Is your ford car producing a rattling sound? It might signal that you need a cam phaser recall since the engine control unit can no longer control the variable cam phasers due to insufficient oil volume. However, you can cure the rattle problem by locking the variable timing and turning the phaser into a fixed timing gear or replacing the phasers.
Table of contents
- Variable Valve Timing Theory
- What Causes Cam Phasers to Go Bad?
- How Will You Know Your Cam Phaser Is Bad?
- Can You Fix a Ford Camshaft Phaser?
- How Long Can You Drive a Ford Vehicle With a Faulty Cam Phaser?
- Final Thoughts
Variable Valve Timing Theory
Cam phaser serves as the main component of the variable valve timing engine. The main role of an engine is to open and close the intake valves when the vehicle is moving.
Installing a racing cam prevents the intake valve from closing before the engine gets the amount of air it needs when the vehicle is running at high speed.
What Causes Cam Phasers to Go Bad?
The main cause of cam phaser issues is oil, and here are the main oil problems;
Thick Dirty Oil
Thicker Dirty oil reduces the camshaft phaser’s ability to shift its position. Therefore, make sure you change your vehicle oil regularly to avoid oil thickness caused by dirt.
The Pressure of Oil
A faulty oil pump causes low oil pressure, and hence the oil will not be able to bring the camshaft phaser to the right position.
The Wrong Type of Oil
The wrong oil will not produce the pressure required for the camshaft phaser to respond and shift to the right position. Therefore consider using oil of the required velocity.
Insufficient Oil Lower oil level causes the engine and cam phaser to wear and tear faster than expected. This oil problem may be due to leakage.
How Will You Know Your Cam Phaser Is Bad?
Bad camshaft-phasers damage Variable Camshaft Timing solenoids, and thus the engine will no longer be able to control the camshaft phaser. If your Ford car cam phasers fail, you will likely notice the following signs;
Poor Engine Performance
When a cam phaser goes faulty, the timing valve will not function as expected. Thus the Engine Control Unit will have to initiate protection procedures for the engine by locking the Variable Camshaft Timing. Illuminated
Check Engine Light
When a cam phaser is faulty, the camshaft shifts from its original position, causing the powertrain control module to turn on the check engine light and store a diagnostic code in its memory.
Positioning cam phasers in the wrong way causes the engine to rattle at the top end. This rattling sound is evident when the engine is not in use and hot. A faulty cam phaser will not lock when not in use.
Can You Fix a Ford Camshaft Phaser?
The only way to do away with faulty cam phasers is to replace them. However, the following steps will help you to fix the camshaft phaser.
You need to remove various engine accessories such as the intake tube, power steering reservoir, and the positive crankcase ventilation tube to access the camshaft-phasers. This step takes a lot of time since vacuum lines, wiring, and intake plumbing prevent you from reaching the cam chains and valve covers.
Make sure you disconnect all electrical components such as wiring plugs, fuel injections, bolts, and ignition coils. Remember to use tape to mark each plug. Next, remove the mounting bracket and pow
The air conditioning cord in the passenger side valve cover makes it hard to remove the valve cover. You can remove the valve cover by;
- Removing the battery, tray, and front-wheel liner and loosening the A/C drier.
- Discharging and disconnecting the A/C unit as well as the hard A/c line.
- Removing the motor on the passenger side; use a floor jack to support the engine.
Put back the camshaft-phasers. Start by removing the bolts using a screwdriver to loosen the valve cover. Uplift the cover to prevent camshaft timing solenoid damage then, detach the cum phaser bolts so that you release the phaser. Detach the timing chain and translocate the reference marks on the damaged camshaft phaser onto the new one then secure it using bolts.
Reassemble the accessories and the engine after installing the camshaft-phasers in the following sequence
- Install the ignition coils.
- Position the dipstick hold-down bolt.
- Position the PCM and link all cable connections.
- Return PCV hose to the valve cover.
- Reinstall the bracket and the power steering reservoir.
- Reconnect the A/C line for recharging the A/C unit
- Uplift the engine and put back the passenger side motor mount
- Position the A/C drier, battery and battery box, and the fender line on the passenger side.
- Reposition the air intake tube. Connect the battery cables back to the terminals.
How Long Can You Drive a Ford Vehicle With a Faulty Cam Phaser?
You can drive a vehicle with a malfunctioning cam phaser until the engine stops. However, continuously driving a vehicle with a faulty cam phaser will damage the engine control unit, solenoids, and eventually the engine.
A malfunctioning cam phaser produces a knocking sound near the engine top. The signs of a faulty cam phaser include poor performance, engine noise, and illuminated Check Engine Light. Installing phaser lock-out kits completely disables the variable valve timing, eliminating phaser problems.
Thomas is a retired Motor Mechanic, a Father and a Grandfather. He writes from his 20+ years in the automotive industry to help you find and solve anything related to Car repairs, Maintenance and Care.