What Happens If I Don’t Replace My VTC Actuator?

What happens if I don’t replace my VTC actuator? In general, a bad VTC actuator will cause a rattle or grinding noise if you don’t replace it. And the worst of all that can happen is catastrophic engine failure.

Now, you might think that is even a serious problem or not! Whether a VTC actuator should get replaced, fixed, or not will depend upon which kind of concern it’s giving off.

We will discuss all the answers in detail in this article to satisfy your curiosity. So without any further delay, let’s move forward.

What Happens If I Don’t Replace My VTC Actuator?

Not fixing or replacing a seriously damaged VTC actuator can lead to fatal engine issues or even failure. As mentioned, a damaged or defective Variable Timing Control (VTC) actuator causes a rattling sound and rough performance in general.

When the intake cycle is retards, the VTC actuator controls the intake chain-driven timing. So, if there is a defective VTC actuator in your accord or honda,  it pulls down the timing chain while grinding.

So if you see any sign of having a defective VTC actuator, make sure it’s not affecting the engine. Because you might not want your new engine to fall apart. And, If you don’t replace the defective VTC actuator in your car, it will slowly damage your engine.

However, many dealers and brand companies like Honda may not consider it a serious issue. But neglecting this issue can get you into a bad situation with your vehicle’s engine.

Different people had different experiences with the VTC actuator issue. Sometimes, the problem with the VTC actuator of your vehicle may be too little or just slightly defective.

In this case, not replacing the VTC actuator does not matter. But if it relates to other problems, then you might have to replace it as it can cause serious damage.

So, first of all, you need to know when to replace and when to not. And what damages a bad VTC actuator can cause to your vehicle if you do not replace it in time?

How Will You Know That You Have A Bad VTC Actuator?

You will notice some specific signs and symptoms when there is any problem with the VTC actuator. This may include having the check engine light on, or a rough idle engine.

Besides, the engine may also stumble under load because of a bad VTC actuator.

But suppose your vehicle is giving off a cold start with rattling. In that case, many may think it is probably the faulty tensioner or timing chain. Honda and the local dealers also suggest replacing the timing chain or tensioner to fix this issue.

But in most cases, users have not found it useful. The problem was only solved after they replaced the VTC actuator.

Can You Drive With A Bad VTC Actuator?

Yes, you can drive with a bad VTC actuator. It will cause a rattling sound or a rough start during a cold startup. And these issues don’t have anything to do with driving.

But it will not be a good decision to keep driving with a defective VTC actuator as it can lead to catastrophic engine failure. That means it won’t cause any problem at the time, but it might slowly affect your vehicle’s engine. But how long can you drive with a bad VTC actuator?

Well, there is no time or distance limitation for it. Many people keep driving with that VTC actuator. Some don’t even fix it to save the replacement cost until it becomes necessary.

Should I Replace My VTC Actuator Honda?

Well, here comes the concerning part. And it is not a must to do if your VTC actuator goes bad. Most experts recommend not replacing this actuator unless you are getting the updated one. And do you know why?

It’s because the VTC actuator on the older engines does a rattling sound very often and especially at the time of cold start. And if you are replacing it, this will be just a temporary fix.

But you can spend if you don’t like to hear such rattling sounds at startup. Usually, this does not impact the ride that way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the VTC actuator need to be replaced?

It mainly depends on the depth of failure. If the VTC actuator has totally gone bad, it might lead to catastrophic engine failure in your vehicle. So, in this case, replacing the actuator is a must. Otherwise, you won’t need to replace it if it is not causing that much problem.

How much does it cost to fix a VTC actuator?

The price of the part may cost from $250 to $300 and the labor cost may range between $450 and $600. So the total expense of a VTC actuator replacement may range between $600 & $850. This repairing cost of a VTC actuator can vary depending on different locations and laborers.

What does a VTC actuator do?

The VTC actuator mainly works based on the operating condition and helps the engine produce max energy by optimization. It can change intake valve timing frequently through the VTC system. When the intake cycle is retards, the VTC actuator controls the intake chain-driven timing.

How much does it cost to have an actuator replaced?

The replacement expense of a Variable Timing Control actuator may range from $600 to $900. These cost rates may differ based on different locations and laborers. However, this price range is not set for any specific vehicle or model. The Tax fee is not included here.


I hope this article was helpful to you. Now, if you notice any symptoms of having a bad VTC actuator, you won’t need to worry about thinking about what happens if I don’t replace my VTC actuator anymore!

Find out first what this failure is causing your car. Whenever you feel or notice that it might cause your engine a problem, take the necessary steps to replace or repair it.

However, if your Honda is not under factory warranty, you also need to worry about replacing it.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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