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Bad PCV Valve Symptoms – What You Need To Know!

Bad PCV Valve Symptoms

The little PCV valve is a very important part of the engine.  This device keeps pollutants from getting into the atmosphere that are created by your engine. It plays a very important role in trying to keep these bad particles out of the air. The PCV valve also helps keep engine oil clean. This is important so tiny particles don’t get clogged up in the other parts.

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If you are experiencing bad PCV valve symptoms, you will want to take your car to your local mechanic as soon as possible. Since this piece is crucial to keeping our environment clean, it’s important to ensure that it is working correctly. If you let this issue go for too long, you could end up damaging other parts of your car’s engine. 


What Is A PCV Valve?


PCV valve stands for positive crankcase ventilation. The PCV valve is one of the most used emission devices in the majority of vehicles. Additionally, it is one of the oldest devices used to eliminate emissions. Unlitmately it tries to make the engine’s emissions cleaner and more effective. In return, this makes the emissions less harmful to the atmosphere. 


Most PCV valves are made in the same way. They typically have two hosinng connectors with a spring loaded valve inside. If the engine is at idle, the emissions will get sucked out from the crankcase. This happens because the intake manifold acts like a vacuum. The higher RPM’s you have, the further your PCV valve will open. This is ultimately a good thing because more emissiosns will get sucked out of the crankccase. 


It is important to note that if you have a turbocharged engine, you do not want to boost pressue into the crankcase. This is because that extra pressure would cause oil leaks and blow out gaskets. You will want to make sure you have a one-way PCV valve in this case. It is very important that you have the correct PCV valve so everything works properly. 


Where Is The PCV Valve Located?


The location of your PCV valve will depend on what type of engine you have. If your engine is older and does not have turbo, you should look at the top or side of the valve cover. Often the valve is fitted directly on the valve cover on older models. If you look in this spot and cannot find anything, then you will want to check to see if you have any hoses. These hoses will be going from the valve cover to the intake. The PCV valve should be located somewhere on these hoses. 


If you have a newer car with turbo, the PCV valve could be located inside the hose. This can be very difficult to locate. If you are unaware that it could be inside the hose, you could be looking forever for the PCV valve. Always remember that you can take your car to your local mechanic and they can help you locate the PCV valve and help you spot bad PCV valve symptoms


What Are The Signs Of A Bad PCV Valve?


Since the PCV valve is so important to your engine, it is important to be aware of all the signs of a bad PCV valve. There are some very common things that might happen to your car to alert you that you have a bad PCV valve. The sooner you are able to get this part checked out and fixed, the better off your car’s engine will be. You don’t want to cause any more damage to your engine. Listed below are some of the most common symptoms associated with a bad PCV valve. 


Check Engine Light


One very common bad PCV valve symptom is the check engine light. This light will start to flash when you have a faulty PCV valve. There are different codes for different problems, so when this occurs a code will be sent to the computer system in your car and the light will start flashing. This occurs to alert you that there is a problem and you will want to check it out. 


You can use a scanner to read what code is popping up or you can take your car to your local mechanic and they will be able to tell you if you have a bad PCV valve. If you ever experience your check engine light turning on, make sure you take it seriously and get your car checked out as soon as possible.


Misfires Can Occur


If you start to feel misfires, you might have a bad pcv valve. You will be able to feel these misfires when you idle or accelerate. You might be wondering how exactly does this happen? If you have a mixture that is too lean, your cylinders will not fire up correctly and that will cause misfires to occur. Furthermore, this could happen if you have a mixture that is too rich. If that happens, the spark will turn off with the fuel and cause a misfire that way as well. No matter how it occurs, a misfire is nothing you want to mess with. If you notice your car acting up or misfiring, take it in to get repaired.  


Rough Acceleration


If you are experiencing bad PCV valve symptoms, you might realize that your car is having trouble accelerating. This can occur on both high and low RPM’s. Whether you feel this rough acceleration or not will be dependent on the design of the valve. Your local mechanic will be able to help you determine the exact problem and help you repair it as well. 


Oil Leaks And Oil Consumption


If you have noticed any oil leaks you might have a bad PCV valve. Additionally, if it seems like your car is consuming more oil than normal, you could have a bad PCV valve. It is important to note that if the PCV valve is blocked by moisture, you will get high pressure inside the engine crankcase. What does that mean? Well, the pressure will pursh up into the cylinders and then out of the gasket. This could cause frequent oil leaks or increase the overall oil consumption. The moment you notice either one of these bad PCV valve symptoms you will want to take your car to a mechanic.


Smoke Coming From The Exhaust


Have you noticed white or black smoke coming from your exhaust? If so, you might be experiencing a bad PCV valve symptom. Smoke will occur if the PCV valve is blocked. This happens because the crankcase will push up into the combustion chambers causing oil to burn in the engine. The end result of this is smoke coming out through the exhaust pipe. 


Another reason you could see smoke coming from your exhaust pipe is if you have a lean or rich mixture. The faulty PCV valve will either cause the mixture to be lean or rich. It is important to always be aware of the way your car is running and if you see smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, make sure to get the PCV valve checked out. 


Rough Idling


The PCV valve controls airflow between the crankcase and the intake manifold. That is a very important job and if the PCV valve is broken, it can cause many different issues. One main issue is an inake air leak which could cause the idle RPM to get too high. It could also cause you to experience a very rough idle. If you ever experience a rough idle, you should check your PCV valve first to ensure it is working correctly. If you don’t know how to check the PCV valve on your own, take your car to a trustworthy mechanic. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and a plan on how to fix it.  


How Do I Know If My PCV Valve Is Broken?


Are you experiencing bad PCV valve symptoms that were listed above? If so, there are a few different ways to check if your PCV valve is broken. You can do it by visually inspecting it or removing it from your vehicle to inspect it. Listed below are a few tips to keep in mind when checking to see if your PCV valve is broken.


Open The Oil Cap


This is a good option because you can check the PCV valve without removing it from your car. To do this, you will need to keep your engine running and open up the oil cap. If the oil cap is suctioned to the engine and difficult to remove, you know there is too much vacuum inside the crankcase. This is a great indication that you have a faulty PCV valve. If the valve is working properly, you should be able to remove your oil cap easily.  


Use Brake Cleaner


Another way to check if you have a faulty PCV valve is by spraying a flammable spray around the intake while the engine is still running. This will help you determine if there are any leaks around the PCV valve. If you notice that your engine is revving when you spray around it, you have a leak somewhere within the system. If this happens, you will want to remove the PCV valve to see if you can locate the leak. 


It is important to note that this can be a bery dangerous method of checking your PCV valve. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, have a mechanic help you locate the PCV valve to see if it is not working properly. 


Look At The Hoses


When determining if you have a faulty PCV valve, always check the hoses to see if they are collapsed or blocked. If there is a blockage, this can cause an increase in pressure and oil consumption. You will be able to visually see what type of shpe the hoses are in. If they look worn down or are cracked, this is most likely affecting the function of your PCV valve. 


When Should I Replace My PCV Valve?


There is no exact timeframe on when you should replace the PCV valve. It is helpful to know what your PCV valve is made of so you can have a better idea of how long it might last. For example, the PCV valve is often made of plastic and that type of material ages quicker. 


This is expeically true because the PCV valve is typically mounted in hot places inside the engine. This valve passes a lot of fuel and oil which could cause the valvue to crack easier. As long as you are aware of what material it is made of, you can monitor when to replace the part. If you ever have questions about when to replace your PCV valve, a mechanic wil be able to answer your questions and concerns. If you are experiencing any of the bad PCV valve symptoms listed above, don’t wait to consult with a mechanic. The longer you wait, the higher the risk you have of experiencing worse problems and higher repair costs.




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