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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so 6 months ago, my 02 ep3 went into limp mode with a p1259 (vtec system malfunction). oil level was good, hooked up my obdII scantool to find that the vtec solenoid would kick on, but the vtec pressure switch would not kick off, as it is supposed to. after checking the screen for debris (none found), i simply replaced the spool valve assembly, (both of the aforementioned parts). after that, i reset the trouble codes, and drove the car. fixed.......... for 6 months.

now, 3 days after a fresh oil change, this mav is in limp mode again. same p1259. hooked up the scanner, found the same results as before. solenoid would come on, and pressure switch would not shut off. next step according to mitchell is to manually apply power to the vtec solenoid while the engine is running in attempt to turn off the pressure switch. no go. wont turn off.

we then pulled the wiring harness off the solenoid and switch, cleaning an ever so slight amount of corrosion from the connectors. reset the codes. and it worked. for a day. I drove about 50 miles, exercisin' that mav, and it ran great. next morning, bam. limp mode again. scanner in, same f*cking sh!t, vtec sol. on, pressure switch wont go off. pulled the assy off to check the screen for debris. none. what the f*ck????

the possibilities as to why this is happening are

A. bad vtec pressure switch
B. clogged screen or restriction of oil to the sensor/low oil level
C. bad connection at harness/open circuit
D. bad pcm/open circuit

Half of me wants to order a new spool valve from honda, and return this one as defective, and the other half feels that there has got to be another reason that this shit is going on. the first one lasted 120,000 miles. the second one lasted 6 months(8,000 miles). the second one is also an updated part according to honda. i am the only owner/driver of this car and have been a nazi about keeping the oil full, and changed regularly since day one.

my diag technician suggested that the problem could be a result using 5w30 instead of 5w20. his theory is that the thicker oil isnt flowing where it needs to. however, i have known many people to have used 5w30 in a k20a3 with no such problems. i have been using mobil1 5w30 for a couple years now, and had no problems until about 6 months ago. has anyone else had similar problems? any input would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
spool valve ordered. if this isnt the fix, ill be god damned. i pulled it off again today to make sure there was no bullshit in the screen. none whatsoever, this is simply frustrating. what gets me is that the other day, we cleaned the connectors, then it worked perfect for a day. then back to shit the next morning.
 

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Have you checked the wire to pin connection in the harness connector?

Oil weight should have absolutely no impact at all.

Are you boosted?

Have you checked what the actual oil pressure is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
no boost, been using mobil 1 since car was new(i am orig owner). always changed oil before 5k, usually at 3. switched from 5w20 to 5w30 6 months before initial failure. continued using 5w30, 6 months later another possible failure....

the other day, we cleaned a small amount of corrosion....small amount from the pin connectors going to the vtec pressure switch, added dielectric grease, cleared the codes and fired it. everything worked perfectly. i watched the solenoid kick on, and the switch kick off. whooped it all night, and it was fixed. the next morning, limp mode resurfaced.


we did not check actual pressure. i could however, monitor that with the scan tool we have at work quite easily.


sorry bout the long pm btw, i didnt realize you had responded here until after i sent the pm.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fixed!

spool valve assy replaced. problem solved. as much as i didnt want to believe it, the bastard failed after 10,000 mi of use. what was going on was, the solenoid kicked on as it was supposed to, however, the spool valve would not open to allow oil pressure to reach the vtec pressure switch. therefore, the pressure switch could not change state, and the pcm decided limp mode would be activated. still dont understand why though, apparently there was no good reason this mav failed. i would understand if i never changed my oil, and the valve got gummed up, but that isnt the case. oh well. at least honda was cool about it and delivered me a replacement spool valve in exchange for the defective one.

as always props to talon for tech support, and simply being willing to listen and respond
 

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Re: Fixed!

spool valve assy replaced. problem solved. as much as i didnt want to believe it, the bastard failed after 10,000 mi of use. what was going on was, the solenoid kicked on as it was supposed to, however, the spool valve would not open to allow oil pressure to reach the vtec pressure switch. therefore, the pressure switch could not change state, and the pcm decided limp mode would be activated. still dont understand why though, apparently there was no good reason this mav failed. i would understand if i never changed my oil, and the valve got gummed up, but that isnt the case. oh well. at least honda was cool about it and delivered me a replacement spool valve in exchange for the defective one.

as always props to talon for tech support, and simply being willing to listen and respond
congrads! It was cool of honda to replace the spool valve. That thing is about 100 bucks and it aint cheap.:dance:
 
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