P1259 Honda Code: Resolving VTEC Issues in Your Vehicle

If you own a Honda vehicle and have encountered the P1259 code, it’s essential to understand its implications and take appropriate action. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with the knowledge and steps needed to diagnose and resolve the P1259 code, ensuring optimal performance and longevity for your Honda engine. 

From symptoms to diagnostic procedures, we’ll walk you through the process, empowering you to tackle this code with confidence. 

So, let’s delve into the details of the P1259 code in Honda vehicles.

P1259 Honda Code: A Quick Overview

Take a look at the summary of the Honda P1259 code provided below!

  • Definition:  VTEC System Malfunction
  • Severity: Medium
  • DIY Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Continue To Drive?: Yes
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $20 – $200

What Does The P1259 Honda Code Mean?

P1259 code is a manufacturer-specific code that is specific to Honda and Acura vehicles. It relates to the VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system, a unique technology Honda developed. Some Honda models usually encounter this code, including Accord, Civic, CR-V, Odyssey,  Pilot, etc.

The VTEC system is designed to optimize engine performance by adjusting the valve timing and lift according to driving conditions. It operates by using two different camshaft profiles: one for low-speed operation and the other for high-speed performance. This allows the engine to deliver both efficient and powerful performance across a wide range of driving scenarios.

Once the VTEC system malfunctions, the P1259 Honda code appears
Once the VTEC system malfunctions, the P1259 code is set in Honda vehicles.
(Credit: global.honda)

The VTEC system in Honda engines engages at higher RPMs or when more power is needed. It uses oil pressure to adjust the camshaft lobes, optimizing valve lift and timing for improved efficiency and performance. This technology is a signature feature of Honda engines, offering benefits such as better fuel economy, increased torque, and overall enhanced performance.

However, when the VTEC system encounters a malfunction, the P1259 code is triggered. This typically indicates an issue with the VTEC oil pressure switch or the solenoid valve. These components play crucial roles in controlling the oil pressure and activating the VTEC mechanism.


  • Honda has issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) to help address the P1259 code in the 2001 Honda Accord models. The TSB suggests that a possible cause of the VTEC system malfunction and stored fault code is a low engine oil level. Before costly troubleshooting of the VTEC system, it is recommended to check the oil level and pressure. Ensuring proper oil supply and pressure may resolve the issue. If the problem persists or the oil level is adequate, consulting a qualified technician or visiting a Honda service center is advised for further diagnosis and repair.
  • Typically, if the P1259 code is set below 4000 RPM, it indicates a potential wiring problem or a faulty VTEC pressure switch. However, when the code appears at 4000 RPM or higher, it is usually related to an oil-related issue.

How Severe Is The P1259 Code In Your Honda? 

The severity level of the P1259 code in a Honda vehicle is generally considered to be moderate. While the vehicle may still be drivable with the P1259 code present, it is not recommended to ignore it. Therefore, we highly advise addressing the P1259 code promptly by diagnosing and repairing the vehicle.

The common symptoms associated with the P1259 code in Honda vehicles typically include:

  • Check Engine Light (MIL) illumination
  • Reduced engine performance
  • Rough idling or stalling
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Car shaking at idle
  • Knocking or rattling sounds
  • Reduced power output in VTEC mode, normal in non-VTEC mode
  • Sluggish acceleration and difficulty downshifting in VTEC mode

Causes Of The P1259 Honda Code

The P1259 code in Honda vehicles can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Low engine oil level or pressure
  • Faulty VTEC oil pressure switch
  • Malfunctioning VTEC solenoid valve
  • Wiring or connector issues related to the VTEC system
  • ECM (Engine Control Module) malfunction

Read more: P145C Honda Code: Expert Tips for Emission System Repairs

P1259 Honda Code: Diagnostic And Repair

In this section, we will provide essential tools and parts required, a step-by-step procedure for diagnosing and fixing the P1259 code, and discuss the level of DIY repair and estimated costs involved.

Essential Tools And Parts

To diagnose and repair the P1259 code in a Honda vehicle, you may need the following tools and parts (if required):

Step-by-Step Procedure

  1. Code retrieval: Use an OBD-II scanner to retrieve the P1259 code and record any additional associated codes.
  2. Check engine oil level: Using the engine oil dipstick, check the oil level and ensure it falls within the recommended range. If it falls out of the range, performing an oil change is a must.
  3. Inspect wiring and connectors: Examine the wiring and connectors related to the VTEC system for any visible damage or loose connections. Repair or replace if necessary.
  4. Test VTEC oil pressure switch and VTEC solenoid valve: Utilize a digital multimeter to perform tests on the VTEC oil pressure switch and VTEC solenoid valve, ensuring they function correctly. Replace the parts if needed.
  5. Verify wiring connections and continuity: Refer to the vehicle’s wiring diagram to confirm the proper wiring connections and continuity for the VTEC system.
  6. Clear the P1259 code: Clear the trouble code and test drive to make sure the code will not reappear.

Note: It is crucial to adhere to the specific diagnostic procedures provided in the vehicle’s service manual for precise diagnosis and repair of the P1259 code.

How To Test and Replace A VTEC Solenoid Valve

Read more: Honda OBD2 Codes List [Generic + Manufacturer-specific]

DIY Repair Level And Estimated Costs

The level of DIY repair for the P1259 code will depend on your mechanical experience and access to tools. DIY enthusiasts can perform basic diagnostic steps, such as checking the engine oil level and inspecting wiring connections.

However, dealing with component replacements like the VTEC oil pressure switch or VTEC solenoid valve may require intermediate to advanced mechanical skills. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with these tasks, we recommend seeking professional assistance.

The estimated costs for repairing the P1259 code can vary depending on the specific vehicle and the need for parts replacement. So, here is a rough breakdown of potential costs:

Repair TaskEstimated Cost
Oil changing$20 to $100
VTEC oil pressure switch$50 to $100
VTEC solenoid valve$100 to $200

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to tackle the P1259 code in your Honda vehicle? Well, with the knowledge you’ve gained, you can confidently diagnose and resolve this issue. Moreover, don’t keep this valuable information to yourself – share it with fellow Honda owners who may be facing similar challenges.

If you have any questions or success stories, we’re here to listen in the comments section below. Additionally, let’s keep our Honda engines running smoothly and efficiently. Drive with confidence and take care of your Honda!

Reference Sources

  1. Tech Tips Ireland, Honda Accord – Engine Light On Fault Code P1259 [PDF file]
  2. CarBrain, Unusual Car Noises That Might Ruin Your Budget
  3. Wikipedia, VTEC

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