2005-2017 Honda/Acura applications
The Honda VTC (Variable Timing Control or VVT) is always active and is designed to change the angle of the camshaft or valve timing during normal operation. The Honda VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) system improves valve timing at low RPM and high RPM. This system hydraulically changes the profile of the camshaft, or the valve lift, to improve low engine speed stability and fuel efficiency while at high RPM providing maximum engine power. Add these two unique systems together and you get the Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (i-VTEC) system. This system basically functions like a common VTEC engine but provides between 25 and 50 degrees of camshaft advance. In 2005 the US fleet saw the next generation of the i-VTEC adding the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system. This generation had the capability to deactivate 2-3 cylinders based on the engine power needs. Each of these systems relied heavily on engine oil pressure and sensor inputs to function. Many vehicles developed problems as the result of failures in these systems. The 2011-2013 model years saw the most issues, but the root cause carried over to each of the engine types and all model years using this system.
Trouble codes P3400 and P3497 are a common complaint in the 2008-2013 model years on the V6 engine type but this problem can relate to any engine with a valve pause, or valve control system. These two trouble codes are related, the P3400 is Bank 1 while P3497 indicates a Bank 2 problem. The trouble code definition is “VPS Stuck Off”, bank 1 or bank 2. VPS, or Valve Pause System, is part of the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system. Honda has issued several service bulletins to address this problem to include a computer software update all the way to an engine repair procedure.
Following the vehicle manufactures oil change schedule and using the correct motor oil are critical to engine life on any vehicle today. First test on these vehicles with this problem should be a check of the engine oil level along with a discussion on previous scheduled work. Another part of this system are 2 oil pressure switches (V6 applications) with a switch specification of 35-50 psi. The switches do have a common failure rate so these units should be tested. Going beyond these steps will require knowledge of the engine and the system operation. If motor oil consumption and spark plug fouling have been reported on your vehicle reference a repair resource for additional information.