Car smells like oil when the heater is on?

If your car smells like oil when the heater is on, there could be a number of reasons why. The most common cause is that your car has been leaking oil and you have been burning it off in the engine.

This can happen if the oil filter has become clogged with debris or if there is a leak in one of the parts of the engine. If this is the case, your best bet would be to take your car to a mechanic for an inspection and repair.

Another possibility is that you are smelling burning fuel or exhaust fumes from your tailpipe. This can happen if there is an issue with either one of these components, but it also could mean that something is wrong with your catalytic converter.

A catalytic converter converts harmful gases into less harmful ones so they don’t pollute our air as much but if it isn’t working properly, those harmful gases can leak out through cracks in its casing or other holes in its construction.

If this happens, then there may be an issue with either of these components that need to be addressed before they start to damage other parts of your car’s engine such as causing them to overheat.

Symptoms of car smell like oil when the heater is on?

This symptom is common in cars that have been sitting for a long time since the oil in the engine will naturally dry out and thicken. If you turn on the heater while your car is cold, this dry oil will burn off, creating an odor that smells like burning oil.

If you notice that your car smells like oil when the heater is turned on, check your engine to make sure there are no leaks or other problems with the engine. If there are no problems with the engine, then this smell may just be something you need to get used to.

Causes of car smelling like oil when the heater is on?

The smell of oil in your car can be alarming, especially if you don’t know where it’s coming from. It might seem like something wrong with your car has caused the oil to leak into the cabin of your vehicle and make its way into your heater, but there are other reasons for this smell. Here are a few of them.

You’re overheating

This is one cause of smells like oil when the heater is on that you’ll want to check first. If you’ve been driving too long without giving your car a chance to cool down, then the engine could be overheating and leaking oil through its gaskets, hoses, and seals. This would lead to an unpleasant smell in the cabin as well as smoke coming from under the hood or underneath the car itself.

You have dirty air filters

If your air filters are dirty or clogged up with debris, then they will not be able to filter out dust particles and other contaminants from entering your engine compartment where they can cause damage over time or clog up various components like fuel injectors or carburetors which may need replacing sooner than later due to their inability.

Diagnosis of car smells like oil when the heater is on?

If your car smells like oil when the heater is on, it’s probably not because there’s too much oil in the car. The real problem might be that there’s too much fuel vapor in the air intake system. This can happen if you have a leak, or if you’re driving with a faulty fuel line.

If you find that this is the case, don’t worry you can fix it yourself by tightening the connections between your fuel lines and the engine. This should stop any leaks from occurring and allow more clean air to enter the intake system.

Treatment Options for Car Smells Like Oil When Heater Is On?

There are a few different ways you can treat car smells like oil when the heater is on. You should check your oil level. If it’s empty, add some more! Make sure you’re using the right kind of oil for your vehicle. If that doesn’t solve the problem, check your air filter if it’s dirty and clogged, replace it.

This will allow more airflow through your engine. If that doesn’t work either, check to see if you have an exhaust leak. If so, fix it immediately exhaust leaks can lead to serious problems with your engine down the line.


The car smells like oil when the heater is on because the oil leaks onto the floor of the car, where it collects in a puddle at the back of the car. The heat from the heater causes this to evaporate, and as it does so, it gives off an unpleasant smell.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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