How To Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve: A Simple Three Step Guide

If your oil pressure relief valve is not opening or closing properly, it can cause engine overheating. Here’s how to unstick oil pressure relief valve in your car.

A pressure relief valve monitors the oil pressure in the oil lines and reduces it when it becomes too high so that the engine components remain protected.

But the oil pressure relief valve can become stuck because of dust, dirt, grease, debris, and other deposits. This will prevent it from functioning properly. A stuck oil pressure relief valve can overheat the engine and cause it to stall. It can also lead to long-term damage.

In this article, we talk about how to unstick the oil pressure relief valve. If the valve has accumulated grease and other substances, you can remove it, clean it, and reinstall it. But if the spring or other components of PRV are damaged, you need to replace it with a new one.

How To Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve

How Do Oil Pumps Work?

The oil pump is an essential component in the car’s lubrication system. It is a mechanical device that circulates engine oil to various parts of the engine, like the crankshaft, piston, and others. The oil pump receives power from the belt and pulley arrangement. It starts to pump oil immediately when the engine starts to run.

When the oil pump receives power, a suction is created in the oil strainer. As a result, it starts collecting oil from the oil sump. The oil pump starts sucking oil from the oil strainer and supply to the secondary oil filter with high pressure.

An oil pressure regulator valve works between the oil pump and the secondary oil filter. The main work of the valve is to maintain oil pressure. The secondary oil filter removes the dust and dirt from the oil and supplies clean oil to the oil lines and galleries to lubricate the engine’s moving components.

The oil from the main gallery moves towards the holes in the crankshaft and main bearing for lubricating them. It reaches the piston, piston rings, and cylinder and lubricates them.

The secondary oil gallery lubricates the camshaft and different valves. The oil starts to flow downwards and through a separate passage after lubricating all the components. A pressure gauge on the passage displays the oil pressure inside the system and finally gets collected in the sump.

How Does The Pressure Relief Valve Work?

The oil pressure relief valve is a safety valve that helps control or limit the pressure inside the system. The PRV comprises an adjusting screw, two supporting plates on both sides of the spring, and a conical poppet mounted on the wall.

When the pressure in the inlet increases higher than its allowed limit, the conical poppet moves against the spring and creates a passage so the oil can flow outside, i.e., through the sump. When the pressure at the inlet becomes normal, the conical poppet returns to its original position and closes the passage from the inlet to the outlet.

What Damage Can A Faulty Pressure Relief Valve Do?

The pressure relief valve can become faulty both in the open and closed positions. Most of your engine oil will bleed off if the pressure valve is open. As a result, the oil will flow under pressure and drop inside the oil lines, damaging the engine components badly.

Similarly, if the stuck pressure relief is closed, then oil will flow under high pressure inside the oil lines, which may result in the oil galleries and oil lines bursting. It may overheat the engine components and permanently damage them. Repairing or replacing a car engine is quite expensive. So, you need to inspect and maintain the pressure relief valve from time to time.

How To Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve

How To Prevent Relief Valve Failure?

You can prevent your pressure relief valve from failing in the following ways.

#1. Proper Installation

You need to install the oil pressure valve properly. If the oil pressure relief valve is not installed correctly, it cannot open and close at the right pressure and hence cannot regulate pressure inside the oil lines. You can check pressure inside the oil lines by using a mechanical gauge.

#2. Maintain The Valve From Time To Time

Debris, dirt, and other materials get deposited on the pressure relief valve over time which can hinder proper function. So, you should clean the valve from time to time. Additionally, lubricate it so that it will function smoothly.

#3. Change Car Oil

You should change your car oil every few months. It prevents the dust particles from sticking to the pressure relief valve.

How To Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What would happen if the oil pressure relief valve got stuck open

If the pressure relief valve is stuck open, a lot of oil will bleed. Consequently, the oil pressure will reduce in the oil lines and cause heavy damage to the engine. So you should inspect the oil pressure valve every few months. It can get dirty with time, and you should clean it for better functioning of the valve.

#2. How do you clean an oil pressure relief valve?

You must check the pressure valve at least once in 12 months. If the PRV gets dirty and clogged by dust and dirt, it will create engine issues. So, you must remove the valve and clean it at least once a year. You can spray WD 40 and tale cotton and wipe it around the valve to remove all the grease, oil, and extra dirt.

#3. How do you remove a stuck pressure valve?

You need first to study the manual properly so that you can know the location of the pressure relief valve. It is a black-colored valve with a handle. It is found near the firewall. You have to rotate the valve counterclockwise, and it will automatically become loose. You can remove the valve with a puller tool.

#4. What are the symptoms of a stuck valve?

The symptoms of a suck valve include the following

  • Low pressure or the system is not able to attain sufficient pressure
  • The system is above the maximum oil pressure
  • The pressure relief valve is leaking oil
  • Vibrating noise
  • Engine issues

Wrap Up

 The pressure relief valve is extremely important for proper lubrication in your car. So, try to inspect and maintain it from time to time. It will not function properly if it accumulates a lot of grease and dirt.

Your engine can get overheated and stop working if the PRV is damaged or unable to function. It will cost thousands of dollars to replace or repair the engine. Taking care of the pressure relief valve makes a lot of sense.

Thank you for reading this article.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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