Burning Smell After Oil Change? What Actions Can You Take?

Naomi O'Colman

Burning Smell After Oil Change

Burning Smell After Oil Change

Experiencing burning smell after oil change? To get rid of the burning oil smell in your vehicle, you were probably advised to have an oil change. However, following an oil change, you may notice that your automobile smells like burnt oil!

After an oil change, a car may smell like burning oil for a variety of reasons. Some of the causes could be linked to a previous issue that occurred before the oil change, whereas others could be linked to the oil change itself.

It’s critical to become familiar with the various causes in order to pinpoint the issue and resolve it quickly.

Burning smell after oil change: The explanation

Essentially, the sole reason for smelling burning oil is because of leaking oil hoses in the engine area. Oil travels through channels to get to the different components in a car’s engine room.

  What Are the Best RV Awning Lights?

Oil will spill and drop on the metallic surfaces of the parts in the engine bay if any of the transit channels fail. When the automobile is driven for a few miles, all of the elements in the engine bay heat up, causing the oil to burn, which could be the source of your problem.

However, since the burning smell first became apparent after an oil change, it’s possible that one or more components were not securely closed; most likely, the filter was not fully re-installed, or the drain plug was not tightened.

The burning odor could also be due to little oil droplets that must have fallen on your engine’s surface whilst the mechanic was performing the oil change. As a result, as the car runs and the engine gets hot, the oil begins to burn, emitting the odor you’re smelling.

Whatever circumstance you’re in, your car will smell like burning oil following an oil change since oil has come into contact with metal in the engine compartment. Another possible source of the odor is being in close proximity to an oil and gas producing facility that is burning off oil for whatever reason.

I strongly warn you not to take this lightly. Burning oil can cause additional serious problems, and whatever damage occurs in the engine bay will cost you a lot of money – assuming the primary engine isn’t badly harmed.

Your engine requires oil to keep it healthy and function properly, but it does not require oil to fall on its surface.

  How to Fix Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air

Is It Okay if I Keep Driving It?

Well, the answer to this question is very dependent on the root of the issue. For example, if you’ve determined that the burning oil is simply a couple of oil drops that have caught fire surrounding the engine, you don’t need to be concerned, and you can keep driving your vehicle.

If the problem is caused by a blown head gasket, you must immediately stop driving and have your vehicle towed to a skilled repair.

When dealing with oil-burning odors in vehicles, automotive experts normally advise you to stop driving and visit a skilled mechanic to see whether something is wrong.

When Your Car Smells Like Burning Oil, What Should You Do?

What you should do to solve the burning oil smell depends on the reason leading to the problem. Different causes require different actions.

Oil spillage or drips

oil spills on car's engine surface

When oil is replaced, it is conceivable that oil droplets will fall on metallic surfaces. The burning fragrance will fade away when the oil has entirely burned off.

Stop the car and wait for the engine to rest before opening the bonnet and cleaning the spillage or drips.


When a mechanic fills the oil to the brim, it can produce oil spillage, which can lead to a burning odor when driving. Recognizing that this could be the cause of the problem, you should pull over to the side of the road and test the oil level using the dipstick.

If the oil level is higher than the acceptable level, drain it and refill it to a reasonable level. If your oil was changed by a mechanic, you can return home and adjust the level.

  Can You Paint Over Line X? [A Detailed Guide]

Leakage of oil

Oil appears to fall from the leaking locations when the hosts and tubes that carry oil through the engine bay are leaking. This could be the source of your problem, so keep an eye out for any leaks.

You may find it difficult to locate oil leakage places, therefore, you should enlist the help of a professional. Ensure that the leaking hose is thoroughly replaced.


Is a burning odor typical after changing the oil?

No, smelling burning after an oil change is not typical. You should pay attention to any strange odors that enter the car.

An oil cap that wasn’t screwed on securely enough, a loose drain plug, a filter that wasn’t properly installed, or an oil leak may be to blame if you notice the odor soon after an oil change.

How long does it take the burning oil smell to disappear?

If the burning oil scent is caused by oil spills on the engine surface or exhaust smoke, you will smell the fuel for a short period of time in the air. The aroma will naturally disappear after a few days.

How can I get rid of the burning oil smell?

Burning oil has an extremely terrible smell. Leave bowls of vinegar, baking soda, or coffee grounds in the car’s cabin overnight to absorb scents for quicker odor removal.


It is believed that doing an oil change will address all of our vehicle’s problems. While this is a clear and typical scenario, you may find that your car smells like burnt oil after an oil change in some situations.

  Troubleshooting Bad Starter on Car Symptoms [Updated]

This odor is usually caused by a problem with the oil change or a different issue with other parts in your car.

Whatever the reason or cause for your vehicle’s oil burn problem, you should have it evaluated and repaired by a skilled mechanic. If you ignore the burning smell in your car, you could end up with serious issues that can cost a fortune.