BURNING SMELL

  • Tiny
  • SMac
  • 1999 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 72,000 MILES

I have a 1999 Chevy Cavaliar 2.2lL. My oil light keeps coming on but my oil levels are fine so are the rest of my fluids. If I run my car for more than 15 minutes, I start to smell something burning, any ideas what to check?

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 AT 10:56 PM

3 Replies

  • Tiny
  • Caradiodoc
  • EXPERT
  • 25,988 POSTS

That warning light is for oil pressure, not level. Have the pressure checked with a mechanical gauge. If it really is low, as the light indicates, suspect worn engine bearings. If it is not low, suspect a defective sending unit. Those aren't real expensive.

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 AT 11:13 PM
  • Tiny
  • SMac
  • MEMBER

Worn engine bearings? Would that also cause the burning smell?

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 6:43 PM
  • Tiny
  • Caradiodoc
  • EXPERT
  • 25,988 POSTS

Nope. A common cause of the smell is oil leaking from the oil pressure sending unit. (When you smell hot oil, it can be leaking from anywhere). A sending unit that reports incorrect pressure / turns on the oil warning light when it shouldn't is often accompanied by leaking past an internal seal. That would be the place to start looking. The sending unit will usually be near the oil filter.

Valve cover gaskets often leak oil onto the hot exhaust manifold. You'll smell that. There's lots of other causes of smells like electrical problems, sticking brakes, and accessory drive belts.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 7:21 PM

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