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Old 05-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
SnickHRs
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Default Oil burning smell

Hi guys! I'm new here, just bought a 2008 Aura XE on Thursday night.

Unfortunately, I've already noticed an oil burning smell on occasion. I only notice it when I come to a stop after having driven on the highway for several miles. It hasn't leaked any oil, that I can see. The smell comes and goes, but it's pretty strong.

Any ideas what that could be? I'm going to take it back to Carmax and have them look at it, but wondered if anyone else has had this problem or could think of what might be causing it. I'm hoping it's something simple, as I already love the car (other than the smell) and would rather not have to find something different.

Thanks for any input you may have.

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Old 05-01-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
servodave
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

I spilled some oil onto my engine during oil change and it did this. Had to take off the big plastic cover thing off the engine and mop it up.

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Old 05-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
greenman
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnickHRs View Post

Unfortunately, I've already noticed an oil burning smell on occasion. I only notice it when I come to a stop after having driven on the highway for several miles. It hasn't leaked any oil, that I can see. The smell comes and goes, but it's pretty strong.
Do you have the 3.5L or 2.4L engine?

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Old 05-01-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

I know that the front crankshaft seal has been a problem for the 3.5L.


2009 Saturn AURA | AURA, BAS Hybrid (VIN Z) Service Manual | Document ID: 2328112
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#PIP4461D: Oil Leak At Front Of Engine - keywords 3.5 3.5L 3.9 3.9L BQMR chain cover crankshaft LGD LZE LZ4 LZ9 LZG seal timing - (Aug 18, 2009)


Subject: Oil Leak at Front of Engine


Models: 2009 Buick Lucerne

2008-2009 Chevrolet Impala Malibu

2008-2009 Pontiac G6

2008-2009 Saturn Aura, Vue

Equipped with 3.5L LZE / LZ4 or 3.9L LZ9/LGD engines

(VIN Code K, N, 1, M)




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This PI was superseded to update repair procedure. Please discard PIP4461C.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
Some owners may comment about an engine oil leak. Upon inspection you may find that the oil leak appears to be coming from the area around the front crankshaft seal located in the front engine cover (timing chain cover).

Recommendation/Instructions:
Dealers in the Metro Detroit and Flint Michigan.
Engineering is looking for a vehicle in the areas listed that exhibits the described leak condition. Dealers in those areas that have such a vehicle should contact Jim Kelly at (586) 596-5075 BEFORE PERFORMING ANY DISASSEMBLY OF THE ENGINE. He will assist in making arrangements for Engineering to review the vehicle at your location. If you have already disassembled the engine then do NOT call and instead proceed to the "All Other Dealers" section.

All Other Dealers:
Continue with your diagnosis using the information in SI and make repairs as necessary.

- Remove components as necessary to access and the front crankshaft oil seal.

If the leak is coming from between the seal and the balancer, then replace seal and balancer. When installing the new seal apply a bead of RTV around the outside of the new seal before installing it in the cover.

Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.

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Old 05-01-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Funny, as I sold a car about a week ago. Pressure washed the engine, and the engine gunk plastered itself on the hot parts. Smelled like burning oil.
If you just got it, give it a couple of days and see if it goes away.

...
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

I have the 3.5L engine. Hope it's just something that has to burn off, and not a leak.

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Old 05-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

If it is leaking at the crankshaft seal, it would be hard pressed to get somewhere that it could smell. You would notice drops on the belt side. If it's not dripping then you are most likely good. I have that same engine with 100k on it in my uplander, which works the engine harder. No problems to date.

...
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by alleninpa View Post
If it is leaking at the crankshaft seal, it would be hard pressed to get somewhere that it could smell.
Very good point.

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Old 05-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Did you buy the car from a dealership? They like to soak the engine in shiny engine dressup. That could be burning off.

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Old 05-01-2011, 08:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

I bought it at Carmax. I'm not sure how with their 125-point inspection they could possibly have missed an oil problem, so I'm hoping it truly is just some kind of gunk that needs to burn off. Although if that's the case, wouldn't I smell it constantly until it burned off, rather than only when stopped or going very slow?

This is my first experience with a used car, if you don't count the 86 T-Bird I inherited from my dad. But at least then I knew the previous owner.

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Old 05-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnickHRs View Post
I bought it at Carmax. I'm not sure how with their 125-point inspection they could possibly have missed an oil problem, so I'm hoping it truly is just some kind of gunk that needs to burn off. Although if that's the case, wouldn't I smell it constantly until it burned off, rather than only when stopped or going very slow?

This is my first experience with a used car, if you don't count the 86 T-Bird I inherited from my dad. But at least then I knew the previous owner.
You could hit it with a very bright light from above & below & see if you can find anything. Focus on the exhaust system since that is the hottest part. Burning brake & trany fluid would give you the same smell as engine oil.

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

sometimes oil from the road can splash up on to the exhaust & create the same problem.

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Old 05-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Sure enough, it was the crankshaft seal, leaking "just a little bit." They replaced the seal.

But....on the way home, I could still smell it. Acted exactly the same way, it comes and goes. They said they cleaned the engine bay. Why does it still smell?? UGH.

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnickHRs View Post
But....on the way home, I could still smell it. Acted exactly the same way, it comes and goes. They said they cleaned the engine bay. Why does it still smell?? UGH.
Are you saying that you are smelling it inside the cabin with the windows up?

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

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Originally Posted by greenman View Post
Are you saying that you are smelling it inside the cabin with the windows up?

Yes. And I can smell it outside the car as well, standing by the driver or front passenger doors.

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Look under the car and see if something it stuck underneath. I ran over a plastc shopping bag once with another car and it got caught by the catalytic converter. The bag melted to it and it took forever to completly burn off. The smell was similar to burning oil.

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Old 05-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Oil burning smell

Hi,
did you solve your problem?
I have the same issue,
thanks,
JM.

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