How to Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve? [Causes & Step-by-Step Solutions]

Most of the time, the vehicle engines overheat and seize up because of a stick oil pressure relief valve. The oil pressure relief valve is most of the time stuck due to deposits of debris and oxidation materials. If the situation continuously occurs, the lifespan of your vehicle gradually reduces.

How to Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve

So, how to unstick the oil pressure relief valve? The best thing you will do is to replace the stuck PRV. Though it is a good solution, costly to do. On the other hand, to replace the stuck PRV, you have to have professional skills. So, what should you do finally? You need proper replacement to maintain proper guidelines.

In this article, I will tell you how you can unstick the valve without hiring an expert or spending much money.

Symptoms of Stuck Oil Pressure Relief Valve

Stuck and unstuck oil pressure relief valves have some different symptoms. You will easily notice the difference between them. As a car owner, you must be aware of these symptoms to save the engine and replacement costs.

According to my research, the following symptoms are core signs that help you understand the condition of your vehicle relief valve.

  • First of all, the vehicle produces strange noise, it means that the valve is faulty
  • When the valve is faulty or damaged, the engine produces extreme heat and sometimes stops to work
  • When the situation comes in pick, the power is lost and stops to run
  • Overall, sometimes you will discover bad smell from your vehicle

These are the common signs that you discover in your car. There are plenty of symptoms, but these are common and mostly notify.

Causes of a Relief Valve Failure

There are several reasons have which stick relief valves. To avoid these problems in the future, you should get a clear concept about this matter. Among the various causes, I will share with you some of the most common reasons so that you can save time and easily find out the causes.

Lint, Dirt, Rust & Sludge

These are the main culprits which stick to the oil pressure relief valve. These elements are contained in your vehicle oil and easily stuck to the valve. Most of the time, they come out because of bad oil filters and some other causes.

Lack of Maintenance

A survey shows that 50% of oil pressure relief valves fail because of lacking maintenance. When it doesn’t maintain from time to time, the power is lost, and lots of uncertain things come out that stick to your vehicle’s valve.

Faulty Installation

A faulty installation is another cause that sticks the valve. Most of the time, the valve is installed in an environment that is too hot or too cold and doesn’t take any action. So, you have to focus on this section to avoid the sticking problem of the valve.

How to Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve?

Now, you are fully aware of the problems with why the oil pressure relief valve stick. This section will give you a complete step-by-step guideline to unstick the oil pressure relief valve.

Before starting the process, you have to collect some essential tools. Here, you will get a simple list of the tools. So, collect them and jump the following steps.

  • An oil pressure gauge
  • A small screwdriver (I am going to use Philips Number 1 screwdriver)
  • Debris removal tool
  • Engine oil
  • A pair of hand gloves

Step 1: Located the Problem

First, you must ensure your vehicle has an oil pressure relief valve stick. So, how can you measure it? You will hear a strange noise from your vehicle and overheat your car’s engine when the valve sticks.

Step 2: Find Out the Valve

Now, it is time to find out the valve so that you can take the next step. You will locate the valve near the passenger side as well as near the firewall. Moreover, the valve looks black, which covers with a white plastic handle.

The best alternative way to find out the valve is by following the sensor wire of the sensor itself. The wire helps you to find out the right valve.

Step 3: Unstick the Valve

To unstick the oil pressure relief valve, you need to use a screwdriver to unscrew everything. You have to counterclockwise to loosen it. If you think it is harder to remove the screws, you can drop some lubricants on the screws to hassle-free remove the screws.

Step 4: Reassemble the Valve & Test It

You are near the corner. To re-install the valve, you have to set it to align position with the opening to the block side of the engine. Take the screwdriver and tighten the valve. Make sure that you don’t overtight the valve.

After tightening the valve, you should re-connect the electric power system and wire. Check out the above 3 steps again; of course, you need to find out the leakage. Don’t forget to test whether the valve works or not.

Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Vehicle Oil Pressure Relief Valve Good

The valve becomes stuck without any doubts if you don’t focus on it occasionally. I would love to suggest you check out the following tips and tricks to keep your vehicle oil pressure relief valve good.

  • Make sure that you change your vehicle engine regularly.
  • After 12 months, inspecting the valve is mandatory.
  • It would help if you also cleaned the oil pressure relief valve from time to time so that you can easily avoid this problem.

FAQs (Frequently Ask Questions)

Q: How do you fix a stuck pressure relief valve?

Answer: If you want to fix a stuck pressure relief valve, you need to find out the valve first. Most of the time, you will get the valve near the passenger side of your valve. Use a screwdriver to unscrew and disconnect all of the wires. After removing the valve, you need to re-install a new valve. To get a step-by-step guide, you will check out the above section.

Q: How do I know if my oil pressure relief valve is bad?

Answer: You will get some symptoms when your vehicle pressure relief valve is damaged or bad. For example, a bad valve produces strange noise. Moreover, it also produces engine overheat, which sometimes stops the vehicle. Finally, your car loses the power to run, gradually reducing its lifespan.

Q: Can you clean a pressure relief valve?

Answer: The official answer is yes. You will clean your pressure relief valve when it doesn’t come with damaging problems. The valve usually comes with clogged, stains, dust, debris, and others. So, collect the tools to clean them properly and re-install the valve on your vehicle.


The oil pressure relief valve is an essential part of the vehicle engines. But, it becomes stuck when it comes to debris, dust, rust, clogged, and other things. When the valve stick, the car gradually loses its lifespan and occurs several problems.

However, you should always maintain some principles so that this problem can’t come out on your vehicle. If you think that the problem already come out, you should fix it as soon as possible. You will also check out the above step-by-step guideline to fix the issue.


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.