Sully’s Auto Repair

Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

Sully’s Auto Repair - Providing Huntington Beach car owners with quality automotive services and repairs since 2003

PCV Valve Service At Sully’s Auto Repair In Huntington Beach

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does a critical job for Huntington Beach car owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the SUV engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At Sully's Auto Repair In Huntington BeachThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause SUV engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at Sully’s Auto Repair. At high speeds on Huntington Beach freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, manufacturers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the SUV’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves gas mileage also. (Budget-conscious Huntington Beach motorists take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets dangerous gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased gas mileage.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Huntington Beach drivers don’t know about it. Check your SUV owner’s manual or ask your Sully’s Auto Repair service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at Sully’s Auto Repair when it gets dirty.

Please ask your friendly Huntington Beach service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Huntington Beach, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.

Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Like everything on the Buena Park automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. CA auto owners can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on Buena Park expressways, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the quicker you can react to road conditions. This is critical because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as Huntington Beach’s population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.

Most new SUVs sold in Buena Park come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on Huntington Beach highways, they’re very bright and have a bluish tint.

From behind the wheel, there is no doubt that HID headlamps are the best thing going. However, many Huntington Beach drivers complain about HID lights in oncoming traffic or when they approach from behind. In fact, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called for public comment, they received a record number of complaints about HIDs. This has lead to several studies – your tax dollars at work. Some expect future regulation of HID lamps.

All halogen headlamps dim over time. Your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair service advisor recommends that they be changed out once a year. AutoNetTV suggests you replace your headlamps in the fall at the end of Daylight Savings Time. It’s easy to remember – when you change your clock, change your headlamps. Remember to replace all headlamps at the same time – then all your lights will be equally bright. You will appreciate it during those long CA winter nights.

If you have an older SUV with old-school headlamps, you might be able to get a halogen replacement. You’ll be amazed at the difference this upgrade will make.

In addition to regular halogen lamps, Huntington Beach motorists can upgrade to premium lamps that filter some of the yellow light, making a bright white light that’s more like natural sunlight. This light’s easier on the eyes and should improve reaction time.

Now, you may be able to step up to HID headlamps, depending on the kind of car you drive around the Buena Park area. These lamps should last the life of your car, but cost several hundred dollars a pair. If you want other Huntington Beach drivers to think you’re running HID lamps, you can even buy regular halogens that have a bluish tint. Does she or doesn’t she? Only her Sully’s Auto Repair tech knows for sure.

Over time, plastic headlight covers can get cloudy or yellowed. In fact, AAA reports that nine out of ten headlights are dirty or yellowed, greatly reducing vision. In addition to helping you replace your headlamps, many service centers such as Sully’s Auto Repair in Huntington Beach, CA can restore headlight covers. Headlights can be restored at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Emergency Items For Your SUV

Local Buena Park roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for three days. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip.

Your close-to-home kit for around Huntington Beach would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You’ll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools.

Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card.

People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer emergencies.

For trips away from home, consider the weather and geography as you assemble your emergency supplies. You’ll need to have a source of light and heat and will want to provide protection against the elements as well as adequate food and water for everyone in the car.

Always tell people where you are going and have a plan for checking in at waypoints. Then if you run into trouble, you can be reported missing as soon as possible and rescuers will be able to narrow the search area.

The key to safe travel is to keep your vehicle properly maintained, plan ahead, and let others know your itinerary.

PCV Valve Replacement

Hello Huntington Beach motorists, let’s talk about your often-unnoticed but extremely vital PCV valve. The energy from exploding fuel is what powers your engine. But some of the vapors from the explosions escape into the lower part of the engine, called the crankcase. The crankcase is where your engine oil hangs out. These gases are about 70% unburned fuel. If the gases were allowed to stay in the crankcase, they would quickly contaminate the oil and turn it to sludge. Buena Park folks know that sludge is one of the biggest enemies of your engine, clogging it up, eventually leading to expensive failures. Also, the pressure build up would cause seals and gaskets to blow out. Therefore, these gases need to be vented out.

Pre-1963, gasoline engines had a hose that let the harmful fumes vent out into the air. In 1963, the federal government required gas engines to have a special one-way valve installed to help reduce dangerous emissions. (Can you imagine how polluted our Buena Park air would be if every car had been releasing those poisonous fumes for the last fifty years?) Diesel engines are not required to have these valves.

The positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, valve routes crankcase gases through a hose and back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh, clean air is brought into the crankcase through a breather tube. It’s really a pretty simple system, but it does the job. The re-circulating air removes moisture and combustion waste from the crankcase, preventing sludge. This extends not only the life of your oil, but the engine as well. The PCV relieves pressure in the crankcase, preventing dangerous oil leaks.


Eventually, the PCV valve can get gummed up
. Then it can’t move enough air through the engine to keep it working properly for Huntington Beach motorists. If the PCV valve is sticking enough, you could have oil leaks, excess oil consumption and a fouled intake system. If you experience hesitation or surging or an oil leak, it may be a sign of PCV valve problems. Your vehicle manufacturer’s owners’ manual may give a recommendation for when the PCV valve should be replaced – usually between 20,000 mi/32,000 km and 50,000 mi/80,000 km. Unfortunately, some auto manufacturers don’t list a recommendation in the manual, so it can be easy to overlook.

Many PCV system problems can be diagnosed with an automotive analysis by your friendly Sully’s Auto Repair service specialist. Fortunately, PCV valve replacement is both quick and inexpensive at Sully’s Auto Repair. Proper oil changes will greatly extend the life of the PCV valve. Skipping a few recommended oil changes can allow varnish and gum to build up in the valve, reducing its efficiency. So now when your Huntington Beach service technician tells you its time to replace your PCV valve, you will know what he’s talking about. If you have had your car for a while and this is the first you’ve ever heard of a PCV value, ask your service professional to check yours out or call Sully’s Auto Repair at (714) 841-1245.