1999 Honda Accord burnt oil smell

My 1999 Accord has 180,000 miles and runs great, but when I pull into the garage after driving for 15 minutes or longer, there is a smell that I can only describe as a combination of burnt oil and rubber. Any ideas on what it could be?

Sure!.. are you ready?..the smell you smell could indeed be burnt oil.

An engine with 180K likely has a small oil leak that is finding its way onto the exhaust pipe. The oil cooks off and smells like burnt oil and a bit of burnt rubber because it also contains dirt and schmutz picked up off the road.

If the leak doesn’t leave a spot under the car, it is small. It is annoying but not something to get too worried about.


If you’re leaking oil onto a hot part, as Mustangman suspects, you might be able to see some wisps of smoke if you immediately pop the hood when you get home and use a flashlight to illuminate the engine at different angles. When my wife’s car had a valve cover gasket leak, we were able to find the location this way.

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He needs to check the back of the valve cover. It usually leak oil on hot exhaust manifold.

Thank you.

Two leaks I’ve experienced.

Oil pressure sending unit

Loose oil filter