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Mystery oil smoke smell


Well-Known Member
October 29, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Colorado Springs, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Lincoln Aviator
I'm running out of ideas...

I thought it was the valve cover gaskets, so I fixed them. There was some seepage, but not a lot. I thought it was main seal or pan. There is some seepage, but very little. I've never seen a drop of oil on the ground even after sitting for days. If there actually is an oil leak, its so small it would not be worth fixing.

There is some burning smell around the engine compartment, but it defies logic that at 70mph I could be getting any of it picked up through the fresh air cowel.

So this morning I realized I only get oil/exhaust smoke in the cabin on heat. When AC is on, it doesn't happen. It's as if the heater is sucking the air directly from the engine compartment.

Is there some place that there could be a large leak? Maybe someone replaced the heater core and forgot a gasket?

Is it possibly an exhaust system leak? I can't hear anything, and although the exhaust looks original, it's in decent shape.

If someone has had the system apart before and is familiar with it, I'd appreciate some insight!