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The other week I started my car to go to work, I drove around the corner and braked for a stop sign, all of a sudden my car started sputtering really bad and the CEL came on. I parked it back in the driveway for that night.

Later that night I found out that the code was P1381 (advanced timing) and it still didn't idle right. I really really hoped that the thing didn't jump time two weeks before I was going to do the timing belt.

The next day I popped out the VCT solenoid, I looked at it and put it back in, it wasn't physically broken and it doesn't leak. Started the car and it ran like a dream ever since. I reset the CEL and I have no codes or pending codes.

So I was wondering if the VCT got stuck somehow; and should I go ahead and get a new one with my timing belt that we're going to put in this week?
 

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Did the solenoid come out of the head in one piece, or did it come off at the same level as the screw that holds it down?
 

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i had this same issue with mine as with also the cam gear was sticking. i cleaned and lubed up both of them and runs like a dream.
 

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My mechanic steve told me he just took them apart and cleane them and lubed them. I couldnt tell you much more than that. Sorry bud
 

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That doesn't really make sense... the VCT solenoid and cam gear are constantly being filled with oil, so they're already lubed. Also, the gear doesn't appear to easily come apart... there are a number of large rivets holding it together.

Is there any chance you could ask him what he did?
 

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I could ask him what he did. He is a good knowledgable friend of mine and said about having it apart and freeing it up. I can get some more info from him.
 

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Just to add my own account,just bought a 2011 focus 1.6 vct which hadnt been serviced for a few years and was difficult to pull away without stalling and also making a mad clicking noise after shut down.Decided to take my vct solenoids out which is really easy and tested them on the battery,One was going mad clicking.Cleaned it with carburettor cleaner and removed small ring of dirt and oil and problem solved,Hope this helps someone else !!!!
 
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