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Old 10-18-2007, 04:56 PM   #11
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From wickipedia:

The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, is a one-way valve that ensures continual evacuation of gases from inside a gasoline internal combustion engine'* crankcase.

As an engine runs, gases from the cylinders leak past the piston'* sealing rings into the crankcase (containing the crankshaft and other parts). This leaked gas is sometimes referred to as "blow by" because the pressure within the cylinders "blows" them "by" the piston rings. These gases include compounds harmful to an engine, particularly hydrocarbons (unburned fuel), as well as carbon dioxide and water vapor. If allowed to remain in the crankcase, or become too concentrated, the harmful compounds will condense out of the air within the crankcase and form corrosive acids and sludge on the engine'* interior surfaces. This can harm the engine as it tends to clog small inner passages, causing overheating, poor lubrication, and high emissions levels. To keep the crankcase air as clean as possible, some sort of ventilation system must be present.
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And yes, your car will run smoother when the PCV valve is operating correctly.
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