Automotive

Oil smell in cabin

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[OP]
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Dec 11, 2008
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Oil smell in cabin

Noticed an oily smell after the car has been parked. Odor is slowly gone as I drive.
Doesn't always happen. Didn't bother me much at first, but noticed it has been recurrent.

I checked the oil level a few times now and it is always full. What could be the problem?
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Aug 22, 2011
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Make, model and year of your vehicle?
[OP]
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vkizzle wrote: Make, model and year of your vehicle?
2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
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Didn't find any systemic issues reported by other owners, but can be a slow leak that burns away after driving.
[OP]
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vkizzle wrote: Didn't find any systemic issues reported by other owners, but can be a slow leak that burns away after driving.
Aw ok, last oil change was back in Frebruary, due for one is early August.
Oil level has been consistent... must be a very slow leak.

This kind of thing would be covered by warranty right? Gonna have the car checked...
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Could be crankcase vapors that are not pulled back into the engine and released through the air intake. When did you notice this? Was it hot outside? Car running, just started?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crankcase ... ion_system
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[OP]
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koffey wrote: Could be crankcase vapors that are not pulled back into the engine and released through the air intake. When did you notice this? Was it hot outside? Car running, just started?
I think I noticed it for the first time 2 or 3 at most months ago. I guess it was still cold outside back then. Smell is more noticeable on hotter days I guess?

I noticed it as soon as I enter the car, after is has been parked. But like I said, it doesn't always happen. Or maybe the odor is just less pronounced so I don't notice it.
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Madevilz wrote: Aw ok, last oil change was back in Frebruary, due for one is early August.
Oil level has been consistent... must be a very slow leak.

This kind of thing would be covered by warranty right? Gonna have the car checked...
Only assumptions at this time, but yes it will be covered under warranty.
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Madevilz wrote: I think I noticed it for the first time 2 or 3 at most months ago. I guess it was still cold outside back then. Smell is more noticeable on hotter days I guess?

I noticed it as soon as I enter the car, after is has been parked. But like I said, it doesn't always happen. Or maybe the odor is just less pronounced so I don't notice it.
Sounds like crankcase blow-by to me which is 'normal', lol. Get it checked since it's new but I suspect you'll hear, everything is fine.
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[OP]
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alright, thanks for help guys. I'll just have it checked when I have the oil change.
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koffey wrote: Sounds like crankcase blow-by to me which is 'normal', lol. Get it checked since it's new but I suspect you'll hear, everything is fine.
I just noticed this after playing with different scenario, I only smell the oil when I turn the air on.
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Madevilz wrote: I just noticed this after playing with different scenario, I only smell the oil when I turn the air on.
For a modern vehicle, I can't see it being crank case blow-by, as the vapour and pressure is plumb back into the intake manifold via PCV.
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vkizzle wrote: For a modern vehicle, I can't see it being crank case blow-by, as the vapour and pressure is plumb back into the intake manifold via PCV.
Could it be something serious that I need to check asap, or can it wait till my next oil change?
Oil level still at full...
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Madevilz wrote: Could it be something serious that I need to check asap, or can it wait till my next oil change?
Oil level still at full...
No oil/fluid stains on the driveway, no check engine light...I say you're good to wait until the next oil change.

Double check oil level, just to be sure it's not below the low line.
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Madevilz wrote: Could it be something serious that I need to check asap
could be

you're under warranty so might as well use it
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DJ_Peanuts22 wrote: could be

you're under warranty so might as well use it
right, booked an appointment for next week...

I am not sure, but I think most of the time, this happens after I use heat or AC (such as today), and then come to a stop, only to get the smell once I come back.
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vkizzle wrote: For a modern vehicle, I can't see it being crank case blow-by, as the vapour and pressure is plumb back into the intake manifold via PCV.
Happens frequently on modern engines, most have turbos just like the OPs.
turbocharged engines also experience periods of high intake manifold pressure during which the PCV valve is closed and the crankcase fumes are admitted to the engine via the breather and air cleaner.
Here's the jist:


keep in mind that we are talking about a very small percentage of pressure here (as long as your engine is in good running order), but that pressure still has to go somewhere. For this reason, your car has a Positive Crank-Case Ventilation (or PCV) to release this pressure, and it will rout it back into your intake system.

There are two reasons that this is sent back into the intake, rather than being sent out to atmosphere. The first is that Automobile manufacturers aren’t allowed to emit anything directly to the atmosphere for environmental reasons. The second is that it can actually be advantageous for there to be a slight vacuum present in the crank-case because then there is less on the piston’s down-stroke.

However, because this air comes from the crank-case where there is a lot of oil present, this air usually has some oil vapor present in it. This oil is also referred to as blow-by, and in moderation, it is completely normal.
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koffey wrote: Happens frequently on modern engines, most have turbos just like the OPs.



Here's the jist:


keep in mind that we are talking about a very small percentage of pressure here (as long as your engine is in good running order), but that pressure still has to go somewhere. For this reason, your car has a Positive Crank-Case Ventilation (or PCV) to release this pressure, and it will rout it back into your intake system.

There are two reasons that this is sent back into the intake, rather than being sent out to atmosphere. The first is that Automobile manufacturers aren’t allowed to emit anything directly to the atmosphere for environmental reasons. The second is that it can actually be advantageous for there to be a slight vacuum present in the crank-case because then there is less on the piston’s down-stroke.

However, because this air comes from the crank-case where there is a lot of oil present, this air usually has some oil vapor present in it. This oil is also referred to as blow-by, and in moderation, it is completely normal.
Which can be detrimental to DI engines, especially turbocharged and thus why I will be installing a catch-can in my 3.5L TT.

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