Positive Crankcase Ventilation – PCV Valve Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Nov 29, 2016
Hello Lancaster! Did you know that the first federally-mandated emissions control device was introduced in the 1960's? The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, has been installed in California vehicles since 1964 and represents the first legislation by the United States government to regulate harmful emissions as well as to improve performance in the country's vehicles.
The PCV valve, as you can probably guess, is located on the crankcase. The crankcase is the lowest part of a vehicle's engine. It houses the crankshaft and the engine oil. The crankshaft connects to the pistons that power the engine.
Pistons are pushed down when fuel is burned in an engine. This causes the crankshaft to rotate, which sends power to the transmission. It ultimately turns the axles and causes the vehicle to move. Some of the gases released by the burning fuel squeeze around the pistons and down into the crankcase.
If the escaped gases mix with the engine oil in the crankcase, oil sludge develops. This sludge has the consistency of petroleum jelly and can cause damage by clogging up passageways in the engine. Further, escaped gases can build up pressure inside the crankcase that can blow out seals and gaskets.
Before 1964, a hose was attached to the crankcase that vented escaped gases out into the air. These gases contained about 70% unburned fuel as well as harmful emissions. The PCV valve was designed to curb these harmful emissions as well as recapture unburned fuel.
The PCV valve is a small, one-way valve that allows escaped gases to exit the crankcase. The gases are then routed into the intake system so they can be re-burned in the engine. Fresh air enters the crankcase through a breather tube to facilitate this circulation and keep the air in the crankcase clean.
The PCV valve, like most working parts on a vehicle, will wear out over time. Usually it simply gets gummed up. Preventive maintenance, including routine oil changes at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, will extend the life of the valve, but eventually it will have to be replaced. A sticking PCV valve won't allow gases to circulate properly, which can increase pressure in the crankcase. Over time, that pressure will lead to oil leaks.
Your vehicle manufacturer recommends that a PCV valve be replaced every 20,000 to 50,000 miles (32,000 to 80,000 kilometers), depending on the vehicle and Lancaster driving conditions. It's an inexpensive repair but may not be included in the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. So if you're looking for auto advice about the PCV valve, you may have to ask our pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley.
Taking care of our PCV valve protects the environment in California and improves vehicle performance. It's just part of good vehicle care for Lancaster drivers and a way all of us can do our part to improve the world we live in.
Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: Making a Battery Last Longer
Nov 21, 2016
One thing all Lancaster drivers can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can help maintain your battery.
Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very harmful to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.
Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds around the Lancaster are or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.
Let The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Help You Extend the Life of Your Car
Nov 13, 2016
If you haven't shopped in the Lancaster area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Lancaster, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.
On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Lancaster drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.
Too often, Lancaster vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.
For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.
The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.
If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley pros can advise you.
Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.
Most Lancaster drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley would have cost us.
So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Lancaster area neighborhood. At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.
As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.
Change Your Engine Air Filter at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Nov 08, 2016
Many Lancaster car owners have probably wondered: "What's the harm in putting off replacing an engine air filter? The answer is that not replacing it could cause your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to fail. This expensive sensor is situated between your engine air filter and your engine. Dirty air filters are a leading cause of massair flow sensorfailure – and these babies can cost several hundred dollars to replace in Lancaster.
Change your vehicle air filter at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley when it's dirty. Your vehicle engine will thank you.