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Let’s get the acronym out of the way first. Why is it called a PCV valve? It’s called that because you probably don’t want to keep saying “positive crankcase ventilation valve,” do you? Okay then. The PCV valve is part of the positive crankcase ventilation system, which has a pretty important objective. During basic engine operation, some pesky combustion gases sneak past the piston rings and into the crankcase. The ventilation system is effectively the bouncer, kicking the gases out before they build up. Not all ventilation systems have a PCV valve, but in those that do, the gases are routed through the valve, and back into the engine where they can be used normally. This keeps buildup from occurring, but also keeps the gases from being dumped into the atmosphere. Without the ventilation system, the gases would create excess pressure in the crankcase, while also mixing with the oil and forming a harmful engine sludge. No one wants sludge. No one.
You can claim you got your car for practical reasons, but we all know you like to mash the gas pedal and have a little fun every chance you get. But with a busted PCV valve, you’ll have some engine issues, including stalling, a rough idle, and incorrect idle speeds.
Leaks of any kind are never fun. If your car is leaking oil, it may be due to a busted PCV valve causing excess pressure in the crankcase.
Yeah, yeah, yeah big shot. You like to ignore the check engine light, we get it. Let me let you in on a little secret: what’s ailing your car won’t disappear just because of your blissful ignorance. The warning light will likely illuminate if your car is having a PCV valve issue, and, I repeat: it won’t just disappear.
Well, isn’t that just a glorious pairing of words? If your engine has a buildup of sludge, it’s quite possibly a failing PCV valve.
Chances are, you won’t notice if there’s oil in the air intake system. Don’t take that personally, you just don’t seem like the type of person to be tinkering with the air intake system in your spare time. But a mechanic might notice it, and if they do, they’ll probably want to check your PCV valve.
If your PCV valve is calling in sick, sludge build up and major engine damage may occur. So you can fix the PCV valve immediately, and nip the issue in the bud, or you can let it fester and cause a domino effect of issues. You do the math.
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