i-VTEC stands for Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control, a system created by Honda to improve fuel consumption of Honda vehicles. The VTEC system uses two camshaft profiles and hydraulically selects between the two.
This technology was invented by Ikuo Kakitani, a Honda engineer.
Honda i-VTEC permits the engine to effectively have multiple camshafts. The difference with this technology is that the engine’s computer can activate alternate lobes on the camshaft and change the cam timing as the engine moves into different RPM ranges.
The incredible feature of this technology is that the engine can have the low-speed and high-speed camshafts in the same engine. In fact, the main idea with Honda i-VTEC is to have the maximum engine performance at every RPM range.
To better understand Honda i-VTEC technology, let’s first take a look at how a normal engine works.
The valves let the air into the engine and let exhaust out of the engine. The camshafts control the valves. To open and close the valves, the camshaft uses rotating lobes.
Research shows that there is an important connection between the way the lobes are ground on the camshaft, and the way the engine behaves in different RPM ranges.
Let’s use an example to understand better. Imagine that we are running an engine at just 10 or 15 RPM, to complete a cycle the piston will take seconds to do it. Just keep in mind that it is not possible to run a normal engine this slowly, but let’S just pretend for a second we could.
The camshaft would grind, when the piston begins moving downward in the intake stroke, the intake valve would open. Right as the piston bottoms are out, the intake valve would close.
Then the exhaust valve would open right as the piston bottoms out at the end of the combustion stroke, and would close as the piston completes the exhaust stroke. This is great as long as we can run the engine at a very low speed.
The bad news is that when we increase the RPM, this configuration for the camshaft does not perform well.
If the engine is running at 4,000 RPM, the valves are opening and closing 2,000 times every minute. So when the intake valve opens right at the top of the intake stroke, the piston is not able to get the air moving into the cylinder in a fraction of time available.
The result is that at higher RPM ranges, what you need is the intake valve to open before the intake stroke, this way the piston starts moving down in the intake stroke, and the valve is open, moving the air freely into the cylinder during a complete intake stroke.
If you want maximum engine performance at low and high speeds, you need to open and close the valves differently for each speed.
Without i-VTEC technology, you would have a problem. If you put in a good low-speed camshaft, the engine’s performance at high speed is not good. And if you put in a good high-speed camshaft, the engine’s performance is not good at low-speed. In some cases, it can even make it harder to start the engine.
Now, what the i-VTEC technology does is that Honda engines work effectively by having multiple camshafts. This is the reason why Honda i-VTEC models have high-performance and lower fuel consumption.
As you can see, Honda i-VTEC technology provides fuel consumption economy without sacrificing performance.
If you have a Honda, the best way to maintain your vehicle as good as new is to bring your car to Honda Service Centre in Penang. This way you can ensure your car is in good hands.
The i-VTEC technology is exclusively for Honda vehicles, and that’s why you need Honda technicians to have access to accurate Honda measurements using the latest equipment at the facility.