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#2038781 - 10/06/10 03:48 PM Rough Idle / PCV valve?
Mark72 Offline

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 1009
Loc: Illinois
The past few weeks I've noticed my engine has a rough idle. It's steady, but when my hand is on the steering wheel I could feel a vibration from the engine. I put a new PCV valve in as the old one was a couple years old and the rough idle was instantly gone. Is there any corelation between a worn out PCV valve and rough idle?

Edited by Mark72 (10/06/10 03:52 PM)

#2038800 - 10/06/10 04:09 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
ahoier Offline

Registered: 02/03/10
Posts: 1723
Loc: Cocoa, FL
Check for an EGR Valve....vacuum leak too as mentioned. Working on mine too, on my 88 Dodge Aries. Haven't gone as far as replacing the PCV valve yet, but replaced the MAP Sensor, temeperature and coolant sensor, and still getting a "MAP" voltage too high or too low CEL....couple sources point to a possible vacuum leak...

BTW, if you say your rough idle is now "gone" after replacing the PCV..? Definitely want to look into other possibilities :) Because this new PCV valve could become "clogged" just like the previous one. Most likely vacuum leak, does the car have an EGR valve? If it does, check that too to see what it looks like. what did the old PCV valve look like? was it dirty or anything?

#2038817 - 10/06/10 04:39 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
Mark72 Offline

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 1009
Loc: Illinois
I don't know if my car has an EGR or not..It's a 95 chev lumina with the 3.1L V6. Does it have one?

#2038818 - 10/06/10 04:41 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
crw Offline

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 1712
Loc: Pocatello, ID
If you share the details of what engine, that might help. But yes, PCV problems can definitely cause rough idle issues. I've seen it on the Mazda that I manage for my daughter. On that car the PCV was so bad, it wasn't just the PCV that was bad but all the tubes were clogged up as well. There were some small passages into the engine that were completely clogged. I took a 1/8th inch drill bit to clean them out and, viola! Problems solved.
2005 Nissan Maxima, 6-speed manual; many others...

#2039122 - 10/06/10 10:47 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
The_Eric Offline

Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5074
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Mark72
I don't know if my car has an EGR or not..It's a 95 chev lumina with the 3.1L V6. Does it have one?

Yes, it does.
2005 Lincoln Aviator 4.6 DOHC
2000 Honda Accord 2.3
2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
1979 Ford F-150 351M

#2039206 - 10/07/10 02:42 AM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
jc1990 Offline

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 257
Loc: palmer mass

#2040585 - 10/08/10 03:44 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
mechtech2 Offline

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Of course a PCV valve can cause idle problems.
Either leaks or blocked can do this.

#2040625 - 10/08/10 04:21 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: mechtech2]
sunfire Offline

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1574
Loc: Ca, US
Originally Posted By: mechtech2
Of course a PCV valve can cause idle problems.
Either leaks or blocked can do this.

Can you please explain how a PCV can cause rough idle?
2005 Toyota Corolla LE | 65,000 | PYB 5W-30

#2040830 - 10/08/10 08:35 PM Re: Rough Idle / PCV valve? [Re: Mark72]
CBR.worm Offline

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1788
Loc: Jupiter, Fl
Typically the ECU is expecting a somewhat metered air leak through the PCV system, completely bypassing the throttle and IAC valve. In some cars this air leak is metered and pulled through the MAF which it can account for, in other cars (Typically speed/density)the PCV fresh air supply is pulled directly from the air filter housing and the air is not metered through a MAF. The ECU expects xx amount of air. If you allow more it is a vacuum leak which will cause a rough hunting idle. If you allow less it will go rich and have a stumbling rough idle.

Try removing an oil fill cap from a running BMW - the air leak is no longer metered. When you replace a PCV valve, it could have been blocked, stuck open, physically damaged and letting in outside air, etc. It is also very common for the PCV tubing to get plugged or even disintegrate and/or not have a good seal.

I personally feel the PCV system is one of the most important maintenance items on a car that should not be neglected.
'06 Infiniti G35 Sedan 6MT - 160k