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My Car Smells Like Burning Oil After Oil Change! Causes and Solutions

My Car Smells Like Burning Oil After Oil Change! Causes and Solutions

You probably were advised to perform an oil change to get rid of this burning oil smell in your vehicle. However, you might start noticing your car smells like burning oil after oil change!

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Well, there are different reasons for a car smells like burning oil after oil change. Some reasons could be related to a previous problem before the oil change, while others might be related to the oil change itself.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the different causes to pinpoint the problem and get it resolved immediately.

This article lists the different causes of car smells like burning oil after oil change and suggested solutions. It's important to pay attention to the severity or complexity of the cause of the problem to decide whether you should continue driving your vehicle or not.  

My car smells like burning oil after oil change! What are the different causes? 

 

If you are dealing with a situation that your car smells like burning oil after oil change, there are two broad categories of causes, including: 

  • Due to the oil change itself 

 

If you change your car's oil and you started noticing that your car smells like burning oil after oil change, your problem is usually related to a couple of reasons, including:

  • Oil spills around the engine's cap

The mechanic who performed the oil change for you likely spilled some oil around the engine block as he's pouring it in.

To confirm the problem, you could go to your engine's oil cap and see if there are signs of any oil spills around it.

Usually, if the oil spells drop around the engine's block, and you started driving it. The engine might heat these oil drops and result in burning them. That's why you will start noticing that your car smells like burning oil after oil change. 

To resolve the problem, you could clean up any oil spills using a clean or dry cloth. Keep in mind that you don't want to perform any cleanups around the engine block until your vehicle is cooled down because the engine can be very hot and could result in the risk of burnings. 

  • Loose oil filter 

 

Another possible reason for your car's oil smell after you change it would be a loose oil filter. If you are mechanic is not professional enough or does not have the required experience to perform an oil change, he might leave the oil filter loose and not tighten it enough to prevent any oil leaks. The oil leak might start very small, so he does not notice it, but after you drive your vehicle for a little time, this oil will start burning and causing the car to smell like burning oil after oil change.

To confirm or resolve the issue, you must look around your oil filter and see any signs of oil leaks. Sometimes, the oil leak could be a little small, and it just evaporates or got burnt immediately after it leaks. Therefore, you might need to have your vehicle inspected by the mechanic who performed the oil change and asks him to check for any oil leaks or loose oil filter cap. 

  • An old oil filter was left inside 

It's very common for any mechanic to forget removing the old oil filter, and as he attempts to insert the new oil filter, the old oil filter gets stuck inside. As a result, since you are vehicle system is not designed to fit both filters, you'll start dealing with some oil leaks around the engine's block, and you will notice that your car smells like burning oil after oil change. 

  • A loose drain plug 

 

Like the loose oil filter, if your mechanic left the oil dream loose and was not tightened enough, there is a very high chance for oil to leak on the surroundings or the ground.

This oil might touch hot components around your vehicle and get burned immediately. As a result, you will notice that your car smells like burning oil after oil change.

To resolve this problem, you must tighten the drain plug. If you don't have that experience or not comfortable doing it, you can visit your professional mechanic and ask him to tighten the loosened drain plug. This is because it's hard to reach their dream Clock in some vehicles and tell you to remove some specific components using certain toolsets. 

  • Car smells like burning oil after oil change due to other problems 

 

Now, if you've confirmed that the problem of your car smells like burning oil after oil change is not related to oil spills or loose components, then you might be dealing with additional internal problems with your vehicle.

  • Oil leak 

For example, the oil-burning smell might come from oil leak to the vehicle's internal components. Usually, oil leak happens if you have a blown gasket that doesn't securely close the cylinders, and as a result, the oil could leak easily out of it. As this hot oil leaks out, it can be burning out of the required place, and therefore, you will notice that oil burning smell. 

  • Damaged clutch 

If you're driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, you need to use the clutch carefully. In other words, you don't want to press so much on the clutch, causing it to wear out. The more you press on the clutch, the more it creates friction between the clutch and the moving or touching parts, and as a result, you will start noticing your car smells like burning oil after oil change.

The best solution for this case is to learn how to use a manual transmission correctly by consulting a professional driver. 

  • A problem with the brake system

Another common issue that could cause your car to smell like burning oil after oil change is related to the brake system. Like the clutch issue, if you're pressing very hard on the brakes you may run into the oil issue.

Your issue can be resolved by simply monitoring the pressure that you put on the brake system. However, if the brake system already got damaged, you need to have your vehicle inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic. In most cases, you might need to change the entire brake system.  

  • Dirt in the heating system 

If you're driving your vehicle for a long time and it started noticing your car smells like burning oil after oil change, the problem could be related to some dirt got stuck in the heating system.

If the heating system is dirty, and some contaminants are getting burned continuously, they might cause an oil burning smell.

If that's the problem that you're dealing with, you need to get your heating system flushed out and cleaned by a professional mechanic, assuming that you don't have the required mechanical skill sets. If you have these skill sets, you can do it on your own and save on repair costs. 

Can I continue driving it? 

 

Great question!

Well, answering this question depends heavily on the source of the problem. for example, if you have confirmed that the burning oil is just coming from a couple of oil drops around the engine that got burnt, you don't need really to worry a lot, and you can continue driving your vehicle

However, if the problem is happening due to a blown head gasket, you must stop driving your vehicle and have it towed to a professional mechanic immediately.

Automotive experts usually recommend that if you deal with oil-burning smells in vehicles, you must stop driving and consult a professional mechanic just if something is happening internally.

Conclusion

 

Sometimes we think that performing an oil change can resolve many issues in the vehicle. While this is a clear and a common case, in some cases, you might be dealing with your car smells like burning oil after oil change.

Usually, this smell could either come from a problem with the oil change itself or a different problem with other components in your vehicle.

Whatever was the reason or the cause for this oil burn problem, you must get your vehicle inspected and fixed by a professional mechanic. Otherwise, ignoring the burning smell in vehicles could result in catastrophic problems that cost a lot of money.

Unfortunately, some burning smell could be related to significant issues that might result in scrapping the vehicle. Therefore, you must take immediate action right after you start noticing these burning smells in your vehicle and have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic.