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Registered User
10,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, my 1994 Nissan Altima has about 106,000 miles on it and still had the original PCV valve from Nissan and after taking it out, come to find out, it was still in pretty good working order, so I wouldn't recommend trying to do this until at least the 100,000 mark if you consistantly keep your car in good working order. But if you want to tackle this job, feel free to.

Parts Needed:
PCV Valve ($4.00 - $5.00 from any local auto parts store)

Tools Needed:
Rachet set (metric and possibly a standard set) 1/4" Drive and 3/4" Drive
Rachet extensions
-6" in both 1/4" Drive and 3/4" Drive
Needle nose pliers
Wrench set (metric)
Flathead Screw driver (approximately 6" - 10")
Optional swivel socket set

Things to have around:
Silcon spray
Gasket maker silcon beading
Adjustable clamps (1/4" - 1/2")
Possibly a Haynes Nissan Altima manual, or if you're really lucky, a FSM
Auto oil (incase you need to refill although it shouldn't be necessary)

Warning this is not an easy task, and if you call any Nissan dealership, they'll do one of the following:
Scare you with a $250 price tag to do it
Or tell you, that you don't need to replace it

But with patience and perserverance you can do this. If you have the manual, they kind of show you what your looking for, and it helps you figure out where some of the bolts are any everything else. If you don't have one, the basic location is on the backside of the engine, on the drive belt side (passenger side). It's about half way down in the engine compartment attached to the breather/seperator. It's right above the power steering system. You won't be able to reach much from the top of the engine (can guarantee that you won't be able to unscrew it).

Remove the top two bolts of the breather seperator using a 1/4" drive rachet with a 6" extension and 10mm socket. You also may want to try to loosen the PCV valve using a longer wrench in a 17mm size. It's not necessary to do so, however it will make things a little easier down the road.

Now loosen the alternator bolts so you can release the drive belts. Slide the belt off the alternator and push the slack back towards the power steering.

Jack up the car and lock it in the air securely (make sure you're on a flat surface and the parking brake is on to keep the car from rolling backward). From the underneath of the car detach the three bolts holding the power steering in place (two are by the drive shaft and one is up by the belt assembly). Pull the power steering pump down and to the passenger side of the car (don't pull too hard unless you plan on disconnecting the power steering hoses and refilling the system). Take out the oil filter (you don't need to drain the system, you will lose a little oil, but not much).

Now with this stuff out of the way you will be able to unbolt the last bolt on the breather seperator using the same 1/4" drive with 6" extension and 10mm socket. Now either stand on a step or drop the car a little bit and remove the breather seperator (there is a silcon bead gasket that holds it in place, however it's doubtful you will be able to save it). Untwist the PCV valve from the breather seperator and set the breather seperator aside.

Now Nissan uses pressure clamps so you will need to use pliers to slide the pressure clamp back off the PCV valve hose. Pull the PCV valve off the hose and then slide the pressure clamp off, replacing it with a normal screw type clamp (will make it easier to get it off if you ever have to again).

Screw and tighten your new PCV valve into the breather seperator and clean the old gasket off the breather seperator. Also clean off the engine port the PCV valve came from. There is a grove that needs to be cleaned out too. You may wish to spray some silicon spray of the new PCV valve to help slide it onto the PCV hose. Place some new silicon bead gasket maker sealer on the port and the breather seperator and slide the breather seperator back in to place (may take a few tries to get it in without completely smearing the gasket maker stuff). Reattach the PCV valve hose to the PCV valve and start to screw the top two bolts back in the top of the breather seperator.

Go back underneath the vehicle and place the bottom bolt back on the breather seperator and tighten all three bolts. Slide the clamp you placed on the PCV valve hose over the PCV valve intake and tighten (I found the use of swivel sockets helpful, but if you use a screw type you can tighten them with a screw driver). Reattach the bottom two bolts to the power steering and then attach the top one near the drive belts. Don't overtighten the bottom ones until you start the top one. Retighten all the bolts. Place the oil filter back in place and tighten. Drop the car back down and reattach the drive belt to the alternator and tighten.

Start the car and make sure you see no oil leaks coming from the breather/seperator. You should be all set.

It took my brother and myself about three hours to do this, and a lot of it was trying to figure out how to get to the valve and get it out. I hope this is to some help to you Do It Yourselfers.

6,296 Posts's in the same place as both my bro's 93 and 2k Maximas. Cool.
Excellent writeup. The FSM just diagrams where it's located and offers no help on how to replace it. Awesome.
I'm not gonna replace mine though I have 157k. My bro's 93 Max had 180k when we replaced his pcv valve and it was still looking very clean. Basically, don't replace unless u have a good reason to.

donor cycle
15,111 Posts
ive done it twice on my car. piece of cake.
LOL, STFU sam. you have NO idea. I can change the PCV valve on my barracuda in 2 minutes if that, however it isn't an altima either!! altima pcv's are a BITCH..
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