Q: Burning oil from engine and breathing the fumes within the vehicle

asked by on March 14, 2017

I'm a little concerned. My truck has been leaking oil for at least two years. Since then I have noticed that every time I drove the truck the smell of burning oil would come in through the vents and fill up the cab. It would smell like burning oil and burning rubber. At times, I do notice smoke. Should I be concerned with that smell and/or smoke and the way it fills the cab? Is it dangerous and do I have to worry about my truck catching fire due to the oil leak? Thanks, Larry A.

My car has 30000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Larry. Thanks for writing in to YourMechanic.com. Anytime you smell oil inside the cab of your vehicle it is a potential safety issue which should be addressed sooner rather than later. In some cases, the smell of oil is caused by oil that was spilled during a recent oil change or when oil was added; while in other cases the issue is caused by parts that have malfunctioned. On the health side of thing, breathing in oil smoke in a closed cabin is not very healthy; especially if you live with COPD, Asthma or other respiratory conditions. On the mechanical side, if oil is leaking from a mechanical component, that means it’s not doing it primary job of lubricating moving parts; which can lead to serious engine damage. I would recommend having a professional mechanic complete an oil / fluid leaking inspection; so they can locate the source of this smell and resolve the issue before it creates additional problems; including catching fire.

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