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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my first oil change for my brand new 2010 Forester (Thurs). After driving around for about an hour (after the oil change), I noticed a burning smell when I pulled into my garage. I could smell it outside of the car, not in the cabin. Now (next day) smell is still there but not as strong. I'm guessing some oil spilled somewhere and is being burned off???

(I don't know jack about cars). Should I be worried????
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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239 Posts
Same thing happened right after my first oil change, just a drip perhaps... but it was gone in a day or so.. if it continues take it back (check your oil too)
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I'd be under there checking to see how much oil was splashed around the inside of the plastic engine undercover... assuming you have one. I understand they were deleted on the later models. No plastic engine undercover? I'd still crawl under there & look around. Better safe than sorry! :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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706 Posts
A careless mechanic can wet your exhaust w/old oil when removing the filter. It shouldn't happen, but of course sometimes does. Put your mind at ease by checking your oil level on the dipstick. And if it still stinks tomorrow call the service manager and tell him about it. You don't have to be nasty, just let him know it happened, and ask him should you be worried. He'll probably tell the mechanic who did it to be more careful and who knows, you might get a freebie out of it.
Steve
09 2.5X AT
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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No matter how careful I am I always seem to get some oil on the exhaust manifold. It usually burns off in a day, I just take it for a 30 min ride and it'll burn it off.


Where did you have the oil changed, Dealership or IffyLube place ?
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
spilt oil.

The concern is how much and where. A drop on the exhaust will burn off. If it is everywhere you could be stuck with the smell for a while.

Take it back.

Then after that..start doing your own. I do mine and it is quite easy.
 

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2008 FSXT M/T
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w/ the new little access panel in the new under trays it is very easy to spill oil during an oil change. infact, its impossible not too, cleaning it on the other hand is another story! a rag and some brake cleaner never hurts. seems like the mechanic was just rushing...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello everyone, thanks so much for the responses. I'll definitely check the oil level tomorrow morning. I popped open the hood just now and checked near the oil dipstick to see it any oil spilled in that area, but didn't see anything.

Fourortwowheels, you said it's almost impossible not to spill oil (I own a brand new 2010 2.5X (automatic)).......I'm just wondering now if I should go back to that same auto shop for any future servicing. Is this a common mistake that any mechanic could make or is it a sign of sloppy work. I did my best to find a reputable auto shop (just relocated to new city) and checked this shop's grade on the Better Business Bureau website before going....they got an A+....just 5 complaints in 3 years.....I guess that's good????

Subieoutlaw, is there a site that I can visit or a video link that explains how to change the oil and filter....if it's real easy, maybe I'll try it myself next time. Thanks.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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A careless mechanic can wet your exhaust w/old oil when removing the filter....
For this reason I change my own oil and filter, and clean everything with paper towels. Last week, on the first drive after doing this, I noticed a faint aroma. Going back under the car, I found there was still a little smear of oil in a somewhat inaccessible place that my fingers had missed on the underside of the heat shield. It does not take much oil on the shields to create a smell.
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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On the 2.5X, its easy to spill some around the exhaust manifold which completely encircles the filter. I routinely get up there with paper towels and get every drop off of the header. Obviously the guy that changed the oil didn't. No excuse for that.
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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2,830 Posts
Very common on the Forester and Impreza due to how the oil filter is encircled by the exhaust plumbing. It takes extra care and patience to prevent dirty oil from squirting onto the exhaust heat shields when you are removing the filter. First time I changed my oil (DIY) it squirted onto the exhaust heat shielding. I thought I got it all wiped off but obviously missed some somewhere because all week I kept getting the burnt oil smell after parking the car.
 

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2016 Forester XT AT
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Good call to question my the smell, as it could be something amiss like a lose oil filter or drain plug. But as noted, probably just a bit of spilled oil on the exhaust someplace.

And a common problem with other makes as well. With our Mystique (2.5l V6) it was pretty much impossible to do an oil/filter change without getting some on the exhaust system. There was even a little place it would pool and smell for weeks.

If you decide not to do your own changes, just remind the mechanic to wipe up all the spills due to the smell. My mechanic is good that way and I do not get any burnt oils smells.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I went ahead and checked the oil level/dipstick this morning. It's fine. And I peeped under the car onto the garage floor....no fluid/oil dripping.

I was wondering why the oil change was taking so long (40 minutes)....I was at the auto shop early in the morning (made an appointment) and told them I'd be waiting while the work was being done. Probably the mechanic spent most of the time cleaning up the spilled oil, LOL!

If I get it done at a shop next time, I'll make sure to tell the mechanic to be extra careful. Thanks everyone for the help. :biggrin:
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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^^ My concern would be the unburnt oil, which will be like a magnet for dirt to cling to. :frown:

Normally a DIY oil change takes little time, even less if you have a Fumoto oil drain valve. The Forester sits up so high, you don't need ramps, just some cardboard to slide your back on. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2015 Forester premium
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63 Posts
oil smell

My 2009 Forester has had 3 oil changes. The dealer did first and third, I did the second one.

Both times the dealer did it, i had burning oil smell for weeks. The first time, smoke was coming up from under the engine when I got home.

I did the second change. Drove front wheels up on 2 x 8 boards to get a little extra clearance for my big belly. It is really easy on the Forester. I took my time, unscrewed the filter slowly to allow the oil to slowly drip into the pan and not squirt out on the exhaust. I still had a little smell from where I wiped off oil on the exhaust, but not bad.
 

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2010 Forester
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121 Posts
Anyone punch a hole in the old oil filter with an icepick before spinning it off? I just did my first change and did keep the oil off the manifold, but it was a close call. There is quite a bit of oil in the system there and if you could dump it first, it seems like it would prevent potential mess.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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