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Cylinder 7 Exhaust Valve Control Circuit/Open

To provide maximum fuel economy under light load driving conditions, the Engine Control Module (ECM) will command the cylinder deactivation system ON to deactivate engine cylinders 1 and 7 on the left bank, and cylinders 4 and 6 on the right bank, switching to a V4 mode. The engine will operate on 8 cylinders, or V8 mode, during engine starting, engine idling, and medium to heavy throttle applications.

When commanded ON, the ECM will determine what cylinder is firing, and begin deactivation on the next closest deactivated cylinder in firing order sequence. The Gen IV engine has a firing order of 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3. If cylinder number 1 is on its combustion event when cylinder deactivation is commanded ON, the next cylinder in the firing order sequence that can be deactivated is cylinder number 7. If cylinder number 5 is on its combustion event when cylinder deactivation is commanded ON, then the next cylinder in the firing order sequence that can be deactivated is cylinder number 4.

Cylinder deactivation is accomplished by not allowing the intake and exhaust valves to open on the selected cylinders by using special valve lifters. The deactivation lifters contain spring loaded locking pins that connect the internal pin housing of the lifter to the outer housing. The pin housing contains the lifter plunger and pushrod seat which interfaces with the pushrod. The outer housing contacts the camshaft lobe through a roller. During V8 mode, the locking pins are pushed outward by spring force, locking the pin housing and outer housing together causing the lifter to function as a normal lifter. When V4 mode is commanded ON, the locking pins are pushed inward with engine oil pressure directed from the valve lifter oil manifold (VLOM) assembly solenoids. When the lifter pin housing is unlocked from the outer housing, the internal pin housing will remain stationary, while the outer housing will move with the profile of the camshaft lobe, which results in the valve remaining closed. One VLOM solenoid controls both the intake and exhaust valves for each deactivating cylinder. There are 2 distinct oil passages going to each cylinder deactivation lifter bore, one for the hydraulic lash-adjusting feature of the lifter, and one for controlling the locking pins used for cylinder deactivation.

Although both intake and exhaust valve lifters are controlled by the same solenoid in the VLOM, the intake and exhaust valves do not become deactivated at the same time. Cylinder deactivation is timed so that the cylinder is on an intake event. During an intake event, the intake cam lobe is pushing the valve lifter upwards to open the intake valve against the force of the valve spring. The force exerted by the valve spring is acting on the side of the lifter locking pins, preventing them from moving until the intake valve has closed. When the intake valve lifter reaches the base circle of the camshaft lobe, the valve spring force is reduced, allowing the locking pins to move, deactivating the intake valve. However, when cylinder deactivation is commanded ON, the exhaust valve for the deactivated cylinder is in the closed position, allowing the locking pins on the valve lifter to move immediately, and deactivate the exhaust valve.

By deactivating the exhaust valve first, this allows the capture of a burnt air/fuel charge or exhaust gas charge in the combustion chamber. The capture of exhaust gases in the combustion chamber will contribute to a reduction in oil consumption, noise and vibration levels, and exhaust emissions when operating in V4 mode. During the transition from V8 to V4 mode, the fuel injectors will be turned OFF on the deactivated cylinders. The ignition system secondary voltage or spark is still present across the spark plug electrodes on the deactivated cylinders. If all enabling conditions are met and maintained for cylinder deactivation operation, the ECM calibrations will limit cylinder deactivation to a cycle time of 10 minutes in V4 mode, and then return to V8 mode for 1 minute.

Switching between V8 and V4 mode is accomplished in less than 250 milliseconds, making the transitions seamless and transparent to the vehicle operator. The 250 milliseconds includes the time for the ECM to sequence the transitions, the response time for the VLOM solenoids to energize, and the time for the valve lifters to deactivate, all within 2 revolutions of the engine crankshaft.

Low oil pressure
Restricted oil passage
Engine mechanical condition
Faulty Cylinder Deactivation Solenoid
Cylinder Deactivation Solenoid harness is open or shorted
Cylinder Deactivation Solenoid circuit poor electrical connection

Check engine light

Troubleshooting Steps:
The first step in the troubleshooting process for any malfunction is to research the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) for the specific vehicle by year, model and engine. This can save you time and money because it is basically a known fix for a known issue. The second step is to check the condition of the engine oil and confirm it is serviced to the appropriate level. Then locate all components associated with the cylinder 7 exhaust valve control circuit and look for obvious physical damage. Based on the specific vehicle, this circuit may incorporate several components including the variable valve timing solenoid, switches, fault indicators and the ECM. Perform a thorough visual inspection to check the associated wiring for obvious defects such as scraping, rubbing, bare wires, or burn spots. Next is to check the connectors and connections for security, corrosion and damaged pins. Consult the specific technical data for the vehicle to verify the configuration and identify every component incorporated within the cylinder 1 exhaust valve control circuit. 

Advanced Steps 
The advanced steps become very vehicle specific and require the appropriate advanced equipment to perform accurately. These procedures require a digital multi meter and the specific technical references for the vehicle. In this situation, an oil pressure gauge may also facilitate the troubleshooting process to confirm an oil passage restriction. 

Voltage Checks 
The reference voltage and the acceptable ranges may vary based on the specific vehicle and the circuit configuration. Specific technical data will include troubleshooting charts and the appropriate sequence to follow assisting you with an accurate diagnosis. If this process identifies the absence of a power source or ground, continuity testing may be required to check the integrity of the wiring, connectors and other components. Continuity tests should always be performed with the power removed from the circuit and the normal readings for wiring and connections should be 0 ohms of resistance. Resistance or no continuity is an indication of faulty wiring that is open, shorted or corroded and must be repaired or replaced.

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