This is a rare but a not out of the ordinary problem with the two K series petrol engines. I have encountered two cars with these symptoms and both of them have been down to poor maintenance and extremely dirty engine oil. I did catch the early symptoms of a jammed VTC actuator on my 2.0 Tourer, the root cause being for the first time I changed the oil to another make. BAD choice I will reveal more on another thread. Now there are two schools of thought on petrol oil change regime, one is preventative maintenance and other is selecting an oil which you think is the best. (The latter has a high percentage of being selected by the cost of the oil) 1) Any oil is good oil and it better is it cheaper and by changing it frequently you will negate any issues and save money on the long run. 2) Buy engine oil which is technical advance and has a track record of high performance, and long drain times. i.e fully synthetic oils no hydrocracked oils.( I fall into this category) The symptoms of this issue are varied and complex only a step by step method of elimination will resolve this issue. A back street garage will not know these steps nor will they ever comprehend how the VTC and i-VTEC actually works. So avoid them like a plague they will throw parts at it and convince you the car has a major engine fault. The symptoms • No compression on all cylinders when tested with a compression tester. • Extremely long crank cycles to fire the engine. • Jammed timing tensioner resulting in no tension on the timing chain giving it the appearance of stretched chain when the cam cover is removed. • The VTC control valve is temporarily stuck or contaminated. • Worn or stretched timing chain.(rare on Accord but common on CR-V’s) • Faulty or stuck VTC actuator. • Low oil pressure. • Worn camshaft/cam carrier bearings affecting oil pressure. Now if you get a car which does start but is light up the dash board with errors i.e VSA or cannot idle and can only be kept running by holding the throttle open. You can safely say your problem is one of them above. The chances are the VTC actuator is jammed with dirty oil and is stopping the VTC to advance\retard The heart of the healthy VTEC engine is oil,oil play such a crucial role in maintaining the high performance of the K series cannot be stressed highly .Its literally the lifeline for long life and troublefree motoring. There are two ways of resolving this issue replacing the VTC actuator or draining the existing dirty oil and then use flushing oil to get all the sludge and contaminants way. The VTC galleries are so tiny and intricate nothing but thin oil can clean it galleries out, or you swap it out with a brand new part. But the sludge from the oil pain may clog the brand new part again. Please note you should not use flushing oil on normal routine service ,IT is the only for this scenario the only way to resolve this issue effectively. To fix this issue Honda engineer went to a different level and I have to applaud them for this , they devised a new mesh and changes to the ECU to combat basically poor customer maintenance. The changes they made were two fold. • Two mesh filters added, one to the ‘advance angle port’ and one to the ‘delay angle port’ to prevent contamination of the valve. • The ECU software has been modified to improve the cleaning mode of the VTC solenoid valve. If you didn’t take your car to a Honda dealer for it initial servicing then you can guarantee these product enhancement were never applied to your car. Change the oil on your car regularly at 6 months or 6000 miles which ever come first . Have a look at Which oil Lastly always use a stock genuine Honda filter. If anyone has more question surrounding this please fire away.