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Bad or Burnt Exhaust smell in cabin during hard acceleration.

Has anyone heard of, found, or experienced a solution to the Ford Explorer exhaust issue?


  • Total voters
    13

1

1banger

2011 EXP LTD BD 06/02/2011. 1000 miles.

Burnt oil smell during hard acceleration. This is easily repeatable and
happens every time.

Well now we have another confirmed issue with my LTD. Under hard accelerations
coming from an on ramp and merging with fast moving
traffic only. Other wise, all you smell is the new leather in the cabin.

Accelerating normally, no smell. You have to accelerate at 3500 to
5000 rpm for this to occur. A/C is on, does not matter if climate is
set to "recirculation" or if set to vent outside air. If anything, it is
more acute if vent is set to "recirc".

I am assuming the vent door blend system on this vehicle is operated via
vacuum created by the intake manifold and piped through the firewall
to a distribution block some where under the dash. As it takes a couple
of seconds for the doors to move when changing climate settings.
If this is true there could be an issue on how the vacuum lines were
run during factory assembly, or a bad one way vacuum check valve
causing some of the crank case fumes (intended to be recirculated
back into the intake manifold to be re-burnt as part of this vehicles emissions solution),
to enter the vacuum tubing being routed to the cabin for blend door operation.

But even then, there would probably have to be a loose vacuum tube somewhere
under the interior's dash to allow the fumes to leak into the
cabin air.

This only occurs under hard acceleration when very high amounts
of vacuum are generated by the intake manifold.

Of course, I could be way off base and blend door activation could be
electrically driven, but most car makers use a vacuum system, and
have not had the opportunity to discuss this with the
service team yet, but will tomorrow when I take in to have the suspension
popping noise diagnosed. Apparently they will need to keep it all day for
that, so they can also take a look at the vacuum line routing,
check valve operation and the EGR tube routing to see if every thing looks correct.

I have found during searching this forum, that others have experienced this
also. But have seemed to write it off as the vehicle just burning off some
under coating over spray or something vague like that. But if that were the issue,
you would smell it all the time once the vehicle systems warmed up to operating temperatures.
And the smell should be much less when not venting air from the outside of the vehicle and
somewhat more when climate control is
set to "vent" and you are venting air from the outside.

We will have to see what the service team can come up with.
 
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Bill #5 Explorer

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Regardless, why are you doing all of this "hard accelerations" during the engine break in process?
 


JDraper

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I also have "the smell" and I've got about 5k miles on my vehicle. Only under hard acceleration and it is very repeatable. Last time it was in for service I had them look at it and they couldn't find anything, but also had trouble reproducing the smell. I think they might not have pushed the vehicle hard enough to re-produce it. I'll be going back in the near future to give them a ride with me driving to point it out...
 


1

1banger

Regardless, why are you doing all of this "hard accelerations" during the engine break in process?
Yes, you do need to follow recommended break in procedures that the
manufacturer sets. But not to the point of not driving in a safe
manner.

I have done this only as required to make safe merges into flowing traffic
on an Interstate on ramp. The first time I did it, I made note of the smell,
hard not to notice actually. Then on the same on ramp I use to come
home from work everyday, I tried it with "recirc" on and off. And with the A/C on and off.
Only difference being less smell with vent on. I guess because with the vent on and mixing
outside air with the smelly inside air it is less intense.

Traffic that this on ramp feeds into is between 65 and 75 mph, so there is little choice
as far as using aggressive acceleration to safely merge, the ramp is not
that long, the first part is about a 10% incline, and it is afternoon "coming
home from work" rush traffic.

Regardless, if manufacturers built engines unable to do this periodically even within the
first thousand miles or so of use with out damaging them, they would be replacing a lot
of motors and be broke very soon.

I'll be going back in the near future to give them a ride with me driving to point it out...
Good idea, I am a former ASE certified mechanic, and will tell them not to waste their time trying to duplicate
this with out me driving to show them.
 


cbx1047

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I too smell the burnt oil. Only after a hard merge! It really does smell bad. I think the first post of this describing it is right on. I wonder how many miles you have to put on this ford before it is broke in and the
smell goes away? I have 8000 on mine.
 


1sttimeford

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Ditto. Floor it, wait about 3-5 seconds... smell in the cabin.

I have approx 3500 miles on my Ex. I switched to full synthetic oil (Mobil 1) after a 1000 mile break in period.
 


MikeFreas

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For those who smell buring oil make sure you are checking the oil level at every fill up or so. We have a friend who's brand new Honday mini van seized the engine because there was no oil in it. Some of these V6's have documented issues consuming oil. Her repair was not covered because Honda said she should have checked it every time she fueled up and went on to add the acceptable oil burn rate was in excess of 1qt a month!
 


JDraper

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Checked my oil level yesterday. It's fine.
 


cbx1047

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My engine oil level is fine too. Last oil change at Ford 2000 miles ago.
 


1

1banger

This not a case of the engine burning relative amounts of oil. This smell
is from vented crankcase fumes. Which include oil vapor, and any combusted
but not completely combusted fuel that manages to "blow by" the
piston rings during the combustion cycle in the cylinders. These fumes
are piped from the crankcase section of the block and re-routed back
to the intake manifold to be re-burnt in the combustion chamber. This
provides cleaner emissions for the engine.

How these fumes or gases reach the passenger cabin under aggressive
acceleration is the issue. This type of emissions solution is used on
most gasoline engines today, and this is the first time I have ever smelled this
inside a passenger cabin of any car or truck I have driven.

This smell will not go away with engine break in or many thousands of
miles on it. There is always some amount of "blow by" in internal combustion engines,
and you will always smell this under aggressive acceleration, until the
root cause is found and addressed.

This is part of the emissions solution package for the engine design, and being that
emissions are regulated by the Federal government, this could be a serious issue to
have vapors intended to be re-burnt in the engine to pass emission requirements,
escaping into the environment from what should be a closed system.

Then again I could be wrong about this, as I have no proof yet. But it is a logical
conclusion based on the what we know about emission solutions for gasoline
engines.

I am pretty sure there is a problem with some sort of check valve solution
on this system, as it only happens during high rpm operation where the
internal crankcase atmospheric pressure reachs high levels, as does the
vacuum pressure in the intake manifold.

If you want to experience the smell without the aggressive acceleration,
with the motor at operating temperature, but not running, remove the oil cap
and take a wiff.
 
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MikeFreas

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This not a case of the engine burning relative amounts of oil. This smell
is from vented crankcase fumes. Which include oil vapor, and any combusted
but not completely combusted fuel that manages to "blow by" the
piston rings during the combustion cycle in the cylinders. These fumes
are piped from the crankcase section of the block and re-routed back
to the intake manifold to be re-burnt in the combustion chamber. This
provides cleaner emissions for the engine.

How these fumes or gases reach the passenger cabin under aggressive
acceleration is the issue. This type of emissions solution is used on
most gasoline engines today, and this is the first time I have ever smelled this
inside a passenger cabin of any car or truck I have driven.

This smell will not go away with engine break in or many thousands of
miles on it. There is always some amount of "blow by" in internal combustion engines,
and you will always smell this under aggressive acceleration, until the
root cause is found and addressed.

This is part of the emissions solution package for the engine design, and being that
emissions are regulated by the Federal government, this could be a serious issue to
have vapors intended to be re-burnt in the engine to pass emission requirements,
escaping into the environment from what should be a closed system.

Then again I could be wrong about this, as I have no proof yet. But it is a logical
conclusion based on the what we know about emission solutions for gasoline
engines.

I am pretty sure there is a problem with some sort of check valve solution
on this system, as it only happens during high rpm operation where the
internal crankcase atmospheric pressure reachs high levels, as does the
vacuum pressure in the intake manifold.

If you want to experience the smell without the aggressive acceleration,
with the motor at operating temperature, but not running, remove the oil cap
and take a wiff.
Your explanation is 100% correct from what I know and understand about emission systems. The issue then isn't the oil smell but toxic gases entering the passenger cabin. If oil fumes/smell are coming in than the rest of the stuff in the exhaust is also.
 


calb

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Your explanation is 100% correct from what I know and understand about emission systems. The issue then isn't the oil smell but toxic gases entering the passenger cabin. If oil fumes/smell are coming in than the rest of the stuff in the exhaust is also.
Is Ford even aware that this issue exists? Cory?
 


Rocketfan

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+1, I noticed this and thought it might be the car but it might also just be the areas I was driving through. Just did a non-scientific test (well past break in period for me/ wife was complaining whole time I drove like grandma), and noticed the burnt oil smell when accelerating hard to get on freeway (both coming and going with re-circulation on). Hope Ford fixes this. Until then, I will probably drive like a grandma again.
 


FordService

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To those of you who have smelled burnt oil,

I’m not a technician and I’m not allowed to guess whether this is a known issue, so I’d like to assist you by escalating your concern and arranging for you to be called. If you haven’t already done so, please send me a private message with your contact info, VIN, dealer name, and approximate mileage.

Cory
 


Saundman

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Side note: Is it hard to check the Transmission levels?
 


peanut0426

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I'm glad I'm not the only one that is smelling this. I stopped at my dealer and told them about the problem and I am dropping it off next week for them to look at. I'm going to bet they don't find anything. I have also noticed the last three times just getting into my ex that there is a gassy smell. And I smell it very lightly while driving too.
 


Bonnie Lynn

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I've also had this problem. I have about 1,700 miles on my Ex. I thought it was related to the transmission, and I called my dealer yesterday and he told me that the transmission had a sealant around it, and that's what is smelling. I asked him how many miles would this happen, up to 5,000? He told me it could even be closer to 10,000 miles on the vehicle. He said if there was a real problem, that it would come up on my warning lights. Sounds pretty weird for a vehicle that was $40,000 + to have a smell such as this.
 


FordService

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I've also had this problem. I have about 1,700 miles on my Ex. I thought it was related to the transmission, and I called my dealer yesterday and he told me that the transmission had a sealant around it, and that's what is smelling. I asked him how many miles would this happen, up to 5,000? He told me it could even be closer to 10,000 miles on the vehicle. He said if there was a real problem, that it would come up on my warning lights. Sounds pretty weird for a vehicle that was $40,000 + to have a smell such as this.
I wanted to let you know Bonnie Lynn, I received your PM and sent you a reply back. In case you didn’t check your inbox yet, please see my message for the details.

Cory
 


esandye

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I also have "the smell" and I've got about 5k miles on my vehicle. Only under hard acceleration and it is very repeatable. Last time it was in for service I had them look at it and they couldn't find anything, but also had trouble reproducing the smell. I think they might not have pushed the vehicle hard enough to re-produce it. I'll be going back in the near future to give them a ride with me driving to point it out...
I tested mine today, reved up to 6000 rpm entering freeway and did it twice, no smell and never smelled anything before either. I have 4300 miles on the car so not everyone has the problem.
 

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1

1banger

I tested mine today, reved up to 6000 rpm entering freeway and did it twice, no smell and never smelled anything before either. I have 4300 miles on the car so not everyone has the problem.
Glad to hear yours is ok.

This is good news. It means this issue should be able to be fixed by Ford.
 


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