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2017 chrysler pacifica

84,000 miles

Putting this on here so I can hopefully get some advice.

This has happened twice now but only during heavy rain. There is an extremely strong burning oil smell when driving on the expressway. It's so strong I think the car could blow up. All guages and lights are normal. Oil is full no visible leaks both times the smell went away after 15 minutes (before I reached my destination) in fact, the 1st time it happened I drove right to mechanic 20 miles aways and by the time I got there it was gone. They did change the cabin air filter as it was gross.

Fast forward two or three months to today and as my wife was driving from west seneca to Buffalo during a downpour same exact smell. Extremely strong. I made an appointment but by the time she parked at the hospital (15 mins later) the smell had vanished completely again so I canceled it as there would be no way to replicate (same as before) Oil is full and guages lights and Temps all normal.

We made 3 more short trips completely free of smell. What do I do?!? It's impossible to diagnose if you can't smell. It's not something you could miss but its only happened twice during downpours.

For reference I have a chrysler pacifica.


1 Answer

If it is oil making the smell some must be leaking out somewhere. UV dye may help find the source.


Thanks for the quick reply! I have cerebral palsy and can't do any checking myself. My wife knows just enough to check the oil and make sure it's full. It's so hard to find an honest shop. I did have dealer recheck oil (still full). I suppose it might not be oil but it smells like I walked in to a mechanics garage actually. I can't blame anyone for having difficulty diagnosing because the smell disappears on its own and only is present during rainstorms on the highway evidently.

A quick Google search said it could be oil from the highway but I would think that would take a lot of coincidence to happen twice in the exact same manner.

It could be a very small amount of oil that occasionally drips from something like the valve cover gasket. That would not show up on the dipstick for a very long time, possibly not even between changes. I guess see if you can find a mechanic willing to do the UV dye test.

I appreciate you. For the sake of conversation let's assume that's what happening. If it's only happening twice in 3 months during torrential rain, last 15-20 minutes and disappearing is it a reasonable assumption I don't need to panic?

No, it's not anything I'd panic over unless it gets worse. The rain may be coincidental unless water splashing up around the engine has something to do with it.