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How to replace a PCV valve; Picture guide on replacing a PCV valve
Topic Started: Mar 23 2011, 01:05 AM (12,550 Views)
GeoRating
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I looked around the site for information on changing out a PCV valve, I'm still pretty new to engines and even small things like this I like to have all the information before performing; nevertheless, I couldn't find a picture guide to replacing the PCV valve, so here one is from me changing mine out earlier today.

The metro used in these pictures is a 1.0 3/5 (Manual transmission) Hatchback non convertible.

The vehicle does NOT need to have the oil drained to do this procedure (Credit to Johnny Mullet for that information!)

Things you'll need:

1) New PCV Valve
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2) #2 Size Phillips Head Screwdriver (Decent quality here, you don't want to scrap the head)

3) Pliers to uncompress the hose clamps

4) Cleaning supplies, I used some carb cleaner, degreaser, and WD-40 along with paper towels, rags, and some pipe cleaners

5) Optional - A flathead screwdriver to help you remove the rubber hose.

This is a fairly simple procedure, took me about 2 minutes to remove the valve, 10 minutes to clean the hose out REALLY well, and 2 minutes to put the new valve in.

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How your engine should generally look when you start

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For starters, remove your Air Filter Assembly.

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Now the section you're worried about is exposed. Fairly small and at this point it's fairly obvious how to remove it, but we'll continue with the step by step :)

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Start by loosening the hose clamp on your head cover (The clamp on the top hose), and remove the hose from the cover.

Side note-at this point, slide the bottom hose STRAIGHT UP to remove and get it out of your way, these clamps don't generally hold too well on small plastic parts. Be careful as rocking the hose side to side can break the old PCV valve if it is in bad condition (more on this later).

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Next you should remove the two screws holding the retaining bracket down. This will allow you to remove the old PCV valve. I recommend putting the screws RIGHT BACK in their holes when the bracket is out of the way before removing the old PCV valve, this will protect you from dropping them into the hole.

Now let's take this into the shop for some table work/cleaning.

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For starters, this is what can happen if you rock your hose back and forth. My old PCV valve was in such bad shape that it broke without me even rocking, just pulled straight off. Use a small flathead and some pliers to remove the stub from your hose.

If you are replacing the rubber hose as well, ignore the last step and a couple of the next steps, as the old hose is going in the trash with the old PCV valve.

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This is another example of a problem some people have with bad PCV valves, moisture builds up above the valve and mixes with the oil that escapes through the valve, causing this delicious looking substance.

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My hose was in good shape, so I cleaned the inside of it out real well with a bundle of pipe cleaners several times.

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Now that everything is cleaned, we're ready to go install the NEW PCV valve.

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This is what the valve assembly looks like, but we have to install the valve first and re-engage the holding bracket.

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Place the valve in the hole like this and re-engage the bracket with the screws.

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I personally like to use a bit of threadlock on every screw, in this case I used low strength because they were held in well enough without it.

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Reclamp the PCV valve and reclamp the hose onto the head cover.

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Replace the Air Filter Assembly and remember to plug in the wire.

Start your engine and make sure it runs as it did before and you're done!
Edited by GeoRating, Mar 25 2011, 06:30 PM.
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HatchJunki
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Great writeup! Great photos!
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

Yes, Great write-up! :rocker

New favorite bookmark. :thumb

As discussed before, the two screws may have to be removed with an impact screwdriver or even vice-grips. But they can be replace with your favorite hex head bolt or Allen bolt of the same thread size. :)
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bogs
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Duct tape heals all wounds

Very nicely done :thumb
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l7productions
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First time owner, experienced learner
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Great visual. Wish this was around before I replaced my valve a couple of months ago.
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yiffzer
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When do you know you need to replace a PCV valve?
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mcmancuso
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Pull the hose off it and look to see if its clogged... Or if you see excessive oil in the air cleaner housing or your cam seal popped out.
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Ryan
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Ryan

Very nice tutorial. Says a lot about the genuineness of our members
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GeoRating
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An update on the threadlocker, Ponzy told me about anti-seize/never-seize and it's probably a better solution for this situation!

They both have an anti-vibration to them, but the anti-seize can withstand temperatures up to 1600F degrees, and down to -60F. The NON high temp threadlocker only protects against heat up to 300. This makes it very nice when you can heat the bolt with a blow torch, once it gets up to 400 degrees it loosens up real nice and removes the holding strength of the threadlock.

Here are a couple of general pictures of both of them so you know what you are looking for. Both are incredibly cheap in stores and online ($2 for the threadlocker shown here at Wal Mart, and $2 online for a bottle of anti-seize)

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Edited by GeoRating, Mar 25 2011, 06:32 PM.
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GeoRating
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Your PCV valve is there so that vapor from your crankcase can be vented into your intake, thus burning your oily condensation instead of just pumping it out your tailpipe (sometimes in the form of smoke if its bad enough) The valve can only do so much so it is there to handle "normal" vapor in the air.

In addition to the standard symptoms that mcmancuso lists above there are two ways your PCV valve can break (stuck open, or stuck closed) and both have separate problems that they cause. :)

Stuck Open - This one can actually cause more problems than the rather, because in certain applications (I'm pretty sure we're safe with our geo metros, as this is mostly a problem in carb engines...) it can allow gas into the header cover and this can screw up the lubrication of your heads and cause them to fail... Air is allowed to flow INTO the header case as well, which forces the pistons to use valuable horsepower to move that extra air, so you lose a bit of power.

Stuck Closed - Vapor is not allowed to exit the head cover and the air pressure level which the engine is expecting doesn't happen, so you lose a tiny bit of power.

I don't have a 100% understanding of the PCV valve operation, I just know the basics. If anyone else can further elaborate if there is more information on this it'd be great. :thumb

Overall, it's easy to know to change your PCV valve if there is oil in your intake manifold :P If the valve is stuck closed, I don't think this happens, but in most cases the PCV valve gets stuck open. I asked my mechanic and he said he's never actually seen a valve stuck closed, if they are stuck closed, the increased pressure in the engine normally blows them open and gives you the inverse problem.
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chubart
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Excellent Pictures. This will help alot of guys who don't know where the PCV is located. :thumb
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heckling7


great write up! That engine looks exactly like mine, clean too :thumb The other day I took that hose off and cleaned it out with q-tips as it had the same yellow goop, but I never took the pcv valve out to clean. Can the old valve be cleaned and put back in or do they go bad and need replacement? I best do that this weekend. Thanks for the great pics :)
Edited by heckling7, Mar 25 2011, 06:01 PM.
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GeoRating
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The inside of the PCV valve is of a very simple design, it's basically a spring on a seal... Problem is that the hole to get to the spring/seal is pretty small, too small to even fit a qtip into. You're welcome to try spraying it out with a ton of degreaser or other oil cleaner, but remember to flush it out real after :)

PCV valves for the 1.0 engines are like $7, so it's almost not worth cleaning it out yourself and not knowing whether or not it's clean, because there isn't really any way to confirm it. :hmm

If the valve is BROKEN, aka overheated at some point and the plastic in it failed, cleaning is obviously impossible :lol

-Ken
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heckling7


rating, I just did mine. Quick and easy :D . My PCV valve looked like it was replaced just before I bought the car as it looks in great shape as I could see the tiny pin hole. It wasnt really dirty as I cleaned as much as I could with a few q-tips. So I put it back in. There was some slimy yellow goop in the hose, but not too bad. Thanks for the help.
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GeoRating
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Glad to hear it helped :thumb

Darn that milky goop, if your PCV valve is in good condition and you're still getting that goop, make sure you take your beast for a good long drive, 30+ minutes at highway speed if you can every once in a while to burn off the moisture in the head there that is causing it. If the drive doesn't fix the problem ummmmm... LOOK OVER THERE! *disappears*
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