Saturday, January 3, 2015

PCV Valve Replacement on 2005-2009 Chevy Equinox or 2006-2009 Pontiac Torrent 3.4 Liter.

Car repairs that are improperly done can cause injury, death and property damage. When in doubt consult a professional mechanic. Do this and any other repairs at your own risk.

I've been reading all over the information superhighway about replacing a PCV valve on my 2006 Pontiac Torrent (Yes, this has been quite the weekend for vehicle repairs, but the weather was decent and I needed to fix a few things on both cars). Mine has been living in the valve cover for nearly nine years and 99,054 miles. While there are many arguments for and against replacing this part, it needs to be checked when the oil is changed. If it fails, you risk burning oil or flooding your air filter in same. This happened on my Rendezvous and it was a mess. The part on my Torrent had just about had it.  

GM, in all their collective wisdom has put a bracket for the PCV valve on their Chinese-made 3.4 liter; securing it to the valve cover and necessitating replacement of the latter to fix the former. Instead of buying a $3.00 part, you now have to spend $200 to have a valve cover replaced. The bracket is riveted to the aluminum valve cover, preventing even a cursory inspection of the valve and easy replacement. Again, I've heard the arguments for why GM has done this, mainly customers installing substandard parts. However, even the top of the line PCV valve is less than $10 for this engine. This is a decision based purely on profit that will hurt them in the long run because customers will fail to do this as a maintenance item and then blame GM. This is despite the fact the engine is a pretty decent runner. Even though it is primitive by today's standards, it does provide decent power and economy. It's also fairly simple to work on (something I value immensely), save for this inane setup with the aforementioned valve.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix that will take five or ten minutes to perform. You need a straight blade screwdriver and a decent size pair of groove joint pliers. Remove the engine undercover. Carefully pry off this bracket from the valve cover starting with the passenger side until the rivet pops out. Remove the PCV line from the valve. Then grab the bracket with your pliers and gently rock and pull that bracket off the valve cover. These do not go all the way through, nor is this bracket needed to hold the PCV valve into the cover, as the grommet will hold it in just fine. Discard the rivets and the bracket and do your usual maintenance to the valve, replacing as necessary. Then re install that stupid engine cover. Here's to progress, Maranatha! 

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