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What Does It Mean When The Exhaust Smells Like Burning Oil?

What Does It Mean When The Exhaust Smells Like Burning Oil?

If your exhaust smells like burning oil, you must not ignore the problem, and you must have your vehicle inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic immediately. Ignoring such a problem could result in catastrophic problems that require a lot of money.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Before diving into the different reasons for your exhaust smells like burning oil, it's important to understand the exhaust system's different roles in a vehicle. You will be able to identify the different reasons for the burning smell yourself. This article helps you understand your exhaust system role and the different causes of the exhaust smell like burning oil.   

What is the exhaust system, and what is it doing? 


The exhaust system is one of the very important systems in your vehicle, and without it, your vehicle could harm the environment.

The exhaust system is responsible for taking the byproducts and getting bad gas from the engine cylinders and converting them into more useful and less polluting gases.

If you have any problem with the exhaust system, you will start noticing weird smoke coming out of the tailpipe or having some burning smells in the vehicle.

The biggest animal most important thing about a faulty exhaust system is that your vehicle will not pass the emission test without a perfectly running exhaust system.

Therefore, if you wanted to get your vehicle passed the emission test and drive it, you must have a perfectly running exhaust system. 

What does it mean when the exhaust smells like burning oil? 

As you notice before, the exhaust system must be running perfectly for you to drive the vehicle and not cause harm to the environment or failed the emission test.

One of the biggest issues with exhaust systems happens if you start smelling burning oil smells. There are very common reasons for the cause of this burning smell and where is it come in front, including: 

  • A problem with the catalytic converter 


The catalytic converter is the primary component in the exhaust system that converts the bad gases into less harmful gases to the environment.

If the catalytic converter does not do its job, it is usually the main cause for failing the emission test.

The catalytic converter is not designed to last forever, and there should be a point in time where you must replace the catalytic converter to prevent dealing with different problems. The catalytic converter can get clogged partially or completely, causing some burning smell in your exhaust system.

This burning smell is usually associated with a rotten egg smell coming from the component, including sulfur.

If you've confirmed that the oil burning smell that is coming from your exhaust system is related to the catalytic converter, you must give the catalytic converter replaced as soon as possible.

Failing to replace the catalytic converter could result in significant problems with the exhaust system that usually requires a lot of time and money. 

  • Issues with burnt oil 


Your vehicle uses oil for many reasons, including lubricating the engine and making sure that there is no friction between moving parts. If a lot of friction happens between moving parts, this could generate a lot of heat that could destroy the engine.

This oil must flow through specific routes and tubes. Any leak of the engine's oil to other hot components around the engine's block could result in burning oil smells.

The most common cause of oil leaks around the engine would be coming from crack tubes or a blown head gasket. He had a gasket responsible for sealing the cylinders and ensuring no hot oil leaving the cylinder to the other components.

Unfortunately, dealing with a blown head gasket is one of the very complicated problems you would ever want to deal with.

To resolve the problem that is happening to a blown head gasket, you must replace the head gasket entirely. Unfortunately, replacing the head gasket is very expensive. Many people end up scrubbing the vehicles instead of replacing the head gasket if repair costs get higher than the vehicle's value. 

  • Leaks in the exhaust system itself 


The last possible problem for your exhaust smells like burning oil is some disconnection in the exhaust system itself.

The exhaust system is connected directly to the engine and receives the bad gases and the other byproducts from the engine through these connections. Over a time of use, it's very common for these connections to get damaged or we're out, causing some leaks of oil or hot gases outside the required routes.

If that's the case, you will start smelling some burning oil as the hot gases or the hot oils burn outside of the required routes. 

Automotive experts describe this problem as a problem that you could hear and see simultaneously because you will not only smell the oil burning but also start seeing some weird smokes and other dripping of liquids around the exhaust system. 


Is it worth repairing exhaust that smells like burning oil? 


Very important question!

It's important before you attempt to do any car repairs to sit back and evaluate the situation. Sometimes, repair costs could be very high, and it might not be worth repairing the vehicle.

In case of exhaust system smells like burning oil, deciding whether it's worth repairing the vehicle or not depends heavily on the cause of the problem.

For example, if the problem is due to small cracks in a couple of pipes around the exhaust system, your professional mechanic could replace them or repair the damaged ones.

On the other hand, if the problem is coming from a blown head gasket that resulted in an oil leak around the engine, it might not be worth repairing the vehicle until you are sure that repair costs are not getting as high as the value of the vehicle.

As recommendations for our readers, we advised them to ask themselves the following questions before attempting any car repairs:

  • Does your car have high mileage, and there are expected damages soon?
  • Our repair costs are getting close to the value of the vehicle.
  • Are there any other damages in the car that also requires high repair costs?

If you decided to answer any of the previously mentioned questions with a yes, it might not be worth repairing your car.


Well, what's my other option? 


If you decided that it's not worth repairing your car because of exhaust smells like burning oil, you are at the right location.

Did you know that you can sell your car to us despite its type or condition? Yes! Our company buys any vehicle, whether it's broken, rusted, or even completely damaged!

We don't only buy damaged cars, but we also buy cars in good condition, and we are willing to pay up to $15,000 for the right vehicle.

Did you know that our company provides free tooling for all customers despite their living location around the United States?

Yes, we will come to your house or office and remove your vehicle within one to three days from your phone call.

To get started with our team, you can give us a call and describe your vehicle type and condition. Once you provide this information, our team will provide you with an instant offer within 30 seconds of submitting the information. After receiving our offer, it's up to you to accept it or rejected it.

If you decided to move forward with our process and the offer seems reasonable to you, we will schedule a pickup location and time that works best. 

At the pickup time, we will inspect your vehicle quickly to confirm that the vehicle matches the information we have in our system.

After the inspection, we will hand you the cash payment right on the spot! 


In general, if you started smelling something weird coming out of your vehicle, whether it's related to the exhaust system or not, you must not drive the vehicle, and you must consult a professional mechanic immediately.

If the burning smell comes from your exhaust system, the problems usually related to either a problem with the catalytic converter, an oil leak from the engine, and any other leaks from the exhaust system itself.

Getting this problem resolved depends heavily on the source of the problem, and while some of the causes might be easily fixed, all other causes can be very expensive. Several drivers ended up scrapping their vehicles because they could not afford the appearance costs as it got close to the vehicle's value. 

Luckily, our company buys vehicles from all makes, models, and years whether they have a problem with the exhaust system or not.

Therefore, we advise you to contact our team and describe the type your car condition of your ca receive your instant offer. 

Don't waste your time and effort trying to repair this vehicle if repair costs are very high and are getting closer to the vehicle's price. Get in touch with our team today!