Tips on Cleaning and Repairing PCV Oil Trap Problems
The PCV oil trap is a device found in many vehicles that collect harmful “blow-by” gases created during the combustion process. Over time these traps will become sticky and clogged with hydrocarbon residue up to the point that the blow-by gases no longer reach the trap, return to the engine and cause a lot of combustion-related problems. Replacing the oil traps usually solves this dilemma, but if your vehicle is less than ten years old you can save money on replacement parts by trying to fix the oil trap first.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- What you'll need:
- Spanner wrench
- Ratchet and socket set with universal adapter
- Torque wrench
- Magnetic telescoping pick-up wand
Step 1: With your shifter set on Park, switch off the engine and disconnect the negative battery cable. Make sure there is a gap of at least 15 minutes between the time you turn off the ignition and detach the battery cable to avoid electric shock.
Step 2: Remove the bolts securing the power steering line to the air intake manifold. Once they're out, remove the dipstick tube, turbo duct, and the vacuum lines.
Step 3: Remove the blue cap from the Schrader valve and press on the valve with a rag. This should relieve the gas pressure in the system and prevent it from spurting everywhere while disconnecting the
Step 4: Disconnect the fuel line going to the fuel rail clan. Cover the turbo duct with a clean rag to prevent dirt, bolts, and contaminants from falling in.
Step 5: Remove the fitting on the bottom of the intake can. Many mechanics usually remove the power steering pump and alternator to access the fitting, but an alternative is to loosen the intake bolts enough that you can move the air intake out of the way and remove the banjo bolt holding it in place using a ratchet connected to a universal joint adapter.
Step 6: Set the intake to one side. The oil trap and the hoses it's connected to should be exposed by now, although they may be blocked by the bracket of the upper torque mount. In this case, loosen and remove the bracket and the torque mount itself.
Step 7: Remove the hoses attached to the oil trap. We recommend cutting out the hose so you can use the remaining end as reference where the new tubing would run. You may also need to remove the knock sensor as well depending on your vehicle. Once these are out of the way, remove the bolts securing the oil trap housing and pull out the housing itself.
Step 8: Check the passage between the oil trap and the oil pan. If it is clogged, the oil pan may also be dirty and must be removed for cleaning. To remove the pan, simply unbolt the oil cooler and remove the bolts that hold the pan to the engine block. Once all the hardware is removed, the oil pan should come right off.
Step 9: Soak the oil trap in hot water and detergent and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Do the same on the oil pan as necessary.
Step 10: With the oil trap is clean of any clog, reattach it and other components you've removed earlier back to their original locations.