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Once again I find myself in a spot where I need you good people to help me out. My extended warranty is up in 2 months/2,ooo miles, and, after waiting for other issues to crop up, I took my 1.4mt in for what I thought would be a valve cover gasket replacement. After doing some research here, that's the reason I found would be the cause of my problem: oil on the spark plugs. I changed them about 15,000 miles ago and found oil all over spark plug 4, some on 3 but not as bad. The threads of each plug is where the oil was collected. My service "representative" is trying to say that this is normal. They found no oil in the spark plug tubes, and that "finding oil below is nothing to be concerned about. Sometimes when the multi air system opens up, sometimes it will let some oil through."

I'm not a mechanic. Nor do I have a deep understanding of the multi air system. But I'm pretty sure it has to do with the valve timing, not lubricating the spark plugs with engine oil. Can you fine folks provide me the understanding I need to fight for the warranty repairs to which I am entitled? I'm always disappointed that I have to fight so hard every time I need to use the warranty I bought. But you guys haven't let me down yet! Car is still at the dealer, help me PLEASE!!
 

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Once again I find myself in a spot where I need you good people to help me out. My extended warranty is up in 2 months/2,ooo miles, and, after waiting for other issues to crop up, I took my 1.4mt in for what I thought would be a valve cover gasket replacement. After doing some research here, that's the reason I found would be the cause of my problem: oil on the spark plugs. I changed them about 15,000 miles ago and found oil all over spark plug 4, some on 3 but not as bad. The threads of each plug is where the oil was collected. My service "representative" is trying to say that this is normal. They found no oil in the spark plug tubes, and that "finding oil below is nothing to be concerned about. Sometimes when the multi air system opens up, sometimes it will let some oil through."

I'm not a mechanic. Nor do I have a deep understanding of the multi air system. But I'm pretty sure it has to do with the valve timing, not lubricating the spark plugs with engine oil. Can you fine folks provide me the understanding I need to fight for the warranty repairs to which I am entitled? I'm always disappointed that I have to fight so hard every time I need to use the warranty I bought. But you guys haven't let me down yet! Car is still at the dealer, help me PLEASE!!
Your spark plug tube seals are probably leaking. The oil is getting on the threads when the plug is removed, which also drains the oil accumulated in the tube. I all but guarantee the bottom of the leaking tubes is all oily. I think this would be considered powertrain and should be covered by most Mopar service contracts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree, and from my research here I figured it would either be because of the tube seals, or the valve cover gasket. That's why I brought it in for warranty repair. Now I just have to figure out how to do the dance with the service rep/dealer mechanic who are claiming that there is no oil in the tubes, that oil on the plugs at the bottom is normal, and that the cause is normal operation of the multi air system "sometimes letting some oil through". Sounds like garbage that they spout when they don't want to do the warranty work -- any idea how to set them straight and get them to do it? I guess for now I'll try to learn how the multi air system works, so I can explain to them that lubricating the spark plugs with engine oil is not part of normal operation...
 

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I agree, and from my research here I figured it would either be because of the tube seals, or the valve cover gasket. That's why I brought it in for warranty repair. Now I just have to figure out how to do the dance with the service rep/dealer mechanic who are claiming that there is no oil in the tubes, that oil on the plugs at the bottom is normal, and that the cause is normal operation of the multi air system "sometimes letting some oil through". Sounds like garbage that they spout when they don't want to do the warranty work -- any idea how to set them straight and get them to do it? I guess for now I'll try to learn how the multi air system works, so I can explain to them that lubricating the spark plugs with engine oil is not part of normal operation...
The valve cover gasket would have oil leaking onto the engine block. It's 100% the tube seals, I have the same exact problem on my Dart.

Try a different dealership maybe?
 

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The valve cover gasket would have oil leaking onto the engine block. It's 100% the tube seals, I have the same exact problem on my Dart.

Try a different dealership maybe?
It's a very common problem on the 1.4T. Many of them have oil in one or more tubes by their first spark plug change, which many do at 25-30K miles. It's never caused any issues on my car (#4 leaks), except that once you remove the plug, it gets drenched in oil and can't be reused, and you will let out a blue cloud when you fire the car back up. Replacing them is fairly significant job, and since they start leaking from so quickly, I'm not entirely sure it's one worth doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's a very common problem on the 1.4T. Many of them have oil in one or more tubes by their first spark plug change, which many do at 25-30K miles. It's never caused any issues on my car (#4 leaks), except that once you remove the plug, it gets drenched in oil and can't be reused, and you will let out a blue cloud when you fire the car back up. Replacing them is fairly significant job, and since they start leaking from so quickly, I'm not entirely sure it's one worth doing.
I guess my argument is that it IS worth doing since it's covered by the extended warranty that I have already paid for. I'm just frustrated that they're trying to shyster me again, and that every time I attempt to use my warranty I have to research every potential cause of my problem, as well as whatever bs cause they try to throw at me as not covered under warranty, or in this case, "normal".
Since they're saying that oil in the spark plug tubes is a by-product of normal multiair function, can anyone steer me towards research on how the multiair technology works, and what (if any) correlation it has with the plugs/tubes? I tried a couple searches here, but couldn't find what I needed. Perhaps my terms were too vague? Thanks jsblanch and Killraven for your contributions so far. I really appreciate this research, and you all.
 

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I guess my argument is that it IS worth doing since it's covered by the extended warranty that I have already paid for. I'm just frustrated that they're trying to shyster me again, and that every time I attempt to use my warranty I have to research every potential cause of my problem, as well as whatever bs cause they try to throw at me as not covered under warranty, or in this case, "normal".
Since they're saying that oil in the spark plug tubes is a by-product of normal multiair function, can anyone steer me towards research on how the multiair technology works, and what (if any) correlation it has with the plugs/tubes? I tried a couple searches here, but couldn't find what I needed. Perhaps my terms were too vague? Thanks jsblanch and Killraven for your contributions so far. I really appreciate this research, and you all.
Well, oil pooling in the spark plug tubes is normal in approximately 0.0000% of vehicles, so there's that. This has absolutely no connection at all to MultiAir, they're just telling you that because it's an "exotic" system that uses oil to function and they assume you have no clue how it works and that their reasoning will sound plausible. This is much too common a problem with the 1.4T engine for FCA not to have a TSB for this exact issue that recommends replacing the seals. They just don't want to do it, probably because it involves removing the head from the engine and the official procedure for that is complete insanity and the flat rate for doing it as warranty work is not worth it. You really should get a second opinion from a more honest dealership. Do you really want these chuckleheads working on your car at this point?
 

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interesting thing for me to find today. I Changed my spark plugs yesterday, and I also found oil in 3 of my 4 spark plugs. I noticed in second gear right before shifting into third, it kind of bogs down, but never does it after that. I didn't change the coil packs, but if it's not going to fix it/if it's a seal issue of some sort, something i should take to the dealership to get fixed.

I would probably try a different dealership and see if you get another answer. Definitely keep us informed, as i would also like an answer. If i get to the dealership soon, i'll also post an update.
 

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It's not difficult to replace yourself. I've posted a how to and others have as well. Search with Google using my screen name.
 

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Well, oil pooling in the spark plug tubes is normal in approximately 0.0000% of vehicles, so there's that. This has absolutely no connection at all to MultiAir, they're just telling you that because it's an "exotic" system that uses oil to function and they assume you have no clue how it works and that their reasoning will sound plausible. This is much too common a problem with the 1.4T engine for FCA not to have a TSB for this exact issue that recommends replacing the seals. They just don't want to do it, probably because it involves removing the head from the engine and the official procedure for that is complete insanity and the flat rate for doing it as warranty work is not worth it. You really should get a second opinion from a more honest dealership. Do you really want these chuckleheads working on your car at this point?
Whoa!

I have never seen or heard of a motor that requires you to remove the head to pull the valve cover.

The valve cover sits on top of the head in which it's bolted down to it directly. I see no reason for a manufacturer to bolt it to the block but there may be some actual exotic motor I just haven't researched.

Maybe you are commenting on their made up story of how difficult it is? Better to be clear to the OP here if that's the case...

Doing a valve cover gasket plus tube seals is often pretty simple and depending on the car should not take more then 2 hours. If your dealer does it regularly I'd bet 1 hour is doable, but you better believe you won't be billed for 1 hour.


Edit: oh man....I looked it up and you commented on the post I looked at...turns out you have to remove so much shit that you might as well do the head gasket and timing belt while you are in there: Who fucking designed this???
 

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Whoa!

I have never seen or heard of a motor that requires you to remove the head to pull the valve cover.

The valve cover sits on top of the head in which it's bolted down to it directly. I see no reason for a manufacturer to bolt it to the block but there may be some actual exotic motor I just haven't researched.

Maybe you are commenting on their made up story of how difficult it is? Better to be clear to the OP here if that's the case...

Doing a valve cover gasket plus tube seals is often pretty simple and depending on the car should not take more then 2 hours. If your dealer does it regularly I'd bet 1 hour is doable, but you better believe you won't be billed for 1 hour.


Edit: oh man....I looked it up and you commented on the post I looked at...turns out you have to remove so much shit that you might as well do the head gasket and timing belt while you are in there: Who fucking designed this???
Somebody else came up with a much simpler procedure that doesn't require that level of bottom-up disassembly insanity, but the dealership has to do it the "proper" way, and who the hell is going to do that when they're being paid a flat rate to do it (ie. when anybody but the customer is paying)?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alright.
Trust me, I would LOVE to take the car to another dealership, that mythical "honest" dealership, but it's not really a realistic option at this point. I bought my extended warranty through the Lithia dealership group, and it can only be honored at Lithia owned dealerships. The next closest one that remains is 194 miles north of me. I REALLY want to get these guys to honor my warranty, as I purchased it knowing that I was buying a first year model (mine is a 2013 limited 1.4 6MT), and that precisely shit like this was going to need fixed at some point. I feel really fortunate, more than most, that so little has gone wrong with my 2013 Dart. It's just been the separator O-ring (did myself), Clutch slave cylinder (warranty - also had wiring harness replaced because MAF sensor somehow got pulverized while in the shop. Had to FIGHT for them to acknowledge that they did that), drivers' side front wheel bearing (warranty), and drivers' side CV boot (torn while warranty work was being done on front wheel bearing. Had to fight to get them to recognize this one, as well.)

One side of the coin is that no, I don't really want these chuckleheads working on my car. The other is that I just want to get what I've paid for while I still can. I'm at 82 months and 73,000 miles on an 84/75,000 warranty. And that these bastards should not be able to get away with stiffing everybody just because the math doesn't work out in their favor. Sell a warranty, HONOR THE DAMNED WARRANTY.

Sorry, long soapbox story to say that I am gonna do all I can to get them to fix this. Let's see if I have my facts straight:
*the spark plug tubes seal to the coil packs at the top, and the top of the cylinder head at the bottom. Those seals are what's leaking and THE ONLY spot where oil can be let into the tubes.
*the multiair system has no ability to leak oil to the spark plug tubes, as they are claiming. I am hoping that I won't have to research all the ins and outs of multiair technology, but if anyone wants to link me to how the system works, it would probably be a good idea to have at least a basic understanding, so I can tell them why they're full of crap and need to fix my car.

Anything else I need to know to prove my case? Anything I have wrong?
Thanks, all.
 

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Do a Google search for MultiAir and my screen name. I copied the info you need from the fsm a few months ago in another thread. Oil in the spark plugs tubes will eventually cause a misfire. That's why the seals are there in the first place. It's ludicrous to think the oil is normal. There is probably more oil under the valve cover under higher pressure than in an engine without MultiAir. That does not make it normal for it to leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Do a Google search for MultiAir and my screen name. I copied the info you need from the fsm a few months ago in another thread. Oil in the spark plugs tubes will eventually cause a misfire. That's why the seals are there in the first place. It's ludicrous to think the oil is normal. There is probably more oil under the valve cover under higher pressure than in an engine without MultiAir. That does not make it normal for it to leak.
Sorry, alpinegreenneon, I did a google search for MultiAir and alpinegreenneon, and it just kind of redirected me back to the forum. I looked through a few pages of your recent posts here, too, and couldn't find the info on MultiAir. Any idea what the other thread was called that I should be looking for?
 

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I'm away from home for a few days. I'll post it again. I was hoping it would be easier to find.
 

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The following are from the FSM. If you look at the first pic, it is obvious that the spark plug tubes are not part of the MultiAir assembly even though they are right next to them.

09 - Engine, 1.4L I4 16V Turbo / Cylinder Head / ASSEMBLY, Variable Valve Actuation / Description

DESCRIPTION

The primary component of variable valve actuation is the variable valve actuation module. The variable valve actuation module is bolted to the top of the camshaft bearing housing above the intake valves, next to the camshaft. The intake lobes on the camshaft operate hydraulic pumping elements instead of directly acting on the valves. The pumping elements provide high-pressure oil to open the intake valves. The relationship between the camshaft lobe and the intake valves is controlled by a solenoid operated hydraulic port. By varying the solenoid operation, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is able to control intake valve lift and duration.

125618



09 - Engine, 1.4L I4 16V Turbo / Cylinder Head / ASSEMBLY, Variable Valve Actuation / Operation

OPERATION

Variable valve actuation controls the operation of the intake valves. By using a hydraulic link between the camshaft and the intake valves, the valve lift and timing can be adjusted infinitely.

The main components of variable valve actuation are the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) programming and the variable valve actuation module. The variable valve actuation module contains one set of the following components for each cylinder:

•Upper Pumping Element (3)
•Solenoid Valve (1)
•Hydraulic Brake Pumping Element/Hydraulic Lash Adjusters (2)
•Oil Accumulator (4)
dart14VVAsolenoid1.jpg



125619


The upper pumping elements (1) in the variable valve actuator are filled with oil from the engine lubrication system. The upper pumping elements (1) are driven by the rocker arms through camshaft motion (9) to create high-pressure oil inside the oil chamber (2). As the camshaft continues to rotate and the camshaft lobe ramps down, a spring in the upper pumping element returns the piston and the rocker arm to their home positions.

The high-pressure oil in the oil chamber passageway is delivered to the solenoid valve (8) from the upper pumping element. The solenoid valve (8) is a normally open hydraulic control valve. Therefore, the high-pressure oil is vented from the oil chamber to the accumulator (7) unless the solenoid valve is powered. When the solenoid valve is supplied 12 volts, the valve closes and high pressure oil instead acts upon the hydraulic brake pumping elements (6) to operate the intake valves (5).

The hydraulic brake pumping element (6) is essentially a piston that is operated by the high-pressure oil to open the intake valves (5). It also functions as a brake to stop the movement of the pumping element and intake valves. The braking function is the result of vent holes around the perimeter of the element’s cylinder. When the piston approaches full stroke, the lower perimeter vent holes bleed off oil. This stops the piston from moving any farther. When the pressure from the solenoid is taken away, the upper supply holes in the cylinder become bleed holes that allow the piston to return to the home position. The piston is pushed back to the home position by the force of the intake valve springs. As the piston approaches the home position, some of the bleed holes are covered and the speed of the piston is regulated as it approaches the final resting position. This also controls the valve speed as it seats in the cylinder head. The hydraulic brake pumping element also functions as a hydraulic lash adjuster (3) because the valve stem clearance is hydraulically taken up by the piston. This occurs because the hydraulic brake pumping element/hydraulic lash adjuster is always under some oil pressure from the engine oil lubrication system. This creates enough pressure to take up valve clearance.

The variable valve actuator features three areas that function together as an oil reservoir so that the actuator always has a ready supply of engine oil. The engine lubrication system provides oil to the lower reservoir area and keeps it full of oil. To flow from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, the oil must pass through very small holes. This helps to purge air from the lower reservoir and to maintain engine oil pressure in the lower reservoir. The third reservoir area, the oil accumulator (7), is filled by oil vented from the oil chamber by the solenoid valve (8). The oil accumulator is a spring loaded accumulator that absorbs the hydraulic shock that would otherwise be created when the solenoid valves are opened. This helps to increase the durability of the system, maintains higher pressure in the lower pressure side of the system and lowers the overall load on the engine oil pump.

Variable valve actuation provides five possible phases of operation. Each phase offers unique advantages compared to normal camshaft operation. The five phases are:

•Full Lift. When variable valve actuation functions in the full lift phase, all of the camshaft lobe lift is transferred to the intake valves. The intake camshaft lobe is designed with a very aggressive lift and duration profile. This results in good power in the upper RPM ranges with high loads. This profile would rarely be used in everyday driving.


•Early intake valve closing (EIVC). When variable valve actuation functions in the EIVC phase, the camshaft lobe lift is transferred to the intake valves at the beginning of the lift duration cycle. However, the hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the valves is taken away before the lobe reaches full lift. The exact timing and lift can be infinitely varied to meet driver requirements. EIVC provides smooth engine performance and more torque at lower engine speeds.


•Late intake valve opening (LIVO). When variable valve actuation functions in the LIVO phase, the camshaft lobe lift is NOT transferred to the intake valves at the beginning of the lift duration cycle. The hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the valves is completed after the rocker arm has already begun riding the ramp of the camshaft lobe. When the hydraulic connection is completed, the intake valves will begin to open. The valve lift timing can be varied infinitely within the full profile of the camshaft lobe. Therefore, as long as the hydraulic connection is completed before the camshaft lobe reaches its maximum lift, some valve lift will result. The lift profile will follow the camshaft lobe profile for the time that the hydraulic link is complete. Like EIVC, the exact timing and lift can be infinitely varied to meet driver requirements. LIVO provides lower emissions and a higher efficiency at lower loads or idle conditions.


•Multi-Lift. Multi-Lift is a combination of EIVC and LIVO because the hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the intake valves is closed early and then re-opened later in the cycle. This creates a longer duration valve lift with a smaller amount of lift. The result is a higher velocity of air flow into the cylinder over a longer period of time. Multi-Lift may be used in mixed driving of acceleration and deceleration with moderate engine speeds.

•Closed. The closed phase simply leaves the intake valves closed by not utilizing the camshaft lobe to lift the intake valves.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The following are from the FSM. If you look at the first pic, it is obvious that the spark plug tubes are not part of the MultiAir assembly even though they are right next to them.

09 - Engine, 1.4L I4 16V Turbo / Cylinder Head / ASSEMBLY, Variable Valve Actuation / Description

DESCRIPTION

The primary component of variable valve actuation is the variable valve actuation module. The variable valve actuation module is bolted to the top of the camshaft bearing housing above the intake valves, next to the camshaft. The intake lobes on the camshaft operate hydraulic pumping elements instead of directly acting on the valves. The pumping elements provide high-pressure oil to open the intake valves. The relationship between the camshaft lobe and the intake valves is controlled by a solenoid operated hydraulic port. By varying the solenoid operation, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is able to control intake valve lift and duration.

View attachment 125618


09 - Engine, 1.4L I4 16V Turbo / Cylinder Head / ASSEMBLY, Variable Valve Actuation / Operation

OPERATION

Variable valve actuation controls the operation of the intake valves. By using a hydraulic link between the camshaft and the intake valves, the valve lift and timing can be adjusted infinitely.

The main components of variable valve actuation are the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) programming and the variable valve actuation module. The variable valve actuation module contains one set of the following components for each cylinder:

•Upper Pumping Element (3)
•Solenoid Valve (1)
•Hydraulic Brake Pumping Element/Hydraulic Lash Adjusters (2)
•Oil Accumulator (4)
View attachment 125617


View attachment 125619

The upper pumping elements (1) in the variable valve actuator are filled with oil from the engine lubrication system. The upper pumping elements (1) are driven by the rocker arms through camshaft motion (9) to create high-pressure oil inside the oil chamber (2). As the camshaft continues to rotate and the camshaft lobe ramps down, a spring in the upper pumping element returns the piston and the rocker arm to their home positions.

The high-pressure oil in the oil chamber passageway is delivered to the solenoid valve (8) from the upper pumping element. The solenoid valve (8) is a normally open hydraulic control valve. Therefore, the high-pressure oil is vented from the oil chamber to the accumulator (7) unless the solenoid valve is powered. When the solenoid valve is supplied 12 volts, the valve closes and high pressure oil instead acts upon the hydraulic brake pumping elements (6) to operate the intake valves (5).

The hydraulic brake pumping element (6) is essentially a piston that is operated by the high-pressure oil to open the intake valves (5). It also functions as a brake to stop the movement of the pumping element and intake valves. The braking function is the result of vent holes around the perimeter of the element’s cylinder. When the piston approaches full stroke, the lower perimeter vent holes bleed off oil. This stops the piston from moving any farther. When the pressure from the solenoid is taken away, the upper supply holes in the cylinder become bleed holes that allow the piston to return to the home position. The piston is pushed back to the home position by the force of the intake valve springs. As the piston approaches the home position, some of the bleed holes are covered and the speed of the piston is regulated as it approaches the final resting position. This also controls the valve speed as it seats in the cylinder head. The hydraulic brake pumping element also functions as a hydraulic lash adjuster (3) because the valve stem clearance is hydraulically taken up by the piston. This occurs because the hydraulic brake pumping element/hydraulic lash adjuster is always under some oil pressure from the engine oil lubrication system. This creates enough pressure to take up valve clearance.

The variable valve actuator features three areas that function together as an oil reservoir so that the actuator always has a ready supply of engine oil. The engine lubrication system provides oil to the lower reservoir area and keeps it full of oil. To flow from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, the oil must pass through very small holes. This helps to purge air from the lower reservoir and to maintain engine oil pressure in the lower reservoir. The third reservoir area, the oil accumulator (7), is filled by oil vented from the oil chamber by the solenoid valve (8). The oil accumulator is a spring loaded accumulator that absorbs the hydraulic shock that would otherwise be created when the solenoid valves are opened. This helps to increase the durability of the system, maintains higher pressure in the lower pressure side of the system and lowers the overall load on the engine oil pump.

Variable valve actuation provides five possible phases of operation. Each phase offers unique advantages compared to normal camshaft operation. The five phases are:

•Full Lift. When variable valve actuation functions in the full lift phase, all of the camshaft lobe lift is transferred to the intake valves. The intake camshaft lobe is designed with a very aggressive lift and duration profile. This results in good power in the upper RPM ranges with high loads. This profile would rarely be used in everyday driving.


•Early intake valve closing (EIVC). When variable valve actuation functions in the EIVC phase, the camshaft lobe lift is transferred to the intake valves at the beginning of the lift duration cycle. However, the hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the valves is taken away before the lobe reaches full lift. The exact timing and lift can be infinitely varied to meet driver requirements. EIVC provides smooth engine performance and more torque at lower engine speeds.


•Late intake valve opening (LIVO). When variable valve actuation functions in the LIVO phase, the camshaft lobe lift is NOT transferred to the intake valves at the beginning of the lift duration cycle. The hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the valves is completed after the rocker arm has already begun riding the ramp of the camshaft lobe. When the hydraulic connection is completed, the intake valves will begin to open. The valve lift timing can be varied infinitely within the full profile of the camshaft lobe. Therefore, as long as the hydraulic connection is completed before the camshaft lobe reaches its maximum lift, some valve lift will result. The lift profile will follow the camshaft lobe profile for the time that the hydraulic link is complete. Like EIVC, the exact timing and lift can be infinitely varied to meet driver requirements. LIVO provides lower emissions and a higher efficiency at lower loads or idle conditions.


•Multi-Lift. Multi-Lift is a combination of EIVC and LIVO because the hydraulic connection between the camshaft lobe and the intake valves is closed early and then re-opened later in the cycle. This creates a longer duration valve lift with a smaller amount of lift. The result is a higher velocity of air flow into the cylinder over a longer period of time. Multi-Lift may be used in mixed driving of acceleration and deceleration with moderate engine speeds.

•Closed. The closed phase simply leaves the intake valves closed by not utilizing the camshaft lobe to lift the intake valves.
Thanks again, alpinegreenneon. Great info, just what I needed!
 
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