National average cost of a a PCV Valve Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $31
Avg. cost $74
What is a PCV valve and how does it work?
When your engine is running, air pressure builds up inside the crankcase, the compartment where the crankshaft and engine oil is located. This pressure is caused by exhaust gases produced during combustion that leaks past the pistons and into the crankcase. If left unchecked, the exhaust can contaminate the engine oil and create sludge. Excess crankcase pressure can also lead to engine leaks.
The PCV valve is a one-way valve that allows the gasses inside the crankcase to be rerouted to the engine intake where they are able to be drawn into the engine to be burned. In the process, the vapors are prevented from entering the atmosphere. For this reason, the PCV valve is often considered to be part of the emission control system.
Made up of a small cylinder that is inserted into the intake manifold, valve cover, or engine block, the PCV valve connects to the crankcase by way of a tube or hose. On some vehicles, the valve has an internal weight that “rattles” during operation. This sound is a sign of normal operation, one that some technicians pay attention to as part of a diagnostic procedure.
How do I know if my vehicle needs the PCV valve replaced?
If the PCV valve is not working properly, the oil inside your engine will eventually collect contaminants and moisture. When the oil breaks down, a loss of viscosity and engine sludge are the results. Engine leaks can also develop from the excessive pressure inside your engine. A faulty PCV valve can lead to any of the following symptoms:
Higher than normal engine oil consumption
Moisture buildup on the inside of the oil cap
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The procedure to replace a PCV valve is not altogether complex. To perform the service, a technician will follow these general steps:
Remove shields, guards, covers, or ducts to gain access to the PCV valve
Disconnect the hoses or lines attached to the PCV valve
Dislodge the old valve and remove it from the engine
Insert the new PCV valve
Reattach the hose or line leading to the crankcase
Reinstall any shields, guards, or covers that were removed during disassembly
Start the vehicle and ensure PCV valve is working correctly
Some technicians may use a smoke meter to pressure test the line(s) leading up to the PCV valve after installation
Other questions customers ask
Can you drive with a bad PCV valve?
It is possible to drive a vehicle with a bad PCV valve, but that does not mean it is recommended that you do so. Oil is considered to be the lifeblood of your engine. When the PCV valve fails, moisture and contamination can degrade the oil, causing it to break down, lose viscosity, and turn to sludge. All of which is damaging to your engine.
What does changing a PCV valve do?
Changing a PCV valve helps keep the PCV system working correctly, which in turn keeps the oil cleaner and prevents engine oil leaks.
Does a PCV valve throw a code?
A bad PCV valve might cause a diagnostic trouble code and can turn on the check engine light. It depends on the type and severity of the problem caused. For example, if the PCV valve sticks fully open and allows too much air to pass through, this will mimic a vacuum leak and may cause the engine to throw a code for running too lean.
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What parts are related to a PCV Valve Replacement?
What are some other common services related to a PCV Valve Replacement?
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