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The Effects of a Bad PCV Valve on a Dodge Dakota

by Tony Oldhand

A bad positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve in a Dodge Dakota can cause a variety of problems. Not only will your engine lose power, but it will also rattle, shake, cough and generally sound very sick. Furthermore, your gas mileage will go down to the gallons per mile range, instead of the other way around. Understanding the effects of a bad PCV valve is the first step in correcting problems and returning your Dodge Dakota to smooth running.

Loss of Gas Mileage

This is often the first effect of a bad PCV valve. Your gas mileage will go way down, and you have to fuel up way more often.

Loss of Power

Another significant effect is the loss of engine power. This is especially evident when you are trying to go uphill while accelerating. You engine feels like it has the performance of a lawn mower engine, instead of a regular engine.

Rough Idle

Because the crankcase gases cannot escape, a back pressure builds up inside the crankcase. The engine then has to fight itself to run, and this results in a very rough idle.

Sputtering or Coughing

When you try to accelerate, an engine with a bad PCV valve sputters or "coughs;" it feels like the engine has stopped for a brief moment. Again, due to a back pressure buildup, the engine has to fight itself to run, and sputtering is the end effect.


Hesitation occurs between sputtering and a loss of power. It feels like sputtering, but lasts longer than just a brief moment. According to AutoZone, hesitation may an effect of a clogged or damaged PCV valve or clogged hoses that connect to the PCV valve.

About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.

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