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Old 09-13-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
Metalhead19d
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Default Burnt oil smell after some boosted driving....?

Ok I'm on my phone and I've done a lot of searching and haven't found much and ill try to keep it blunt.

I drive an 05 Sti

When I drive like a granny everything is cool

When I give small amounts of boost and come to a stop, I smell a hint of burnin oil smell.

When boosting hard for a short while and coming to a stop. Smell is stronger

Running stock fuel system and vf39 amr unequal headers, grim speed coated up pipe and turboxs TBE with Cobb stage 2 map.

I don't over boost (tweaked wgdc) doesn't smell with granny driving but usually when boosting a little and I stole and hot air escapes from under the car is when you smell it.

Things I've done to check: pulled oil cap while running... No smoke
No smoke out the exhaust
No evidence of dripping oil on exhaust pipes
No oil drops on garage floor even after sitting for a week.

Slightly off topic but still related. I have oil residue inside my turbo inlet and intercooler all the way into the throttle body. Not enough to poor out but more than you'd think should be there. Most I've seen was a teaspoon size puddle inside the turbo compressor housing pipe before Y pipe coupler.

Also my transmission gear oil smells burnt... Motul 75w90 with about 20-25k on it.

Ideas, possible problems, better troubleshooting techniques?
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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When boosting blow by is increased so this explains your increase of burnt oil smell when getting on the gas. How much oil do you consume during a oil chance interval? And if you want to fix/put a band aid on it (depends on how bad the blow by is). You need to get yourself either A. Two catch cans setup correctly. Or B. Get an AOS system (grimmspeed is my preference). These will help but if its as bad as it seems you got bigger problems brewing.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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^ ---- this. Could have more than normal blowby. My car leaks occasionally from the valve cover gaskets. If you're losing oil slowly and what not, i'd just take a look at your valve cover gaskets and crescent moon gaskets as well, just to make sure you're not leaking.

Oil in the turbo inlet pipe comes from blowby, since the crank case ends up getting it's vapors sucked in by the turbo, via the turbo inlet pipe.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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I'm preparing to get my turbo serviced or invest in another one used for around the same price if I have to. I have one oil catch can in there now. Gotta get another one.

I'd say I lose maybe a quart at 3k when I was using castrol edge (didn't know it wasn't truly full synthetic) but I'm using rotella t6 now and I've had to top up a little after some mud fun at WCSS last weekend. After that I'm really starting to think its bad seals. I mean the turbo has 112k miles in it. At this point I'm kind of expecting it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
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I also had people purposely watching to see if I blew blue smoke during it and they saw nothing. Would a high flow cat help make that possibility of seeing smoke go down?

Would it also mean anything that doing a seafoam job on the car at the end of the burn off when the white smoke died down I saw some blue smoke but it went away pretty quickly.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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What kind of oil are you using? I noticed a distinct oil smell when I switched to Rotella T6, even though now I use negligible amounts of oil every 3k as opposed to maybe 1/8th of a quart ever 3k with Castrol Edge or Eneos 5w-30
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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T6 5w40. Oddly enough my transmission fluid smells burnt on the dipstick and burnt like sour, harsh hot metal like burnt. Almost like you dripped on your down pipe an it starts smelling. It's motul 75w90 and its got less than 30k on it. I wiped down the down pipe and got it off an by now (few weeks later) you'd think it would have all dissipated. My car shifts fine however I notice that sometimes on cold starts it doesn't want to go into gear. Almost like you aren't even pushing in the clutch. I know there's a lot of things going on all at once here on this thread.

Back to simple... I get that burnt oily smell when described even with the rotella t6 ( smells the same)

Transmission fluid smells burnt as described.

Think it's time for a tranny flush? If so what would y'all recommend other than motul? Mind you it's the STi 6 speed in case that detail was missed.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:50 PM   #8
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Check clutch fluid level for the not going into gear issue.

For tranny fluid, I don't think many people will recommend anything other than Extra-s for the most part.

As for the oil smell, have you always been using T6? If not, did it smell before? Like I said, T6 has a unique smell which other people on this forum have noticed as well.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:01 PM   #9
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I was kind of jumping around trying different oils... Royal purple I was using for a while back in Maine like two years ago then I switched to rotella t6. Ran that for a while then tried castrol edge. At this point still no smell. Found Mobil 1 full synthetic at Costco so I ran that for a cycle. Found out bad reviews and stopped and went back to castrol edge. After a couple more cycles of castrol edge I just kind of noticed it one day. Reason I was switching through the oils so much was because I was still eating up to a quart every 3k.... To me that doesn't seem right.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:02 PM   #10
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About a thousand miles ago I switched back to rotella. I've also changed my oil filter every oil change as well. I'm wondering if I can get my mechanic to back me up on this issue maybe I can work the warranty company into fixing the issue seeing is how it more than likely started well within my warranty time.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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My warranty was also bumper to bumper from the bank.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:32 AM   #12
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That smell you're describing is normal. My previous Subaru did it and so does my current one. I asked a Subaru guru who owns a repair shop about it once and he knew exactly what I was talking about and told me it's normal. IIRC, he said it had to do with the PCV system.

My STI burns very little oil and I get that oil smell occasionally when I have the windows down and come to a stop. I even changed just about every rubber hose in the PCV system and it didn't make a difference in the smell. I've used a few different oils and that didn't make a difference either. I just chalk that up as a Subaru quirk, just thank the crappy PCV system.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:10 AM   #13
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That smell you're describing is normal. My previous Subaru did it and so does my current one. I asked a Subaru guru who owns a repair shop about it once and he knew exactly what I was talking about and told me it's normal. IIRC, he said it had to do with the PCV system.

My STI burns very little oil and I get that oil smell occasionally when I have the windows down and come to a stop. I even changed just about every rubber hose in the PCV system and it didn't make a difference in the smell. I've used a few different oils and that didn't make a difference either. I just chalk that up as a Subaru quirk, just thank the crappy PCV system.
Ok. To me it was one of those BOOM now you notice it kind of things. Even after driving the car for over a year. Now how about the amount of oil in the intercooler?

Best I can describe it is like a tiny puddle in the turbo inlet right where it meets the couple for the Y pipe, a small "puddle" right at the elbow of that same coupler and a nice thin oil film all the way down into the throttle body coupler.

Is that "too much" or is that just a normal amount? I know it was covered before but I figure I'd go into a little more detail about it.

Also when I seafoam the car... You get the smoke show ya cool whatever. Now when you go to "drive out" that stuff it will go from the thin white smoke to thin blue smoke and then go away completely. Idk I kinda thought it was just residual oil in the intake system making its way to the combustion chamber and then finally stopping because there's no more seafoam in the engine anymore.

I have a catch can hooked into the line that runs from the T pipe on the intercooler and it has a clear tube on the side to see the level of oil in it but after 1500-2000 miles I haven't seen anything. Now some parts of the Subie/performance world I'm a bit of a noob and a catch can is one of those things that I don't know much about. How fast do those tend to fill in normal conditions?

Last edited by Metalhead19d; 09-14-2013 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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I was kind of jumping around trying different oils... Royal purple I was using for a while back in Maine like two years ago then I switched to rotella t6. Ran that for a while then tried castrol edge. At this point still no smell. Found Mobil 1 full synthetic at Costco so I ran that for a cycle. Found out bad reviews and stopped and went back to castrol edge. After a couple more cycles of castrol edge I just kind of noticed it one day. Reason I was switching through the oils so much was because I was still eating up to a quart every 3k.... To me that doesn't seem right.
If you were using Castrol Edge Titanium 5W-30, that oil is thinner than Mobil1 5W-30. German Castrol 0W-30, Edge 0W-40 and 5W-40 are the good Castrol oils. Avoid any oil that is Resource Conserving and stick with one oil for a few oil changes. The gear oil smell could just be the sulfur in the gear oil.

-Dennis
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #15
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Ya I was really just aiming to see what oil was eaten the least. Where would the sulfur have come from? The oil itself or the transmission itself?
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #16
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Ok. To me it was one of those BOOM now you notice it kind of things. Even after driving the car for over a year. Now how about the amount of oil in the intercooler?

Best I can describe it is like a tiny puddle in the turbo inlet right where it meets the couple for the Y pipe, a small "puddle" right at the elbow of that same coupler and a nice thin oil film all the way down into the throttle body coupler.

Is that "too much" or is that just a normal amount? I know it was covered before but I figure I'd go into a little more detail about it.

Also when I seafoam the car... You get the smoke show ya cool whatever. Now when you go to "drive out" that stuff it will go from the thin white smoke to thin blue smoke and then go away completely. Idk I kinda thought it was just residual oil in the intake system making its way to the combustion chamber and then finally stopping because there's no more seafoam in the engine anymore.

I have a catch can hooked into the line that runs from the T pipe on the intercooler and it has a clear tube on the side to see the level of oil in it but after 1500-2000 miles I haven't seen anything. Now some parts of the Subie/performance world I'm a bit of a noob and a catch can is one of those things that I don't know much about. How fast do those tend to fill in normal conditions?
Yeah, that's oil blowby getting past the rings so a small amount of oil in the intake tract is normal. The oil tends to collect in the TMIC and coupler hose, turbo inlet, turbo compressor housing/impeller, etc like you mentioned. Theoretically, it can lower octane and cause knock but I haven't seen any proof of normal oil blowby causing those problems on a mildly modded car. Personally, I don't see the need for a catch can on my car.

At first, I kind of suspected an exhaust leak but everything checked out.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #17
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Well I'm going to invest in a few cans of brake clean and spray out the intercooler and wipe things down clean and re inspect after an oil cycle.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:53 PM   #18
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Well I'm going to invest in a few cans of brake clean and spray out the intercooler and wipe things down clean and re inspect after an oil cycle.

dont do that.....just use some gasoline.....if you use the wrong brake cleaner it may corrode the aluminum
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:12 AM   #19
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dont do that.....just use some gasoline.....if you use the wrong brake cleaner it may corrode the aluminum
Even if its the non chlorinated oriely stuff?

How would I use the gas method without making a huge mess?
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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Even if its the non chlorinated oriely stuff?

How would I use the gas method without making a huge mess?
I use motor oil. Very small amounts right on the edge. It slides right on there
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #21
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I use motor oil. Very small amounts right on the edge. It slides right on there
Motor oil? I'm not getting what you mean...
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #22
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Motor oil? I'm not getting what you mean...
he didnt read the thread....but just posted out his ass
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:52 PM   #23
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he didnt read the thread....but just posted out his ass
Makes sense. Thinking back on it... "Hey how do you get your **** on there?" ..."MOTOR OIL!!!" Lol
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:03 AM   #24
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Ya I was really just aiming to see what oil was eaten the least. Where would the sulfur have come from? The oil itself or the transmission itself?
The gear oil.

-Dennis
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:02 PM   #25
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So randomly looked at my extra tranny oil and remembered "hey I should smell that to see if it smells the same" and yup it smelled exactly the same. Just less intense. I'm starting to think I just might be having pre road trip phobias and worries that something is going bad before I even get the chance to leave.
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