement?

You should check your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for precise parts, but a variable valve timing solenoid replacement generally involves the following:
  1. Variable valve timing solenoid: The variable valve timing solenoid is the main component in the replacement, and you’ll find a VVT solenoid with each camshaft. A VVT solenoid will cost you between $50 and $300.
  2. Variable valve timing solenoid gasket/seal: The variable valve timing solenoid gasket/seal serves to secure the VVT solenoid in place. Gaskets or seals are sometimes included with the solenoid, but if not, they can be purchased for around $15 to $35.
  3. Camshaft: The camshaft controls exhaust input and outtake. You likely won’t need to replace your car’s camshaft, but in the event that you do, a camshaft will typically cost you around $200 to $500. 
Some reputable brands we recommend include ACDelco, Dorman, and Genuine Parts Company (GPC) for reliable and quality variable valve timing solenoid replacements. You can typically purchase these brands from retailers such as AutoZone, RockAuto, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, both online and in-store. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle's specific year, make, and model.
OEM parts for a VVT solenoid replacement are more expensive, but they tend to be higher quality and last longer, while aftermarket variable valve timing solenoids are more affordable but not as reliable. However, there are trustworthy aftermarket VVT solenoids, so do your research and consult with a mechanic to find the best VVT solenoid that fits your budget.
You can purchase variable valve timing solenoid replacement kits and parts at auto body shops and auto parts shops like AutoZone, RockAuto, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, or you can buy parts on Amazon.

Where can I get my variable valve timing solenoid replaced?

With the rundown on 2,500+ vetted repair shops nationwide, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can make the search for a mechanic to replace your variable valve timing solenoid a lot easier.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from local shops using actual hourly rates. You’ll be able to budget for diagnostic fees and see reviews from previous customers to make sure you’ll be happy with your service.
Here’s a look at some of our vetted shops below—and you can download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
101 Reviews
Smith's Auto Repair LLC
address
520 Finch St, Troy, OH
Variable Valve Timing Vvt Solenoid
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$282
(Parts - $144, Labor - $138)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$75
123 Reviews
Christian Brothers Automotive
address
10311 S Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK
Variable Valve Timing Vvt Solenoid
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$302
(Parts - $144, Labor - $158)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$139.95
100 Reviews
Wrench Inc. - PDX

Variable Valve Timing Vvt Solenoid
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$294
(Parts - $144, Labor - $150)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
157 Reviews
Auto Clinic 360
address
1826 Lawrenceville Hwy, Decatur, GA
Variable Valve Timing Vvt Solenoid
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$276
(Parts - $144, Labor - $132)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$60
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my variable valve timing solenoid?

Here are the basic steps the mechanic will take:
  1. Preparation: Your mechanic will raise the hood of your vehicle and prepare their tools before beginning the replacement process.
  2. Clear the area: Next, your mechanic will disconnect the battery and clear the area of any obstructions in the way of the VVT solenoid, such as the engine cover, and also use a ratchet to remove the mounting bolts.
  3. Remove the VVT solenoid: At this point, your mechanic will disconnect and remove the solenoid from your vehicle. In some cases, pieces of the o-ring or screen can be damaged or missing, and they will have to be removed as well.
  4. Insert the new VVT solenoid: Now your mechanic will lube and install the new solenoid.

What happens if I don’t replace my variable valve timing solenoid?

If you fail to replace a faulty variable valve timing solenoid, you could face serious damage and expensive repairs. Without a functioning VVT solenoid, your timing system won’t receive proper lubrication and your timing chain or timing belt can be damaged or broken, leading to misfires, engine damage, or even engine failure.

What is a variable valve timing solenoid?

The name might sound like a mouthful, but what the variable valve timing system does is pretty straightforward. 
The variable valve timing solenoid—or oil control valve—is part of the automotive system that controls the movement of the engine’s camshafts actuators, which control exhaust input and outtake. 
Each camshaft—which is driven by a belt or chain or belt from the engine crankshaft—has a VVT solenoid, whose purpose is to adjust oil pressure to accommodate the strain on your engine. The VVT solenoid is typically located near the valve cover in the cylinder head at the front of the engine.
So, when the VVT solenoid works as it should, your car will idle smoothly and you’ll have more engine power and better gas mileage.

When should I replace the variable valve timing solenoid on my car?

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs in your car, it might be time to replace your VVT solenoid:
A faulty VVT solenoid will prevent the whole VVT system from working properly—which can do a number on your engine and decrease your car’s fuel economy. If you want your car back at its peak performance level, you’ll need to replace this component as soon as possible.

How often should a variable valve timing solenoid be replaced?

A variable valve timing solenoid will not require regular maintenance, so there is no set mileage limit. Instead, you should replace your VVT solenoid when you notice signs of failure.

Can I replace my variable valve timing solenoid myself?

You can replace a variable valve timing solenoid at home if you’re confident in your DIY auto repair skills, but the repair can be a complicated process that requires moving around other parts of your vehicle. Unless you have ample experience and know how to work on your engine, it’s best to leave your variable valve timing solenoid replacement to a professional.

FAQs

You should not drive with a faulty variable valve timing solenoid. Without a functioning VVT solenoid, your timing system won’t receive proper lubrication and your timing chain or timing belt can be damaged or broken, leading to engine damage or even failure—which makes for expensive repairs.
Your engine can make ticking or tapping noises if there is a problem with your VVT system. These noises typically occur when accelerating or idling.
A bad VVT solenoid most often occurs when they are issues with engine oil. If your oil is dirty or too low, your VVT system cannot function properly.
The following are signs of a failing VVT solenoid:
  • Lit check engine light
  • Poor engine performance
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Rough idle
The exact price of a variable valve timing solenoid replacement will depend on your vehicle, but the average cost is $270, with $130 for parts and $139 for labor.
Variable valve timing is used in vehicles to manage the valve timing in accordance with the strain on your engine. For example, if your engine is working hard to get a car full of people up a steep incline, the variable valve timing will increase timing to compensate.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.