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P1346 and Running Extremely Rich
Stock 2003 Matrix XRS with 86,000 miles
Car just made a 700 mile round trip and started acting up the next morning. We went to start the car and it makes a racket at idle and is running very rich. There is a noticeable fuel smell when running and the bumper has soot on it at the exhaust pipe. I imagine the sounds could be a loose timing chain?
The car still starts fine and seems to run well other than the above mentioned problems. There is one code stored for P1346 - VVT sensor bank 1
So far I have pulled the valve cover and accessory belt and checked the timing. From what I can tell, the timing is perfectly fine (see attached). I have the balancer right around the 0 timing mark and the intake pulley is even with the timing cover, while the exhaust is just above. I cranked the engine over a number of times and didn't see any issues. I am wondering if the tensioner is bad but the cams haven't skipped a tooth yet.
I checked the VVT OCV function by putting 12V to it and it seems to move just fine. At this point, I am wondering if the cam sensor needs to be replaced. My only issue with this is that I can't imagine the engine would make such a racket if just the cam sensor was not working.
My next thought would be to check the valve lash, but I do not have the SST necessary and I can't believe that an issue would develop all of a sudden.
Does anyone have any experience with this or ideas to try?