Perform the world's easiest diagnostic test: Shake your PCV valve to make sure it's working. It takes only 5 minutes to replace a bad one.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:June 2009
Pull off the hose and remove the old valve. If it's bad, screw in a replacement and replace the hose.
This sounds complex, but it's not.
Pull out your PCV valve every other
oil change. In most cases, you'll find
the valve on the top of the engine,
connected to a vacuum hose. Some
late-model cars don't have PCV
valves, so don't beat yourself up trying
to find it. Slide the vacuum hose
off the valve and unscrew the valve.
Then perform the world's easiest
diagnostic test: Shake it. If it makes a
metallic clicking sound, it's good. If
it doesn't make noise or sounds
mushy, replace it. But don't
replace it on appearance alone—all
used PCV valves look dirty.
Need help locating your PCV
valve? Buy a short subscription to
an online factory service manual
(oem1stop.com); rates start at about $10 a
day. Non-factory manuals are cheaper,
but they're skimpy on instructions
and diagrams for these kinds of
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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