Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

Oil Smell After Switching To Synthetic


Recommended Posts

my last oil change I decided to switch to synthetic. I have a 93 es300 with 75k on it now. I bought it probably...8 months ago? And I had used regular oil up until the last oil change. Now after driving for like 5-10 mins I can smell a burning oil smell. It's kinda fluctuates on the intensity of the smell, but it's never unbearable or anything. Anyway should I switch back to regular oil? Help :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you leaking any oil from the valve cover gaskets? It sounds like you have an oil leak. Either find and take care of the leak, or switch back to regular oil. Synthetic oil's molecules are smaller than regular, which is good because it can better protect parts. The downside is that since it's finer molecule it will find leaks easily and it will over time remove any gunk that the regular oil left behind, uncovering any hidden leaks that the old oil covered up. Synthetic oil doesn't cause leaks, it simply points out where the leaks are.

Oh ya forgot to add that it may simply be that when the oil was being changed, some oil may spilled onto the engine and is burning off. I'd have the engine looked anyway just in case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Synthetic oil doesn't cause leaks, it simply points out where the leaks are.

Im SO glad you added that line.

this way i can respond in the thread (i have sworn off synth vs non threads forever). Too much BS on the net.

unfortunately, it sounds like your valve covers may be leaking.

The first thing i would do though, is change the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. That probably should have been done 25K miles ago. It will cause leaks if it gets clogged.

An internal combustion engine creates pressure. (Forgive me if im talking down to you, but you havent indicated whether or not you are mechanically inclined or not, so if you are, i mean no offense by any of this). The PCV valve takes the exces oil and pressure, and puts it back through the intake system to be burned withthe gas. Unfortunately, if this valve clogs, the excess pressure cannot get though, as a result, your gaskets will begin to leak as the pressure breaches them. Usually the valve covers are the first to go. This is simply because they are closest to the valve.

the good news is, that this is a fairly straighforward fix. If you cant get it done at a shop for under $450, go to a different shop. and if you DIY, you can do it under $100, including the PCV valve.

I know i hound on this, but it really is such a simple task, and a $7.00 part.

Other possibilites are the Rear Main Seal between the engine and transaxle (transmission). unfortunately, this will run as high as $1,000 to replace at a shop, but start with the little things.

and vcv10guy is right, the Synthetic didnt cause your leak if indeed you have one. it was already there. it just didnt leak bad enough to notice until you switched.

keep the synth in there.

also, a possibility could be your camshaft and crankshaft seasl leaking. if this is the case, get that and your timing belt and water pump a litttle early, shouldnt run more than $850-$1000. this typically doest happen until 90k, but its known to happen earlier, especially if the car is older.

seals arent nessecarily affected by mileage, but my age. the get old and britle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

QUOTE

Synthetic oil doesn't cause leaks, it simply points out where the leaks are.

Im SO glad you added that line.

this way i can respond in the thread (i have sworn off synth vs non threads forever). Too much BS on the net.

haha, no problem. I made sure that I took care of my valve cover gaskets and other leaks before switching to synthetic. Ya there is a lot of those threads synth vs. non synthetic threads around, which are very heated. Good post by the way. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds about right. My car has been leaking oil and I had the valve cover gasket and pcv replaced about a week ago. It's leaked since I owned it (not a lot, like there would be a few drops on the ground after I leave it overnight) but I only started noticing the burning smell after I switched to synthetic.

I'm not super mechanically inclined, but I do know a few things. Don't worry about offending me though :) I have owned a few CRX's before my es300 and I always worked on them. But they're so much simpler..I didn't trust myself to do the valve cover gasket :)

One other question, besides the transaxle, are there any other places it could be leaking? Would the oilpan do it?

Thanks for the info guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How old is old? Would a 1997 ES with 75k be considered likely to have hidden leaks? Dead honestly, I do not know when the PCV has been changed last, as I had it for only 2 years. But, I did have a 60k tune up this past October. I use real oil now, but would like to switch to synthetic soon so I can keep my girl running for a long time. Plus I drive hard and I do not want to wear out a Lexus engine and be forced to drive an 89 Hyundai or something.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How old is old? Would a 1997 ES with 75k be considered likely to have hidden leaks? Dead honestly, I do not know when the PCV has been changed last, as I had it for only 2 years. But, I did have a 60k tune up this past October. I use real oil now, but would like to switch to synthetic soon so I can keep my girl running for a long time. Plus I drive hard and I do not want to wear out a Lexus engine and be forced to drive an 89 Hyundai or something.

Thanks.

Changing a PCV valve is considered regular maintenance and should be done when a tune up is performed. Have the car checked out thoroughly & if the car does not have any existing oil leaks anywhere, you can switch to synthetic no problem.....if it does, have the leaks fixed before you switch. Synthetic oil does not cause an engine to leak........but it can 'expose' a leak since it flow's much better, especially at very cold temps. B)

:cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds about right. My car has been leaking oil and I had the valve cover gasket and pcv replaced about a week ago. It's leaked since I owned it (not a lot, like there would be a few drops on the ground after I leave it overnight) but I only started noticing the burning smell after I switched to synthetic.

I'm not super mechanically inclined, but I do know a few things. Don't worry about offending me though :) I have owned a few CRX's before my es300 and I always worked on them. But they're so much simpler..I didn't trust myself to do the valve cover gasket :)

One other question, besides the transaxle, are there any other places it could be leaking? Would the oilpan do it?

Thanks for the info guys!

When my '92 ES was leaking and my '92 Camry V6 was too (ya I got hit at the same with the same problems, the Camry was worse though), the 3 areas that were leaking oil were the valve cover gaskets/cam plug seals (looks like a half moon on the side of the valve cover), the oil housing gasket, and the distributor O ring. The oil pan gasket can have leaks too (my didn't though, thank goodness). I'd first have the engine pressure washed, then put a dye in the oil, and drive the car for a few days, and run a blacklight on your engine to see if there are any leaks. That's what my tech did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds about right. My car has been leaking oil and I had the valve cover gasket and pcv replaced about a week ago. It's leaked since I owned it (not a lot, like there would be a few drops on the ground after I leave it overnight) but I only started noticing the burning smell after I switched to synthetic.

I'm not super mechanically inclined, but I do know a few things. Don't worry about offending me though :) I have owned a few CRX's before my es300 and I always worked on them. But they're so much simpler..I didn't trust myself to do the valve cover gasket :)

One other question, besides the transaxle, are there any other places it could be leaking? Would the oilpan do it?

Thanks for the info guys!

oil pan can leak yes. but it shouldnt cause the smell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have a 96 lexus with about 85,000 miles on it its never had a tuneup,or anything like that. what would i have to do to go and check if i have any problems,liek is it gonna cost money for a diagnostic test and how much?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have a 96 lexus with about 85,000 miles on it its never had a tuneup,or anything like that. what would i have to do to go and check if i have any problems,liek is it gonna cost money for a diagnostic test and how much?

most speedy lubes will do tuneups for $150 or so.

check your local listings :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my '92 ES was leaking and my '92 Camry V6 was too (ya I got hit at the same with the same problems, the Camry was worse though), the 3 areas that were leaking oil were the valve cover gaskets/cam plug seals (looks like a half moon on the side of the valve cover), the oil housing gasket, and the distributor O ring.  The oil pan gasket can have leaks too (my didn't though, thank goodness).  I'd first have the engine pressure washed, then put a dye in the oil, and drive the car for a few days, and run a blacklight on your engine to see if there are any leaks.  That's what my tech did.

that half-moon thing sounds familiar. I'll have to take a look at that because before I got the valve cover gaskets fixed I remember seeing oil all over that I think. ugh. oh well..whatever it takes I guess! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya, those stupid half moon plugs is what was leaking on my ES. The valve cover gaskets were okay, but the plug seals were leaking like hell. Obviously to replace those cam seal plugs, you have to take off the valve cover. In any case, the valve cover gaskets end up being replaced along with the cam seal plugs. My technician said that it's good practice to replace the the cam seal plugs (half moon) when you replacing the valve cover gaskets since you're right there and to make sure they don't end up leaking a few months later. Looks like your tech either didn't clean up the residual oil after he did the replaced everything or he did not replace the cam seal plugs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a leaking oilpan drops on to the exhaust manifold directly under the pan it will smell.

It is not like the exhaust on your ES

are you serious? the exhaust on the ES's after mine goes UNDER the oil pan? what an utterly stupid design... :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first thing i would do though, is change the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve.  That probably should have been done 25K miles ago.  It will cause leaks if it gets clogged.

It is extremely rare for a Toyota PCV valve to ever get clogged. Army, lots of the troubles you've seen with American cars, like blown up AC compressors, alternators and water pumps after just 100K miles don't happen with Asian cars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first thing i would do though, is change the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve.  That probably should have been done 25K miles ago.  It will cause leaks if it gets clogged.

It is extremely rare for a Toyota PCV valve to ever get clogged. Army, lots of the troubles you've seen with American cars, like blown up AC compressors, alternators and water pumps after just 100K miles don't happen with Asian cars

say that to my engine :rolleyes:

Cam seal:

DCP02365.sized.jpg

DCP02363.sized.jpg

What was left of the PCV valve:

DCP02142.sized.jpg

IT IS NOT RARE. it will clog, irregardless of toyota, ford, chevy, nissan. it will clog. I have spent my life around cars, i know a little something about them. when it does clog, NOT IF, but when, you will have a mess on your hands. 1 by 1, the seals will start to go. and eventually, every seal on the motor needs replaced. its better just to change it and move on.

I have seen water pumps like mine, go 150K and still look like new, i have seen water pumps on a camry, (arguably the most reliable car on earth) fail after 60K. i have seen it enough to know that maintenance schedules are there for a reason. check the OFFICIAL maintenance interval for the PCV valve, you will be surprised.

i suppose next VGR you are going to tell me the tranny fluid rarely needs changed either huh? a car is a car, lexus, or ford, the basic underpinnings of the system are the same. i gauruntee it.

searchthe forums for incedents of water pumps, power steering pumps, shocks sturts and other things failing on toyota/Lexus. you will be surprised there as well.

i suggest you go here:

http://www.toyotanation.com

and do a little searching too. asian cars are relaible, but they arent impervious to problems. and dont give me this bull*BLEEP* about a power steering pump lasting 360,000 miles, becuase in the real world, that usually doesnt happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

say that to my engine  :rolleyes:

You purchased a 15 year old Lexus that had been wildly abused and neglected by it's previous owner(s). In cases like that I agree with you the PCV valve could go bad.

Life of a Toyota / Lexus alternator is over 300,000 miles with just the brushes needing

replacement about every 150,000.

Life of Toyota / Lexus starter is virtually unlimited. Just the inexpensive starter contacts need replacing every 150,000 miles or so.

Life of Toyota / Lexus water pump is in the range of 150,000 - 250,000 miles or 15-25 years

if the factory original coolant mixture is always used at replacement time.

Life of all the the hydraulic components of a Toyota / Lexus brake system is virtually unlimited if the system's brake fluid is changed every 3-4 years using genuine Toyota Brake Fluid.

etc. etc.

Basically everything on a Toyota / Lexus lasts twice as long as any American car, including Toyota's low end models like the Echo and base model Tacoma pickups. The easiest way to see this first hand is to visit automotive junkyards and record the odometer readings of 30 American cars vs 30 Toyotas. The Toyotas have twice as many miles on average.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

say that to my engine  :rolleyes:

You purchased a 15 year old Lexus that had been wildly abused and neglected by it's previous owner(s). In cases like that I agree with you the PCV valve could go bad.

Life of a Toyota / Lexus alternator is over 300,000 miles with just the brushes needing

replacement about every 150,000.

Life of Toyota / Lexus starter is virtually unlimited. Just the inexpensive starter contacts need replacing every 150,000 miles or so.

Life of Toyota / Lexus water pump is in the range of 150,000 - 250,000 miles or 15-25 years

if the factory original coolant mixture is always used at replacement time.

Life of all the the hydraulic components of a Toyota / Lexus brake system is virtually unlimited if the system's brake fluid is changed every 3-4 years using genuine Toyota Brake Fluid.

etc. etc.

Basically everything on a Toyota / Lexus lasts twice as long as any American car, including Toyota's low end models like the Echo and base model Tacoma pickups. The easiest way to see this first hand is to visit automotive junkyards and record the odometer readings of 30 American cars vs 30 Toyotas. The Toyotas have twice as many miles on average.

An alternator is not a PCV valve, neither is a starter, neither is a water pump.

My FORD contour had 384,990 miles on it and i NEVER replaced the alternator, nor the catalytic converter, nor a single engine seal. nor a single engine part(out of need). i extended the timing belt service interval to 100,000 miles and never replaced a water pump in between, never had a wheel bearing go out...need i go further? i also had an explorer with over 600,000 miles on it, had a few problems, but nothing serious. i had it for over 30,000 miles and i knew the previous owner that had it since new, never had a bit of trouble with it for the longest time.

I am DYING to know where you are getting your information about toyota, link me to it please.

My car was not WILDLY abused, it simply wasnt driven. It was maintained, but not perfectly. I would say just below average, because it wasnt driven. I dont want to get into a p!ssing match with you. Im not arguing that toyotas last longer, if i didnt know that, you really think i would be restoring one? Sheesh...this is getting rediculous. Everything i say you have to combat. Im not stupid, and neither are 99.9% of the people on this forum...dont be in that .1%...please.

As I said above, the projected lifespan of a part is not accurately reflected in the real world. And i dont know about you, but i dont have time to go through a salvage yard and look at 60 cars. I work for a living.

NOW...back on topic please?

Kyle0k, change the PCV valve, it will take about 10 minutes. and it will save you a lot of grief. for $2.53(what mine cost) its CHEAP insurance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kyle0k, change the PCV valve, it will take about 10 minutes.  and it will save you a lot of grief.  for $2.53(what mine cost) its CHEAP insurance.

Agreed! It's a small, but important maintenance item that should be replaced at certain intervals. B)

:cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI My dealer said that once you go synthetic you shouldn't go back to normal oil.

That's what HE said.

I haven't changed to synthetic yet just because...it seems like I won't be able to go back. Still thinking about it.

I have heard that synthetic works great though. My 91 ls400 is running so smooth now on regular oil...I'll think about it summore...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VGR- We've been through this before, those life expectancies might look good on paper but from what we've seen here, on our members cars, proves in the real world its just not accurate. You posted a list of lives of these parts some time ago that was simply unrealistic.

Yes, I agree on the whole asian parts are more reliable, but the blanket statement that ALL asian parts WILL last twice as long as their American counterparts is just not true. If that were the case these cars would run forever needing NO repairs, and thats just not the case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI My dealer said that once you go synthetic you shouldn't go back to normal oil.

That's what HE said.

I haven't changed to synthetic yet just because...it seems like I won't be able to go back. Still thinking about it.

I have heard that synthetic works great though.  My 91 ls400 is running so smooth now on regular oil...I'll think about it summore...

r3dlin3, that is a total myth. you can switch back and forth as many times as you would like. As a matter of fact, Mobil 1 has even stated that on their website as well.

steviej

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you can switch back and forth as many times as you would like.

The Owner FAQ on Toyota's website specifically advises against switching back and forth.

http://www.saber.net/~monarch/faq.jpg

here we go, im out of this thread.

it is as stevieJ said, and if either of the posters want more info, PM me. i will not discuss synthetic oil in public any more, because people get *BLEEP*ed off (they cant figure out that im right cause i have done 90% of what they are talking about without issues).

that said, peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership