Exactly how much car wrenching experience do you have, and what type of tools do you have at your disposal? I don't want to throw you into the deep end if you have never done this kind of work before.
I believe I’ve got nearly endless tools at my disposal because one of my best friends has a 6000 sq ft shop with a two post lift and continues to invest in his arsenal. He’s just always got his own projects going, so I normally do stuff at home in my driveway. My garage is too full of crap to work on cars in there anymore. I’ve got an engine hoist of my own, compressor, impacts, etc, primarily for working on classic MB cars, most of which I’ve purchased under $1000, and saw value in their parts for projects in other MB.
I remember seeing people with broken down cars that wouldn’t run and claiming it’s the PCV Valve and it would fix everything. “Just needs a new PCV valve”, and having experience with old Mercedes with valve covers that are very easy to remove and PCV that aren’t really valves, rather just cooled up wire that would catch the largest of chunks before sending the air back into the intake, I didn’t really get it. The PCV is causing all these problems? Really?
Well now that I have a Honda with over 150,000 miles, nearly 160,000, my first “newer” car with so many miles, I am now understanding the critical importance of changing the PCV valve. I’ve stopped taking our car to the mechanic because he’s too busy and I’ve also been economizing on the expenses on this vehicle that now has so little monetary value. On the other hand, this car is keeping us from spending probably $50,000 on a new vehicle. So breaking the PCV could have been a $50,000 mistake if I didn’t get the car back on the road the other night. My wife might have walked into the dealership yesterday morning and just bought a new car. So keeping this thing going has very high value to me. My wife doesn’t have any interest in driving an old MB, and she doesn’t know how to drive stick which is what most of my old MB are. I’ve never had her drive any of the sedans, don’t have any SUVs, and the convertibles and coupes are all incredibly low to the ground which she hates. She only wants to drive an SUV and be up high, yet my ridgeline is too big, and admittedly hard to back up with no back up camera.
I have been utterly disappointed in the local Honda dealership service. Their parts department is great, but the service center never suggested replacing the PCV. It’s been several years since I’ve taken the car to my brother’s brother-in-law who has an independent shop. He scaled back and doesn’t have any mechanics other than himself.
So getting on his schedule takes weeks, and most things I can do in my driveway quicker than I can get on his schedule. For example, when the AC compressor died on my Ridgeline, I replaced the compressor myself and then took my truck into my brother-in-law’s shop to use his vacuum pump/refrigerant machine to clear and fill the system. He didn’t have time to do it himself, but was able to give me access to his tools for a few hours.
I’m the same way with most home DIY projects. Usually I can get a job done myself in little more time than it takes to track down a contractor to do the job for me, and often, I find fault in the work of the professional. I can pay someone else to screw it up for the cost of parts + labor, or I can screw it up myself for just the cost of the parts.