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pcv valve replacement at 30k

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by walker.627, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. walker.627

    walker.627 New Member

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    I took my 2006 Prius in for its 30K mile scheduled maintenance today. The dealer suggested that I also get the PCV valve changed to prevent possible future oil overflow. This recommendation was in spite of the fact it is not part of the list of items in the scheduled maintenance for the Prius, and without first inspecting the valve to see if anything was wrong with it. They wanted to charge $100 extra, in addition to the $280 or so for the 30K mile maintenance.

    I have no idea what a PCV valve is and whether I need to get it changed. Can anyone comment on this? Why are they recommending it even though it is not part of the scheduled maintenance? Anyone else had this done? Anyone had problems due to not having it done?

    Thanks.
  2. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    Well i guess if they saw that you were gonna pay $280 for a simple service visit they figured you were an easy target for another unecessary charge.:target:
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The PCV valve is located on the engine valve cover, facing the inverter. It is hiding below the engine wire harness that runs along the valve cover.

    The purpose of the valve is to provide ventilation of the crankcase to avoid oil sludge buildup. As the engine pistons move up and down, combustion byproducts leak past the piston rings and pressurize the crankcase. Engine intake vacuum will suck those byproducts through the valve into the intake manifold, to be burnt by the engine.

    Over time, these hydrocarbon byproducts coat the valve's interior and it eventually will get stuck. However the valve is good for at least 60K miles, so I would not worry about changing it at this time.

    The PCV valve costs around $6 but it is not easy to get to, hence the labor charge is fairly high.

    I replaced the valve on my 2001 at 60K miles, the old valve was still functional but based upon shaking it (and comparing the rattle sound of the old valve to the sound produced by a new valve), it was clear that some HC deposits had formed within the old valve.
  4. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    If you cannot change your own oil, I would consider having it changed at another dealer. The Toyota dealer that you deal with is a con artist, and that is probably thier general policy. ( of course I don't know that ) Any place can change the oil, shop around and find the cheapest. Times are tough, the con artist are going to push hard and tell you anything, the consumer must push back, and prove everything!
  5. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Walker.627, info posted elsewhere at PriusChat will help you determine the important maintenance items on Prius. In most cases the work is not hybrid specific so you could use any competent auto shop, if they are willing to touch a scary car.

    However for the hybrid system issues your choices are fewer and others will suggest that you build a good relationship with a Toyota shop by letting them have your routine business, just in case.

    If the shop in question is aggresively upselling service items, that's not who you want to build a good relationship with.

    I would only go after the PCV valve that soon 'with cause', i.e., if used engine oil analysis indicated rapid deterioration of the oil.
  6. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    Your 30K mile maintenance should consist of a routine oil & filter change, and in addition, a new engine air-filter and cabin air-filter. That's it. You can buy the air-filters for $20.00 each and do them yourself. The 30K service can cost you as little as $60 bucks or so.
    Don't let yourself get ripped off. Please. It just empowers the dealers.
    And don't let them sell you any other service.
  7. philmcneal

    philmcneal Taxi!

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    heheheeh i just replaced the valve cover gasket and pcv valve at 198,000 km and boy what a waste of time that was!

    the gasket was like brand new while the pcv valve had so many clicks on it (lol i didn't try blowing in it because it looked all brown and stuff!)

    man this prius is warrior! im sure toyota is taking note for the next gen prius... more maintanence required somewhat! hahahahahha

    also redid my rotors and relube the caliper pins (thank god because they were sticking!!!!) but boy having almost 100% front pads after a year of installing them.... oh boy toyota... how are you ever going to make money off my car :p

    you'd think as a taxi it gets abused but ITS STILL STRONG WHOOO!
  8. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    great, they'll sell you a new and entirely unnecessary PCV valve
    and then overfill your crankcase so you get all that sump landing
    in the intake and the poor MPG anyways.
    .
    _H*
  9. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    we're doing a preventive pcv replacement when DH gets home for break. our car is at 58k miles- 30k is way to early. patrick is right, the part itself is cheap, but it's a pita to get to so labor is high.
  10. curiousdriver

    curiousdriver New Member

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    Is there a How To somewhere on what is involved in replacing the PCV?
  11. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    there will be once we get around to it.
    mikee024 likes this.
  12. curiousdriver

    curiousdriver New Member

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  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The basic process is to remove the engine wire harness sufficiently to gain access to the PCV valve, this requires unbolting the harness and disconnecting electrical connectors as needed. It might be helpful to remove the cowl assembly for more clearance.

    Use a box wrench to remove the valve. For fun, shake the old valve and listen to the rattle, compare to sound produced by new valve.

    Install new valve, the repair manual exploded parts diagram does not show a torque value so I would say 15-20 ft-lb.

    Remove the PCV hoses from the valve cover and throttle body, use brake parts cleaner to clean out the hose interior. Reinstall hoses, pay attention to securing the clamps. One hose leading to the throttle body does not have a clamp, note this when you are disassembling. Replace the engine wire harness making sure that all connectors are secure, and you are done.
  14. curiousdriver

    curiousdriver New Member

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    Wow, that is a much bigger deal than it should be.
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    That's why the dealer service dept. labor charge is relatively high for that service.
  16. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    Replacing the PVC value is not necessary except your car is burning oil and has a lot of blow by.

    The vale may have some deposit on it and it can be cleaned by using a can of throttle body cleaner.

    The valve is nothing more than a spring and a metal plunger inside a housing.
  17. philmcneal

    philmcneal Taxi!

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    whoa the dealer hate, sorry if they didn't meet your expectations, but I had a discount I had to abuse before I left that establishment. And for your information my lube techs NEVER overfills the oil, we are professionals at topping up to the full mark every time and believe me MR we got some picky customers!

    I guess your just the types that do the work when the damage is done, I on the other hand believe in preventative maintainence. At least the belt I replaced today was starting to show its cracks at 200,000 km but only if I really really really bend the boy.

    Coolant still looks pink as ever at 200,000 km (mine was changed for the first time at 170,000, but hey this is my version of a "flush"), did both the inverter and the engine, rad and coolant storage tank. After the drive no gurgling noises whoo! Still godda check the level the next day, tech told me if you hear some air in the system, take it back to me and i'll fix it. But so far so good!

    And need I remind you I"m a service advisor myself, I UPSOLD MYSELF, no one can tell me what to do.

    oh my coolant was 60 degrees C when i parked, it 7 hours later the coolant from the storage tank was drained, and when i asked the tech if it was hot, for -5 degree weather i guess not! (The coolant can be kept hot for 3 hours, or warm for 3 days BULL****)

    One more thing, a tech told me you don't have to change the PCV valve if you change the oil on time, they are designed for the lifetime of the car, I just had to see if it can survive taxi use, and frankly it did.

    So far the belt, pcv, gasket can have almost no intervals it looks like.. well maybe my belt because i bend the belt on the new one like crazy and couldn't saw the microscopic cracks i saw on my used belt! But obviously everyone i bragged to in the shop told me I was rich because I was replacing it for nothing, well I just wanted to be sure :)
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    How would you know that you have blow by? Would you wait until you see your crankshaft seals start to leak engine oil? This doesn't seem like a good practice if you desire long engine life and want to minimize pollution.

    If the engine is burning oil, this could be for a variety of reasons, not just a bad PCV valve. More commonly this would be due to a leaky piston ring or a bad valve stem seal.

    Yes, you could soak the old PCV valve in gasoline or some other solvent to clean it, but considering the low purchase price of a new valve and the couple of hours you will spend removing and installing the valve, why bother reusing the old valve.
  19. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    You can see and feel the blow by coming out by unplugging the PVC valve when the engine is running.

    I did not say the PVC valve causes burning oil. I said if the engine is burning oil, the rings are loose and causes blow by as you mentioned.

    The Toyota OEM PVC valve is not cheap, over $10. After market still costs $5-$10. A can of throttle body cleaner is less the $5. This is just to save a few bucks and there is no harm to reuse the part.




  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the clarification. Please note that you can purchase the correct Toyota-brand PCV valve for $6.25 (plus shipping); buying from this dealer makes lots of sense if you purchase parts in bulk to leverage the shipping charge.
    Champion ToyotaWorld
    Silver Pine Mica likes this.
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