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Old 12-04-2017, 01:41 AM   #1
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Default 2012 1.8L LT Sedan Burning Smell

Forgive me if this has been answered before and if so, please direct me to the thread. I get this burning smell of oil/rubber/plastic after the car has run a while. Oil level is full (have about 1/2 to go before I need to change the oil again) and the coolant level is down maybe 1" from the seam in the reservoir.

Only thing I noticed was a bit of smoke that you could see by the left headlight (which appeared to be coming from under the hood). It's surely a smell of fluid/plastic/rubber as others have described.

I looked through and found similar threads to this, but I was wondering if anyone else experienced this and what the solution was. I'm leaving for a business trip tomorrow and I plan to have a look underneath on Saturday when I get back home as I want to change the oil in both of my commuter cars to avoid having to do it in the bitter cold .

Thanks for any input as always.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #2
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when engine is cold, ensure your coolant is RIGHT at the max line.

also when cold, look in that area for signs of a leak, or burnt plastic/tape. It could be something as simple as a wire against your exhaust header...
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:05 PM   #3
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I thought mine was coolant from thermostat.might have been oil.leak
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natesriv View Post
when engine is cold, ensure your coolant is RIGHT at the max line.

also when cold, look in that area for signs of a leak, or burnt plastic/tape. It could be something as simple as a wire against your exhaust header...
Thanks. The level is down about a 1/2" to 3/4" of an inch from the seam in the reservoir. When I drove to work on Monday, the smell wasn't that bad after 22 miles of driving. It was worse the day before for a local run.

I will hopefully have it up on the stands this weekend to do an oil change and have a look around....
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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I thought mine was coolant from thermostat.might have been oil.leak
T-stat area looks dry. It's kind of a mixed smell of coolant and oil (it's really hard to tell which it might be by smell in my belief).

Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2017, 02:10 PM   #6
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I believe it's engine oil. I borrowed an inspection mirror from someone at work and I can see oil on the splash pan. But, oil filter housing where the plastic cap seats into the metal housing is dry. It appears to be coming from behind/below that and dripping onto the exhaust. I've been reading about some oil pan leakage here and there, and when I ran the mirror from the left to the right of the car underneath the exhaust shield, I did see droplets of oil forming on what appeared to be the oil pan surface/rail area, but I looked quickly.

I will have to have a better look or on the hook it goes to the dealer under warranty again....

Thanks.
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Last edited by Ponchoguy; 12-11-2017 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:12 PM   #7
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Was on the money with my analysis:

1) Leaky oil pan.
2) Leaky valve cover gasket.

among other problems I pointed out....will report back more when I have the paperwork in front of me.

Thanks to all who chimed in.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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Got it back with three pages of paperwork:

1) Oil was leaking from the valve cover and the oil cooler (which includes the oil filter, it's the whole housing), both replaced along with various seals, as well as the oil pan gasket/sealer, so we were on the money with that.

2) Right front power window slow was "clean and lube track" (not any better).

3) Cooling system was indeed leaking, and they flushed and filled the coolant and agreed that it should not have been that dirty after being changed recently with the replacement of the cylinder head and gasket. It was still a little low when I got it back, so I topped it off with some Prestone (Dex Cool approved formula). They also stated that the hose leading to the coolant recovery tank was bad, so they changed that.

4) Clamp on air intake hose was rubbing on a coolant outlet hose going to the throttle body. When they replaced the duct at the time of the head gasket, the technician had the clamp digging into the hose, which I pointed out on my list.

5) Replaced serpentine belt, I complained of a chirp every now and then. According to GM, this is a 97.5k replacement item.

Out of service for 4 days....maybe this helps someone in the future with the same problems.
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Last edited by Ponchoguy; 12-16-2017 at 05:36 PM.
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