My first Honda...D17A2 VTEC not working?

Johnny .45

Pro Hoonage Expert
Howdy! Just got my first Honda, an '05 Civic EX (5-speed, of course). Not my first choice of all the Civic's out there, but it's fun so far. A four-door, but since my last two cars were wagons, I can deal with it (a real enthusiast loves a wagon above all else!!!). It's bone stock for now, but I can enjoy myself in anything on wheels, so that's okay. :D
I'm curious about the engine and the suspension/body specs, and I figured the people here could tell me about it's pros and cons. It's a 1.7L D17A2 SOHC VTEC. I've gathered a few facts so far:
- It's better than the D17A1 (127hp stock), which is nice.
- It's a stroker, which explains why it's torquey and maybe why it seems shy of the top end.
- The EX is geared lower than other models, which helps acceleration
- It was the last year they made the D-series engine, which is good because it means they had a decade to refine it, but is bad since it's based on a ten-year old engine (which isn't ALL that bad; there are excellent engines out there with far older DNA)
Anyway, my main question is about the VTEC and whether it's working properly. What I had read about VTECs before described a very distinctive change in power delivery at the cam switchover point. The D17A2 switches over at 4500rpm, but I couldn't tell any obvious change when I tried. I remember reading that the cam-phase mechanism (?) could go bad it VTEC's, basically disabling the VTEC system, so I thought maybe that was the case.
I googled a few things, and from what I read, only performance-car VTEC's have that abrupt change, while other VTECs are for efficiency only. However, I also noticed that some engines have a "VTEC-E Lean-Burn", with a 2300rpm switchover. Is this the "efficiency" VTEC they were talking about, or is that like some "mega-green" engine?
Anyway, is my engine acting as it should, or is something wrong? And if there is, what, and how expensive is it gonna be?:???:

Also curious about whether my engine should have pegged the temp gauge and boiled over after I slowed down from a ten-mile 70mph road-carving indicated fine while I was at speed, but once I slowed down it went up and blew radiator fluid out of the surge tank all over the battery and radiator. Obviously the airflow is good for keeping the engine cool, but I drove for a couple miles at 20-30mph to cool things down (before it even started showing high temps), but it still boiled over once I got back into town. Maybe that's answered somewhere else; I haven't looked yet. Just figured I'd throw that in there.
i have the same car as you and when i first got it i thought the vtec wasnt kicking in either so what i did was i went onto a secluded road ans i opend the window a little turned off the radio and a/c and i listened and i heard a subtle change in the engine. as for the radiator, my car also has been overheating but im not leaking anything and i dont thinks its the pump so i just check the radiator like every 2 week or so and just top it off with fluid. on my resevior its missing the cap ( not the cap to the radiator) so maby it relieves the pressure in there. good luck man