Your engine's efficiency relies to a great degree on a functioning variable valve timing solenoid. This part ensures that your intake camshaft lobes are in the correct place for optimum power output, fuel efficiency, and exhaust emissions. When it breaks, then your engine will be restored to base line (or standard) timing. This isn't bad, but it is not what you engine was designed for. You will definitely notice a lack of power when you are used to getting it. There may also be a reduction in your gas mileage, though it will be slight. The engine should still pass emissions testing, but the "check engine" light will be on and some testers don't like to see that. The bottom line is: get your broken variable timing solenoid fixed so that you can get back to enjoying your drives rather than just getting through them.
Variable valve timing (VVT) first came about in the late 1980s thanks to advancements from Japanese engineers. Sure, the first oscillating camshaft used to change the intake valve lift and duration was used by Porsche in 1958. But VVT didn't find a real home until electronic fuel injection came about to help support these timing changes. A variable valve timing solenoid sits at the front or back of the intake camshaft, and pushes it a few degrees forward or backward in relation to the crankshaft. This camshaft has lobes with varied profiles. And as it rotates, the lobes on the intake camshaft will have different effects on the movement of the valve, which in turn allows either more or less air/fuel into the combustion chamber. Without the variable timing solenoid working properly, your timing will be less than optimized.
The key to installing your VVT solenoid is locating and accessing it. You will definitely need to remove the valve cover and expose your camshaft, timing gear, and the rest of the valve train. That may mean removing other components of your engine so that you can easily get your hands on these parts. Once you have the valve cover off, you should be able to find the variable timing solenoid by looking for the wire harness leading to the back of the camshaft. Most of the time this can be unplugged, and a new one put in its place. If this isn't possible, your vehicle may have a special replacement procedure. Consult a repair manual specific to your engine for best results.
Today, most overhead cam engines use variable valve timing, so getting the correct solenoid to actuate it is an absolute imperative. Car Parts Discount carries the best brands in engine electronics from the top manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket as well as original equipment suppliers. That means you are sure to get a variable timing solenoid that works for your engine; bringing it back up to its original performance and operating standards.