97 1.4 Hot oil smell - Leo the Lion
It has 4 speed auto gearbox: done 60,000 miles and has reasonable service history. I've had the car 2 weeks, and after a long run, noticed a hot oil smell coming from the offside front of car. Opening the bonnet, and checking carefully with torch etc. the engine, gearbox and surrounding areas are clean - no sign of oil. Following my nose, the area where the smell seems to come from is around the radiator. Any ideas as to what may be going on?


97 1.4 Hot oil smell - piston power
Antifreeze leaking onto a hot surface smell's, a binding brake does too, or a leak from the back of the engine like oil dripping onto the exhaust will smell plenty to go at.
97 1.4 Hot oil smell - madf
Check the oil and water levels. And check for oil in the radiator. It "could" be overheating due to a failing head gasket.

On the other hand, if it was recently serviced, someone could have spilled oil onto the radiator...

But it sounds like: overheating to me.. does the car have a working temperature guage or warning light?

Edited by madf on 05/08/2009 at 19:38

97 1.4 Hot oil smell - Leo the Lion
The temp gauge works ok. The rad fan only comes on when in stationary traffic. I will look into the rad to see if oil is in it.
97 1.4 Hot oil smell - Leo the Lion
The water fill is via the rad and the expansion tank is a sealed affair coming off the rad. The water in the rad is clear. I've just been running the car at standstill and it come up to temp and just stays there. The rad was replaced a few years ago and has no leaks. No smell of hot oil. I now know the smell of hot collant and it's not the smell I've been getting. Would binding brakes smell like a slipping clutch? If so it's not that. The rad and hoses off it are hot. Again I've looked all around the engine and exhaust area, but it's clean. I'll run it around tomorrow and see if I can trace the problem.
97 1.4 Hot oil smell - mike hannon
Was it serviced just before you took it over? Careless mechanics (what?) can spill oil when re-filling that drops onto the exhaust system. It can take weeks for the smell to go away.
97 1.4 Hot oil smell - Leo the Lion
The levels were checked. I'll take if for a run today and see if I can trace it.
97 1.4 Hot oil smell - Leo the Lion
Some grease (yellow colour) has come off the offside inner driveshaft joint cover. The cover is new and it seems some excess grease was not cleaned off it, hence it's been finding its way onto the engine block. I will clean it off and hopefully that will solve it.

Thanks to all for your time and helpfull advice.