Minis offer the perfect balance between fun and funkiness with practicality and efficiency. Underneath your Minis’ colorful exterior is a quality machine, which will rarely fail you. However, even a car manufactured to the most stringent standards can develop problems, given enough natural wear and tear. These issues can be greatly accelerated by poor maintenance habits and practices. One of the main issues that Minis are most known to develop is PCV valve faults and failures.
With this in mind, in this article we are going to take a closer look at your Minis PCV valve, learn what it is, why it is important, and discuss the signs and symptoms that signal service needs.
What is a PCV valve?
The PCV valve was introduced to vehicles at around the same time the Mini was unveiled to the world in the 1960s. The valve offered the perfect solution to the age of problem of blow-by gases. Blow-by gases are unburned fuel that leaks from a vehicle’s engine. These gases are highly toxic and able to quite literally eat away at the inside of a car.
The PCV, Positive Crankcase Ventilation, valve was designed as the perfect solution to this problem. It is designed to suck out the unspent fuel from the crankcase and recycle the unburned fuel by sending it back into the engine to be reignited.
When this valve fails, the toxic gases can stay within your engine system and cause untold damage that may even result in catastrophic complete engine failure in your Mini.
When to Replace the PCV Valve
Then most common part of the PCV valve that needs replacing is the filter. This filter is what catches the toxic fuel before it is able to do any damage to your vehicle. This filter needs replacing at least every 60,000 miles, though it is worth noting that many mechanics recommend you do this sooner. Within its life span, the filter, as well as the entire PCV valve, should be serviced by a professional mechanic. The valve as a whole has no recommended timespan for replacement but should be changed out as the need arises.
Signs of PCV Valve Problems
Looking after your PCV valve is quite simple, as there are only 2 key eventualities to be aware of. These two issues are the clogging of the filter and the failure of the valve mechanism. Let’s take a closer look at both of these issues.
The signs and symptoms of a filter that is clogged and in need of replacing include:
- The increase of the internal engine pressure
- Failure or fault of the seals or gaskets
- Leaking engine oil
- Black smoke emitting from the tailpipe
- An increase or build up of engine sludge
- Noticeable moisture from under the hood
- Surging engine
- Lean engine misfires
- Oil deposits found inside the MAF sensor
- Increased rate of oil consumption
These symptoms can often be due to other parts failures, which is why if you discover any of these issues you need to seek the diagnostic help of a professional mechanic.
The failure of the PCV valve can often be misdiagnosed as a problem with the MAF sensor, as both systems are closely connected. Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms below, you should contact your mechanic as soon as possible to figure out the root cause of your symptoms:
- Misfiring engine that is most common when vehicle is idling
- A bad air-to-fuel ratio, typically resulting in lean misfires
- Engine oil discovered inside the valve
- Marked increase in oil consumption
- Engine difficulty or struggles
- Rough running and while idling
Replacing the PCV Valve
As the PCV valve is essential for ensuring the health of your engine, it is important that your PCV valve is successfully repaired or maintained by an expert mechanic. This is a very affordable repair to have done unless other issues are discovered.
If you need PCV valve servicing, bring your Mini to Cerrone’s European of Redwood, CA. You can easily schedule an appointment online or call us today, and we will be happy to work with your schedule. You can also stop by for a consultation with one of our expert technicians. At Cerrone’s, we offer a 10% discount to all new customers.
* MINI Cooper Car image credit goes to: bruev.