What Is a VTEC Engine? How Does It Work?

There are numerous diverse varieties of engines, every with its possess distinct established of positive aspects and disadvantages. A single variety of motor that has become ever more well-liked in modern many years is the VTEC motor.

VTEC stands for Variable Valve Timing and Carry Electronic Management. This technologies was initial released by Honda in 1989 on their DOHC (dual overhead cam) engines. The main gain of a VTEC engine is that it can increase gas financial system and torque while even now delivering power when you need to have it.

The following guidebook explores VTEC engines in increased depth, such as how they work and what positive aspects they offer.

How Does It Work?

A VTEC engine makes use of two sets of intake and exhaust valves. The 1st established is smaller sized and is employed when the engine is working at reduced speeds. The second established is more substantial and is employed when the motor is operating at increased speeds. The change between the two sets of valves is managed by a gadget known as a VTEC solenoid.

When the engine is functioning at decrease speeds, a smaller established of consumption and exhaust valves are utilized. This allows for much better gas economic climate simply because there is significantly less air and gasoline heading into the engine. The tradeoff is that the engine makes considerably less electricity.

When the engine is working at greater speeds, a more substantial established of ingestion and exhaust valves are utilized. This lets far more air and gasoline into the engine, which outcomes in a lot more electrical power. The tradeoff is that gasoline financial system suffers simply because far more gasoline is becoming used.

The VTEC system is capable to change among the two sets of valves instantly dependent on how the motor is currently being utilised. That signifies that the motor can be optimized for both energy and gasoline economy, dependent on what the driver demands.

Checking the engine oil
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What Are the Different Types of VTEC Engines?

Honda’s VTEC program was 1st released in 1989 on the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market place) Integra XSi. There are a few distinct sorts of VTEC engines: SOHC (One OverHead Camshaft), DOHC (Double OverHead Camshaft), and i-VTEC (clever VTEC).


SOHC VTEC engines are some of the most common engines employed in Honda cars. These engines are identified for their high functionality and gasoline performance. A lot of Honda fanatics contemplate SOHC VTEC engines to be the best engines offered.

SOHC VTEC stands for Single Overhead Camshaft with Variable Valve Timing and Carry Electronic Management. This technological innovation was initial launched in the late 1980s and has been utilized in a variety of Honda engines since then.

These engines are designed to generate more power than traditional DOHC engines whilst still preserving outstanding gas financial system. These engines typically have 4 valves for each cylinder, which enables for better airflow and a lot more efficient combustion.

SOHC VTEC engines are also identified for their substantial revving abilities. A lot of Honda lovers consider SOHC VTEC engines to be the best option for higher-overall performance programs.

If you are seeking for a substantial-overall performance motor for your Honda, then a SOHC VTEC motor is an exceptional choice. These engines are reliable, gas-efficient, and provide great efficiency.


DOHC VTEC engines are higher-efficiency engines that use Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) to increase electricity output and fuel financial system. DOHC VTEC engines have been 1st launched in the early nineteen nineties and have given that turn into well-known in a wide selection of cars.

VTEC DOHC Engine Image Credit: Rodney78, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.00

These engines generally offer you much more power and better gas economic system than their non-VTEC counterparts. The addition of VTEC permits the motor to swap amongst two different camshaft profiles, dependent on operating conditions. This enables the engine to run with lower emissions and improved gasoline economy at reduce speeds although nonetheless offering substantial power output when needed.

DOHC VTEC engines are accessible in a range of displacements, from small 4-cylinder engines to massive V8s. Numerous DOHC VTEC engines are also turbocharged or supercharged, additional escalating power output.

Whilst DOHC VTEC engines offer a lot of advantages, they can also be complex and pricey to maintain. As this kind of, they are typically only discovered in larger-finish vehicles.

i-VTEC Engines

The i-VTEC engine is a sort of interior combustion engine that was developed by Honda. It is an evolution of the company’s VTEC technique and combines Variable Valve Timing and Carry Electronic Manage (VVL) with Variable Valve Timing and carry (VTEC). The consequence is an engine that offers equally substantial energy and gas performance.

i-VTEC engines are obtainable in a vast range of displacement dimensions, from one. L to three.5 L. In addition to gasoline engines, i-VTEC technology is also employed in Honda’s line of hybrid electrical autos (HEVs).

The first i-VTEC motor was released in the 1998 Honda Accord. It was a two.three L V6 that made two hundred hp (149 kW). Considering that then, i-VTEC engines have been used in a variety of Honda and Acura automobiles.

Where Is It Used?

A VTEC motor is generally found in Honda automobiles. However, other companies have also started related technological innovation in their own engines.

Honda accord parked on the street
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Advantages of VTEC Engines

As observed, VTEC engines have numerous rewards that make them desirable to drivers. These rewards incorporate:

  • Increased fuel efficiency due to reduced friction
  • More power and torque
  • Lower emissions
  • Smoother, more responsive acceleration

Disadvantages of VTEC Engines

Conversely, there are also a few down sides that come together with VTEC engines, like:

  • Increased cost
  • Often require higher-quality fuel than other engine types
  • VTEC engines may require more maintenance than other engine types

General, VTEC engines offer a amount of benefits and down sides. It is essential to weigh all of these elements before choosing if a VTEC motor is correct for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if my car has a VTEC engine?

If your car has a VTEC engine, it will normally have “VTEC” badges or stickers on the bodywork. You can also check out the owner’s manual or question a dealer or mechanic.

Do all Honda engines use VTEC?

No, not all Honda engines use VTEC. However, a lot of of Honda’s functionality versions do use VTEC technologies.

Honda Vtec Engine
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What other manufacturers use VTEC engines?

Only Honda employs VTEC engines.

I’ve heard of “fake” or “emulated” VTEC. What is this?

Some auto makers use electronic controls to simulate the consequences of VTEC without having truly employing VTEC components. This can be utilised to produce the effect of enhanced performance without having the real positive aspects of VTEC.

Will a VTEC engine work with my aftermarket parts?

In most circumstances, of course. However, it’s constantly ideal to examine with the producer of your aftermarket components to be sure.

Can I convert my non-VTEC engine to VTEC?

In some instances, it could be feasible to change a non-VTEC engine to VTEC. Nonetheless, this is normally not advisable or essential.

mechanic repairing car engine
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What is the difference between VTEC and VVT?

VTEC and VVT are two diverse technologies that can be utilised to improve functionality. VTEC adjusts the timing and lift of the valves, even though VVT adjusts the timing of the ingestion and exhaust camshafts.


As you can see, VTEC engines are quite a sophisticated piece of equipment. But in a nutshell, they work by utilizing two different sets of camshafts and valves to improve functionality. During minimal-rpm operation, only 1 established of camshafts is utilized in purchase to decrease gasoline consumption.


VTECs have prolonged been known for their efficiency capabilities, but in current years they have turn out to be much more popular in more compact, fuel-efficient autos as effectively. So whether or not you are hunting for a large-performance engine or a single that is a lot more gas-effective, a VTEC motor might be correct for you.

Honda VTEC Motor Image Credit score: Tennen-Fuel, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.)