Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Replace a Vent Oil Separator

How to Replace a Vent Oil Separator

vent oil separator

No matter the type of vehicle you drive and whether it has a gas or diesel engine, it has some sort of positive crankcase ventilation system. Positive crankcase ventilation helps normally occurring oil vapor from the engine lubrication system get introduced to the combustion chamber to be burned off along with the air and fuel mixture. While all do not include a vent oil separator, they work in the same manner.

Some symptoms of a failing vent oil separator include when these vapors clog the vent oil separator over time and reduce its efficiency, smoke emits from your tailpipe, the check engine light illuminates, or sludge appears on the underside of your oil cap. Having a properly functioning PCV system is vital to the long-term health of your engine.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing a vent oil separator

Materials Needed

Step 1: Locate the vent oil separator. Locations vary with different vehicles but most are in fairly common locations.

They can be located in-line with various breather tubes or vent hoses. They can also be bolted to the engine block or remotely mounted to the side or wheel-well area.

Step 2: Remove the vent oil separator. Once located, select the appropriate tool to remove the breather hose clamps.

The clamps may have a screw or are removable with pliers or vice grips. Use a flat screwdriver to gently pry the vent hoses off the separator. Remove the fasteners securing the separator in place and pull it out of the way.

  • Tip: If your vent oil separator has leaked oil, use an engine cleaner or other solvent to clean the area. Spray just enough and wipe it with a rag.

Step 3: Secure the new separator. Once you’ve cleaned the vent oil separator location (if needed), secure the new separator in place with the original fasteners.

New ones are generally not required.

Step 4: Attach hoses. Once secured in place, reattach any breather hoses/tubes in place. Verify all removed items are secured.

  • Note: If smoke from the tailpipe was one of your symptoms, it may take a few days of driving to stop seeing smoke. A film of oil will remain in the exhaust system and burn off after a few days of driving.

If the smoke from the tailpipe does not stop within a few days, you may have other problems with your PCV system. If you have symptoms of a failed vent oil separator or continued symptoms after replacement, have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians take a look.

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

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P0477 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0477 code means that the PCM has detected an abnormally low voltage reading often due to the exhaust back pressure control valve circuit.

Related questions

Q: How do I Unlock my engine?

Hi there. The PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) Valve maybe plugged up causing the engine to not release any pressure in the engine. So the engine may have built up too much pressure to blow off the oil fill cover. If...

Q: Car won't start I can hear it trying to crank. I've just replaced the alternator and battery it just won't turn over...

This suggests that the motor have run out of oil. When the oil pressure gauge reads zero, this means that there is not enough oil pressure inside the motor to properly lubricate engine components properly. When this happens, you may...

Q: My car shakes and makes noise whenever I'm driving like it wants to shut off. It has shut off on me a couple times.

It sounds like you have excessive crankcase pressure as though the PCV valve was clogged ("throws oil out the oil filler tube"). Check the PCV valve and other crankcase ventilation hoses (to the throttle body and air intake). The excess...