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2010 Forester X Limited
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

We went to the Subaru dealer for our first oil change. After the car was washed and returned to us, as I drove off their lot and a few blocks later I noticed a burnt smell.

This is also the same burnt smell we noticed when we took delivery of the car in December. Basically the car came directly from transit to the dealer and we were the first drivers of the car in Dec. Service manager in Dec said it was normal as new cars from the factory will have that smell for the first 10-20 miles of driving.

Question: Have others also experienced this burnt smell after their first oil change?

Is that smell (or any smell) normal after an oil change?

We never experienced anything like this with our other cars, all of which were Toyotas though.

Appreciate any opinions and ideas.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,487 Posts
There can be somewhat of a Burnt smell as stuff burns of the outside of the new exhaust. Unless you are careful its easy to have oil on the exhaust which surrounds the oil filter. Tell them to be more careful next time.
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
Sloppy dealer oil change - the exhaust surrounds the oil filter. Sloppy bum underpaid careless OC "techs". Too common. You service manager doesnt care, but let him/her know anyway.
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
yup, just a sloppy change.
if they were too rushed at getting the change done it's likely they got some old oil on the exhaust which was being burned off.
Nothing to really worry about unless the smell continues for more than a few miles.
 

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2010 Forester X Limited
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies.

The burnt smell from the spilled oil makes sense.
The smell is gone now, I day after the oil change.

Cheers.
 

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Registered
2010 Forester 2.5x tourin
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18 Posts
I had the first oil change done on my 2010 Forester last Jan and the same thing happened. I drove away from the dealer only to find smoke coming up from inside my hood. I promptly returned to the dealer and he took the vehicle in. Once on the hoist, the dealer invited me in to see the problem. The location of the oil filter is such that if oil is spilled it gets captured on the inside of the exhaust manifold shield and just puddles there until it gets burned off from the heat of the exhaust manifold. He cleanned it up as best as he could and the smell lasted about 1 hour after. Next oil change I will ask the tech to be careful not to spill any oil.
 

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03X MT
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846 Posts
thats why many of us are DIY oil changers.

I'm to the point now that I can't stand anyone else working on my car.
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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226 Posts
I had the first oil change done on my 2010 Forester last Jan and the same thing happened. I drove away from the dealer only to find smoke coming up from inside my hood. I promptly returned to the dealer and he took the vehicle in. Once on the hoist, the dealer invited me in to see the problem. The location of the oil filter is such that if oil is spilled it gets captured on the inside of the exhaust manifold shield and just puddles there until it gets burned off from the heat of the exhaust manifold. He cleanned it up as best as he could and the smell lasted about 1 hour after. Next oil change I will ask the tech to be careful not to spill any oil.
Such a problem happens only because of sloppy mechanics, or to anybody (including myself) in a hurry, or not paying attention. By the time oil burns, the smoke and fumes are quite flammable.
 

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2010 Forester
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1 Posts
other issues

i am a very big diy person, i just changed my wifes oil for the second time ever for the car (the first one was free from the dealer) and it lurches now on start ups and i had a little white smoke and the burnt smell but that was expected from where the put the stupid filter and i was in a hurry. any suggestions?

kent
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
Kent,

Tell us more about your car. Specifically, does it have an auto trans or a manual trans? If auto, did you change the engine oil filter or the ATF filter?

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,487 Posts
did you change the engine oil filter or the ATF filter?

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
The auto no longer has a filter.

But not enough information given. White smoke is not oil. Its either water vapor or antifreeze.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5 X Prem 5MT
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465 Posts
I've been changing my own oil since day one, and no matter how careful I am...I ALWAYS SPILL OIL ON THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD!!! I have turned it into a game, but I have yet to win. The key is to clean it up! Very easy to get a rag or old shirt up there and wipe off the manifold. I still get a tiny bit that has to burn off, but it never lasts more than a day.

For you folks that don't spill a drop, HOW DO YOU DO IT!?
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
Just loosen, partially, (spin) the filter SLOWLY anti-clockwise until it starts to dribble oil and let it drain for a minute, when that slows, give it another turn and more will flow out. Then completely remove it ( and more will drain down your (gloved(?)) hand. If done right, Tte oil will run down the outside of the filter can and drip right into the catch pan you put under the filter (at least you will wish you did!). Dont forget to take a clean shop rag and clean the mounting boss off before installing the new filter. I like to Clean it with fresh oil to insure there is no grit on this area.
 
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