Very bad oil/exhaust cabin smell

mapkos13

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Has anyone experienced this? I’ve got over 3k miles on it now so I’m going to rule out manufacturing burn off at this point.

Its worse after I’ve been driving on the hwy and is bad enough where you can feel it in your eyes in the cabin once you park.

I can’t determine if its fluid or exhaust.
 

wheeling

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2020 or 2021? 2021 has automatic cabin air refresher, should filter it out. Anyway, you should let dealer to check it.
 

mapkos13

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Sorry all. It’s a 2020 with 3k miles so full warranty.

At dealer now. Service manager jumped in and definitely smelled it and they put it on the lift and cannot locate the problem. One of his guys just came in and told me he’s taking it down the road to see if he can replicate it. At least he smells it too.

I’ll report back.
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bbf2530

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Has anyone experienced this? I’ve got over 3k miles on it now so I’m going to rule out manufacturing burn off at this point.

Its worse after I’ve been driving on the hwy and is bad enough where you can feel it in your eyes in the cabin once you park.

I can’t determine if its fluid or exhaust.

Hi mapkp. Have you checked your oil, trans, coolant levels? Any leaks in the engine compartment, under the vehicle after it has been parked, or onto the underbody shields that you can see?

Essentially, yes or no, either way, the best thing to do would be make a service appointment as soon as you can to have the issue diagnosed and corrected.

EDIT - Oooops...You posted your previous reply as I was typing mine. :)

Keep us updated and good luck.
 

mapkos13

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They just brought it back and cannot locate the smell. Said the catalytic converter was sitting on some wires but the wires weren’t melted. He adjusted them anyway. No leaks. Nothing dripping on the shields that they can see. Brakes check out. Temps look fine.

Whatever the problem it’s coming in through the fan into the cabin when the heater is on. Likely didn’t notice it before as the weather just started getting cold.

These are the problems I hate as everyone knows there’s something but no one can pinpoint the issue.
 

mapkos13

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Going back in for more tests. Smell is still there. Hopefully it’s not something deep in the engine. I’m hoping for some wire hitting something hot still
 

ncnmra

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I had a terrible smell in my 2020 just a day after picking it up. Lots of troubleshooting led me to the battery. It was a burning/sulfur smell, but not exactly like a bad cat. I've been around cars for a long time so I know what oil, fuel, antifreeze, clutch, brakes, engine smell like. This was a new one to me, almost smelled like rotting french fries.

My Lincoln app kept telling me that the car was going into battery protection mode, and hooking it up to a tender wouldn't charge it after many hours. I could sniff around and finally located the same smell right at the battery.

Dealer put the battery on a tester and it failed. They replaced the battery and it seems to be good after about 1 week. This is the second time I've had a Ford battery fail (first one was after 2.5 years in my original Explorer).
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ncnmra

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I also wanted to add: have you noticed a pattern to the smell? ie: is it only when the car is running? Does it still happen if you put the vents in recirc mode? In my case, it was happening ONLY while running (it stopped immediately at a stop light if the autostop kicked in), and it would go away in recirc mode, so I knew it was definitely something from the outside, and not within the HVAC system itself.
 

mapkos13

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Thanks for your input. It happens when I have the fans on most notably the heat now that it’s cold. It doesn’t dissipate when I stop. This is actually when I can really smell it and then it disappears once I begin to move after a few seconds.

If I smell the vents nothing. If I turn my head directly towards the drivers glass I get a big smell. Down towards the steering column and nothing again.

Outside of the vehicle no smell from the back or front that I can detect. Going over to the passenger side if I get under the car I smell nothing. Stand next to it facing the car from about 2‘ and I can really smell it.

It’s been a challenge to try and pinpoint it and none of it makes sense yet it’s there, and everyone that’s worked on it can smell it.

it’s been in the shop for two days now so let’s hope they find something. My fear is it’s deep in the engine and that’s why I cannot detect it with any surface smelling if you will.
 

ncnmra

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I can understand your frustration. $80k vehicle and a smell that you can't locate, and a dealer that seems helpless. Your issue sounds different than mine. Have you tried sniffing around the engine compartment? I've also heard of leaking AC being a culprit. Things are so super tight in the engine bay, and a lots of plastic covers. My smell test originally didn't pick anything up until I got RIGHT next to the battery.

Fingers crossed that they can find the cause so you can enjoy your vehicle.

We dubbed ours "The Stinkin' Lincoln" when we were having our issues. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

mapkos13

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If they can’t locate it I’ll do a more thorough look. Like you I’ve been around cars long enough to rule out certain smells. I will check the battery just to rule that out.

This smell is more caustic in a way. You can actually feel it in your eyes after a few minutes at times. I’m not thrilled to have my 2 and 5 year old in there not knowing what he smell is.

I may have to borrow your moniker for mine as well!
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ncnmra

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Mine was clearly coming through the vents. I could amplify it by selecting the face vents, and setting the blower on high manually. I could temporarily get rid of it, but putting the HVAC in recirc mode. It was very pungent and it wasn't a smell that you could "get used to" via sensory adaptation. As soon as it started, it was extremely evident, but it would come and go. My theory now is that it was when the battery was charging. At one point when I had it on a high current charger in my garage, I could smell it, which zeroed me in on the battery.

If these issues persist, I may need to trademark the name. LOL
 

mapkos13

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Okay well the good news is they located the cause of the smell. The bad news is it’s from an oil leak in the valve cover.

now I’m not sure about the rest of you but it would seem to me that having a oil leak in the valve cover of a brand new Aviator (3K miles) is unacceptable. I get that things happen but this doesn’t seem like a typical issue for a new car.

Thoughts?
 

mapkos13

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Frustrating, but if it gets properly repaired, then that's about all they can do, I would think. Maybe see if Lincoln will give some Rewards or something.
Yes I want to be more upset about it but I’m not there. I get it. Maybe poor QC. Perhaps a bad gasket. Poor sealing. Could be a number of things that aren’t huge issues but nevertheless, still difficult in a new purchase we’re spending this kind of money on.

I’ll update on the results.
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Black Label

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Yes I want to be more upset about it but I’m not there. I get it. Maybe poor QC. Perhaps a bad gasket. Poor sealing. Could be a number of things that aren’t huge issues but nevertheless, still difficult in a new purchase we’re spending this kind of money on.

I’ll update on the results.
Yep, that's about all you can do and keep what seems to be a good attitude.
 

ncnmra

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That is good news that they found it, but "oh my".....brand new vehicle with a leaking gasket? That's a first. Takes me back to my 1994 Ford Probe days, those things were notorious.

Did you buy or lease? The long term reliability of North American vehicles is questionable to me (frankly, ALL new vehicles), and is a major reason why I lease. In 4 years, its not my problem.
 

mapkos13

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Update:

The Lincoln dealer came to my house on 12/16 to pickup the Aviator to bring in and try to assess and repair the problem with the oil smell. After 22 days (parts back order) finally received the vehicle back today. The tech repaired and test drove it and said all was normal now.

I drop off the loaner (which I appreciate having) and pickup mine. Driving home all smells fine and I thought I was in the clear. Didn’t think that it was fairly warm today so I hadn’t turned the heater/fans on. Got close to the daycare and figured I’d turn in the heat to warm the truck up a bit and boom, the smell hits me worse than before. Couldn’t believe it. Turned the heater off and then drove home after pickup which takes about 20 minutes. Pull into the garage and turn the fans on to check again and the smell is bad. Like you can feel it in your eyes a bit bad.

Needless to say I think we’re approaching a lemon law situation. I love the truck and still would have no problem getting a replacement but wholly disappointed thus far. Thankfully the local service team has been great to work with. They dumped 20k of rewards into my account for my troubles.

We’ll see where it goes from here. I’ll keep you all posted.
 

mapkos13

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Okay truck is back at the shop again for the smell and the screen freezing up still. I think this is the final straw. If it were just the touchscreen I think I could work through the repair. The fact that the issue is with the engine which is the heart of the vehicle, I don’t think I can live with that risk anymore.

I bought the Aviator on 10/23 and to date (not including the time it will take them this time) they’ve had it for 33 days. It’s been to the shop 3 and 4 times each for the touchscreen and the oil smell. Ohio law states if they’ve had the vehicle for over 30 days or 3 times for the same issue. I’ve now passed both of these marks.

I don’t willingly want to go through this but I don’t think I have much choice at this point.
 
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