First, the sludge isn't a great thing, but is common on many cars. Since you just got the vehicle, I recommend (since there is sludge) drive the car about 1000 miles and check the oil to see if it is really dirty. If it is, have it changed again. If you do that a couple times, it should clean up. Don't be overly concerned about it.
As far as the PCV, that stands for positive crankcase ventilation. Inside the engine (crankcase) pressure and unburned fumes build up. The PCV valve is attached to the intake manifold which has vacuum when the engine is running. It sucks the unburned fumes from the crankcase and recirculated them through the engine to reburn them. It also helps keep moisture from building up in the engine.
It is easy to check. You will see it located on the top of the valve cover. It is pushed into a rubber grommit. Just pull it out. Inside of it is a ball valve. If you shake it and can hear it move around inside, the valve is good. If it is stuck and you hear nothing moving, replace it. It is a very cheap part, under 10 dollars, and you can replace it yourself in about 5 minutes.
If you have other questions, let me know.
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 AT 10:23 PM