Oil Smells from My Engine

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
My '88 Plymouth Voyager was starting to burn oil; a costly valve job (valves were ground, guides reset, gaskets & rings replaced) has helped considerably (no longer have to purchase oil by the case) but I still detect an oil odor occasionally when the engine is allowed to idle any length of time. My question is - I have seen products in the automotive section of stores that are additives to cut down on smoking, etc. Are these safe/effective? Or am I better off leaving them alone? We change the oil regularly & check it frequently, & haven't had to add oil between changes since the work was done in October.

The smell of oil could be coming from a slight leak in the valve cover gasket that is dripping on the exhaust system somewhere. Not enough to notice in your checks, but just enough to stink up the place. Another place to look is at the PCV system. Make sure that there is a fresh PCV valve and all the lines are connected properly. As for your question about additives, I dont think that they will help your problem. Are they safe? Some of the early ones actually bonded themselves to the metal of the engine, thus making them not repairable. Look at it this way, if you need a MAJOR engine overhaul and they need to over bore the cylinders, they simply CANT. Some others are just really think oil that mixes with the thinner oil that you have already in the car. You can do the same thing by just using a thicker oil to start with (not reccommended for newer cars, only older ones with problems).
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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