Error Code P1354 is defined as Variable Valve Timing System Malfunction Bank 2. It causes the engine to idle rough and underpowered.

This error code is a manufacturer-specific trouble code, meaning it does not apply to all vehicles makes. Rather, it applies only to specific vehicle makes, such as Toyota. Specification on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs still vary from one make and model to another.

Definition

For internal combustion engines VVT (variable valve timing) is the process of changing the timing of the valve lift event, which results in improved performance, fuel economy, and reduce emissions. It’s a common technology among Toyota vehicles. For Toyota, the VVT controls the intake valve timing to proper timing in response to the driving conditions. The PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) controls the OCV (oil control valve) to make proper intake valve timing. Oil pressure controlled with OCV is supplied to the VVT controller, while the VVT controller also changes the relative position between the camshaft and the crankshaft.

Common Symptoms

Aside from the triggered Check Engine light and registry of the code, P1354 also shows other symptoms such as:

  • Rough idling
  • Underpowered engine

Possible Causes

Multiple factors can lead to this error code, some of the most common causes are:

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  • Problem with valve timing
  • Dirty or low engine oil
  • Problem with VVT controller assembly
  • Problem with oil control valve
  • Defective PCM

How to Check

The first thing you can do is try to take out the oil control valve on your vehicle and try cleaning it first. Many times, the code will go away after cleaning the oil control valve. There’s an electrical harness that connects right through it. Clean both the front and the rear oil control valve. You may refer to your manual to pinpoint exactly where these two are located. They’re the ones with 10mm bolt.

You may get a little bit of oil leaking once you take off the oil control valve. No big deal, just clean it up. Use a brake clean to clean the oil control valve. Spray the brake clean to the grooves probably about five times and let it dry.

To make sure the valve functions properly, you can take a positive and negative to the 12V and hook it up to the two leads on the valve. It should click open and close, that’s how you know it’s working well.

After cleaning, put the valve back to its place. Make sure it clicks when you put it back. Just snug the bolt it, you don’t have to over-tighten it. The last thing you want is to break the bolt.

Check whether the Check Engine light is still there. You can use a scanner to do this. If you don’t have a scanner, you can just disconnect the negative terminal of the battery for about ten minutes. This will usually clear everything out.

If after cleaning you still have the error code, then that means you may have to get a new oil control valve.

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How to Fix

Repairs for this error code are quite easy. Of course, you should first conduct a proper diagnosis.

  • Clean or replace oil control valve
  • Repair or replace VVT controller assembly

As said earlier, cleaning the oil control valve usually solves this problem. If not, then it is best to let professional technicians do the job for you, especially if you’re not familiar with this code or engine repairs.