PCV Valve - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-21-2003, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default PCV Valve

Can someone tell me what the PCV exactly is for and what will happen if it fails ?

I hope this isnt related, but doing an oil change a month ago, I accidently overfilled with oil. It was way over the fill line, but I didnt want to drain it out and lose $20 of synthetic oil.
The car seems to have a burnt oil smell now. Could I have damaged anything by overfilling ? It has been changed now and has the correct level.

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Andrew
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:10 PM   #2
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It let'* the pressure builtup on the inside of your engine'* crankcase during operation be vented out. In turn, it'* a check valve so it won't allow pressure to flow the other direction, ie. the vacuum generated in the intake which is the ultimate destination of the crankcase gases. They get sucked in to the intake and re-burned, but the valve will close when you let off the gas so vacuum won't leak and suck crap out of the engine. Becuase of the fumes and oils, it will get gummed up over time. Over filling can put oil in the passages and the pressure will blow it into the PCV valve. It will not cause obvious engine issues at first, but when it gets stuck, that crap will build up and screw up the emissions and clog up the works.

To check it, shake it. If it rattles, it'* probably OK, but if oil got in to it I'd replace it anyway.
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Old 07-21-2003, 03:19 PM   #3
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Hey rhamby, thanks for the info.

I think I will change it on both my Bonnies. I have never changed them before. How long do they usually last ?

Is there a difference between brands or can I just get the $5 one at Autozone ?

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Andrew
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:43 PM   #4
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You know, I've never had one really go bad on any vehicle I've ever owned, but I just replaced them every 2 or 3 years. I replaced mine 2 months ago just because, but it was in good shape even after 130k. On older cars, they suggested testing and/or replacing them every time you change your air filter. I hate taking the cover off a lot because of the gasket, but I'd just be mindful of it, and check it a little more frequently as you get miles on the car. If you start to see noticable oil in the valve chamber, it can be an indication of a broken ring but that'* usually noticed AFTER you're having trouble with the engine anyway.

I'm not sure what brand they sell, but I would just use whatever they have .
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:45 PM   #5
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In my experience, a clogged PCV allows cylinder blow-by gasses to build up in the crank case. This pressure tends to cause oil to leak past seals, such as oil pan, valve covers, etc. until the PCV is replaced. Then the pressure has somewhere else to go.
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:17 PM   #6
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I occasionally get an oil smell from my engine when I have been running for a while and come back to idle and stop. I think I will change the PCV.
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:52 PM   #7
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has anyone used a product called Sea Foam and poured it down the PCV valve passage when the engien is off and let is sit for about 15 minutes then starting the engine? I have heard this cleans out all the vacuum passages and the intake of your car extremely well...
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Old 07-25-2003, 09:41 PM   #8
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I would advise against doing that unless you have low miles on your engine, but then why would you do it with a low mileage engine?

Guess where the sludge is going to go on its way to the oil filter? You got it... other passages, bearing races, lifters, etc.

Just keep your oil and filter changed at regular short intervals and you'll be just fine, just like my '92 sse with 195,000. No problems yet.
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