Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve Last?

How Long Does a Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve Last?

Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve

Your car’s engine operates by mixing air with fuel and then burning it. This obviously creates waste gases. Most of those gases are routed out of the engine, through the exhaust and then out the muffler. However, that can’t be done with 100% of the gases. Traces of oil and gasoline must be re-burned in order to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. This is where your positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve comes in.

Your car’s PCV valve really only does one thing – it routes gases back into the intake manifold so they can be re-burned. The PCV valve is used constantly – it’s active anytime the engine is running. This means that it’s subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. However, time and use aren’t the primary enemy here. Dirty oil is. If you don’t have your oil changed regularly, sludge can build up. This will contaminate the PCV valve and clog it, forcing you to change it more frequently.

There is no specific lifespan for your car’s PCV valve. It lasts as long as it lasts. Regular maintenance will help provide a longer use life, while neglecting your regular oil changes will shorten it. Ideally, the PCV valve should be changed with every major scheduled service (30, 60, 90K, etc.). However, it’s possible that the valve will fail in between services.

Because of the importance of the PCV valve and the fact that if it fails, you won’t be able to pass emissions testing (and your engine won’t run properly), it’s vital that you know a few of the key signs and symptoms that indicate your valve is failing or has already stopped working. Watch for the following:

  • Check Engine light (if the valve fails while stuck open)
  • Rough engine operation
  • Hissing noise from under the hood
  • Whistling or whining from under the hood
  • Oil collecting on the engine air filter (some makes and models but not all)

If you suspect there’s a problem with your car’s PCV valve, a certified mechanic can help diagnose the issue, and replace the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve if necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...

Related questions

Q: PCV valve hose collapses

I am guessing your PCV collapsed because it is old and weak. This will cause your PCV to collapse while it is in vacuum. I would recommend going to your local auto parts store and picking up a reinforced braided...

Q: I cant find my egr valve on my 1993 ford ranger v6 4.0l

The vehicle may not be equipped with one. Only the California version emissions have the EGR for this year. You should look under hood for the emission label and see if the vehicle diagram shows an EGR valve on it....

Q: Q: Oil light on

Hello. The PVC valve shouldn’t cause your oil light to come on. Most likely, the problem is that the oil is low, which would cause the light to come on. The oil pressure could be faulty, which would also cause...