How to Diagnose PCV Valve Failure in a BMW
BMW is famous for its high-quality, reliable, and luxurious vehicles. In order to maintain its high standard for perfection, it is imperative that the car is maintained regularly to ensure that all parts are functioning properly. Operating the vehicle beyond its recommended maintenance date may result in permanent damage to the vehicle and pose a safety hazard.
One of the most important factors while driving is safety. Although many problems may compromise the safety of the vehicle, a failure of the PCV valve may result in deadly consequences. In order to stay safe on the road, it is important to understand what the PCV valve is, how to diagnose a PCV valve failure, and how to fix it in a BMW.
PCV stands for “positive crankcase ventilation”. That is because its purpose is to redirect toxic fumes produced from partially burned fuels through the crankcase back into the combustion chambers where they can be completely burned. Before use of the PCV valve, these toxic fumes would slowly corrode the engine and cause other, more serious problems with the car. With the introduction of the PCV valve, however, the PCV valve slowly corrodes instead of the engine, so frequent maintenance and diagnosis of PCV valve failure is imperative for safe driving.
Due to the mechanical basis of the PCV valve, it is relatively easy to identify problems with it. Problems arise when the valve is not opening and closing properly due to corrosion over time. Therefore, knowing the various effects of the valve staying open or staying closed make it easy to detect a PCV valve failure.
How to Diagnose a PCV Valve Failure in a BMW
Many side effects are associated with PCV valve failure. Of them, the most obvious are:
- Engine oil leakage
- Black smoke
- “Check engine” light is turned on
Still, other more subtle changes may indicate that the PCV valve is not functioning properly, including:
- More fuel and oil consumption
- Poor engine function
- Shaking while idling
These problems occur when the valve is malfunctioning, either being stuck in the closed or the open position. When stuck in the closed position, a buildup of pressure inside the engine may cause oil to leak from it and be burned outside of the system, resulting in smoke being released from the engine and in some cases into the car itself. Furthermore, when the “check engine” light is switched on, it indicates that the car has traveled a certain number of miles which is associated with the corrosion of the PCV valve, so continuing to drive the car with the light on risks corroding the engine, causing irreparable damage to it.
When the valve is stuck in the open position, the vacuum is broken, causing a leakage in the system. With low pressures and variable rates of fuel introduction into the engine, the car therefore reacts by bouncing while idle, and the acceleration may not be as smooth as normal. Moreover, the acceleration may not be as strong as normal either, due to more fuel being burned with a lower ratio of air, resulting in more gas required to produce to same amount of acceleration. Not only is this a waste of gas (and money), it is detrimental to the environment since the problem can be easily fixed, simply by visiting a professional repair shop and replacing the PCV valve.
Fixing a PCV Valve Failure
After diagnosing a PCV valve failure, the solution is simple. Since the failure was caused to inevitable corrosion due to wear and tear, it simply needs to be replaced. This can be done in the local BMW store near you. If you are in California around the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Brentwood, Santa Monica area, you can visit Complete Automotive Systems, where you can have all your automotive needs addressed.
At Complete Automotive Systems, you do not have to worry about your car breaking down, because we provide comprehensive car maintenance that checks not only the PCV valve but all other parts of the car as well. You can drive assured that your vehicle has been properly maintained at its highest potential so that you can enjoy the experience of driving a new BMW!
* BMW Car image credit goes to: vesilvio.