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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
A few months ago my daughter purchased a 1.8 litre 2009 Cruze, (which is sold by Holden down here in Australia.)
A week or so back she noticed that occasionally she'd be driving along, there'd be a hesitation in the engine, a slight 'rattling' sound followed by a huge plume of smoke billowing from the exhaust... It's almost like it had something caught in its throat, coughed, and then resumed driving as per normal...
We also noticed that it was using a bit of oil..

Over the last few days the 'coughing' became increasingly frequent to the point where we took it off the road until we find out what the problem is..

I did a bit of Google Engineering and read that some of the early Cruzes were notorious for having PCV valve issues, (and the symptoms seemed that they could be related to the PCV valve..)
One site suggests that the diaphragm in the PCV can be replaced, (after pulling the valve cover off and accessing the PCV valve), yet other sites claim that it's a non-serviceable part and the entire valve cover needs to be replaced... I called our local dealer who also seemed to think that you couldn't simply replace the PCV valve, (possibly so that they could make more money from me buying a new valve cover?)

I then found a site showing images of the PCV valve removed from the valve cover with a new diaphragm being installed... I sent the guy a message asking how he removed the PCV valve, (which appears to be held in with those brittle plastic lugs that always scare me when I go near them with a screwdriver!) He told me to use a hairdryer to heat up the plastic which makes it easier to remove.

I went ahead and removed the valve cover to find that the seal/gasket was dry/brittle in a couple of places and there were traces of oil sitting down around the spark plugs...
So I guess at the very least I need to buy a new seal/gasket..

To test the operation of the PCV valve I sucked and blew into the outlet of the PCV valve and found there was basically no air restriction in either direction, (almost as though it was just an open pipe)
I would assume that there should be some sort of resistance in at least one direction? This makes me think the PCV valve is shot.

So my question is, has anyone else successfully replaced the PCV valve on a 1.8 litre Cruze?
The dealer quoted me AU$710, (~US$550) for a new valve cover and seal... I thought I must have been hearing things so asked him again but he gave me the same figure the second time!
If it is only the diaphragm that's faulty, (which can be picked up on ebay for ~$30), then handing over $710 to the dealer is going to be a hard pill to swallow!

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions etc. that might be able to help?

Cheers, and thanks in advance!
Darren :bowing:

25,608 Posts
If you can just replace the diaphragm then try that first. If it doesn't work you still have the option of replacing the entire cover. Please take pictures and do a write up on how to do this, especially if it works.

Welcome to CruzeTalk.

10,296 Posts
PCV valves become popular in the USA in around the late 1950's, was less than a two buck part. In reality, nothing more than a check valve.

It replaced the old fashion breather tube, that was notorious for picking up road dust in particular when you let your foot off the gas. In cleaning an engine back then, first tool you would grab was a shovel.

With an OVH valve engine opened to the crankcase, rocker arm cover would have a grommet where this check valve plugged into, with a short heater kind of hose going to the base of the carburetor. My 1982 454 CID engine is still this way.
With piston blowby, would only let air flow toward the base of the carb, never from the base of the carb back to the crankcase.

And as such would get gummy, could be cleaned with choke and carb cleaner, so even at two bucks, very seldom had to replace one. Like any check valve, has a spring inside to keep that valve closed, if that broke, was reason to spend two bucks.

By blowing air into it from the carb side, should block any air flow, but blowing it in from the crankcase side, should blow freely.

It is also a chain reaction device and depends upon where this crap is returned to, not bad below the carb, that crap would just build up on the intake valves and inside of the intake manifold. Worse with fuel injection vehicles, builds up on the face of the injectors screwing up the spray pattern. And returning this crap back into the combustion chamber puts more crap on the piston rings to compound the degree of blowby. Thus a chain reaction device.

Cruze 1.4 is returning this crap line to the intake of the turbo, not good, already settled in my throttle body causing a very slow return of the throttle vane when you take your foot off the gas. Worse case, it would stick open, so I have to clean the TB because I am too stupid to switch off the ignition that can lead to a so-called accident.

Adding a full can of Seafoam to the gas tank every 5,000 miles helps to keep the engine clean, top tier is more BS.

70 bucks is outrageous for a piece of plastic hose that will become very brittle with age, and don't dare touch it when its cold. Could try cleaning yours and using the blow test. Small cracks can be repaired with a high temperature glue gun. Looks like the end plastic pieces on mine if salvageable could be replaced with 1/2" neoprene hose and just stick a metal valve in series with it.

I think what we are suppose to do, is to trade these things off every three years. Ha, back in the 60's, use to use spring hose clamps on these. Then they they got rid of those and just stuck the hoses on, anything to make the stockholders happy, but screw the consumers. Now plastic?

10,296 Posts
Hmmm, now I am wondering why the PCV tube can't be directed directly to the catalytic converter, its going to end up there anyway, keeping the engine a heck of a lot cleaner.

A venturi orifice can be used to create a vacuum, still would need a bit better check valve, have these all already for higher temperature operations. And sure don't want your exhaust going back into the crankcase.

But with any weird idea like this, would have to be tested, but the benefits are certainly obvious. PCV valve is already over 55 years old, with 55 years of problems. Working with many engineers, just think of the old stuff, ha, in many cases if even they think at all.

This is what an intake valve can look like just poking in the internet and certainly not the worse one I have seen over the years.

And this certainly isn't coming from the fresh air not the injectors, but from that PCV valve. Ford for years was returning the PCV line back to the air cleaner. That created a mess from there clear into the combustion chamber. Hate to say this, but the Japanese had more common sense.

EGR makes another mess, required due to the high combustion chamber temperature of the unleaded fuel we are using. EPA calls this excessive NOx production, we called it burning up exhaust valves and putting holes in pistons. Least the 1.4 is closing the exhaust valves early, many vehicles injected more of this crap back into the intake manifold fouling injectors and adding deposits on intake valves.. A safe substitute for lead was never found.

Course the major problem is burning carbon. Heard rumors we have an oil company controlled congress.
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