Oil Burning Smell (PTU) | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Oil Burning Smell (PTU)


New Member
May 25, 2020
Reaction score
City, State
Los Angeles, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explorer (FPIU)
Hi there, just joined the forum and looking forward to all the advice.
Story being, I bought a 2016 FPIU bout 3 years ago and it’s been a bulletproof car ever since. But as of recently it’s been in and out of the shop for a variety of things. I recently just had the Transmission fluid flushed due to some moderate surging and unstable rpm’s on low acceleration which the flush has fixed pretty much instantaneously. But I was informed by my service advisor that they saw moisture around the PTU citing a possible leak. And since I took my car from the dealership im having a burning smell coming from the vehicle and a light brownish fluid leaking very very slowly which I suspect is oil and it smells burnt as well. Literally had nothing leaking or smelling before I took it into the dealership. Now that I got my oil changed and tranny flushed all of this is popping up out of nowhere and was wondering what you guys think? Dealership is warranting a replacement averaging around $1700-2K to replace the PTU. Bought the car at 70K miles and is now hovering at close to 108,000K. My understanding after some research is that this is a non serviceable item and has to be replaced. So am I just totally screwed and gonna have to cough the $ to replace or is there another option?

2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility


Staff member
Elite Explorer
December 28, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Russell, Ontario (Ottawa area)
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Aviator Reserve
Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
There were many issues with the PTU in the earlier models of the 5th gen and there still are some. I know that many had the seal replaced. I'm not sure if that can be done on the 2016 or later models. Here are a few threads I found using the Forum's 'Search' feature.
BTW, the PTU has very little fluid to start (17.9 fl. oz.) with and many members are now recommending a fluid change about every 30k miles.