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2009 Pontiac G6 Burning Smell/oil leak/Timing Cover Gasket Leak

A few weeks ago I noticed a burning smell happening whenever I turned on the heat of my pontiac G6 and sometimes a small amount of smoke coming from under the passenger side of the hood. I googled and it said there might be a leak into my heating core.

I brought to a mechanic for a diagnostic today. There is oil everywhere under the hood near the engine and he says he can’t tell exactly where its from. But he says that it only leaks when I press on the accelerator hard. He then tells me that my belt cover gasket (timing cover gasket) needs to be replaces and also the belt. Quoted me $360 parts and labor. He did not specify that this was where the leak was coming from.

I am wondering if this sounds correct and looking for advice. Would that sort of leak cause a burning smell when my heat is on?

It is quite possible that is the source of your oil leak.
It is not your heater core, that would have water vapor (steam) coming
Out of your vents and a sweetish smell.


The heater draws air from the base of the windshield. The oil buring off hot thing on the engine reside right under the hood… and it isn’t sealed… so it enters your car.

Cool huh? The car has a way of telling you there is an oil leak without you opening the hood to check your oil level.

You referred to the timing belt cover. That is actually a timing chain cover. The G6 with any of the four engine options uses a timing chain. The mechanic meant the serpentine belt needs replacement. If it has never been replaced before, it’s easily time for that. This sounds like about 2 to 3 hours of labor and a little bit for parts. A gasket and serpentine belt shouldn’t be more than $50. Getting out for less than $500 is a small victory in itself. If you think the price is too high, get another estimate. For $360, I’d get it done, but that might just be me.

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Though it would be wise to replace the serpentine belt in conjunction with the other work, I am still with the mechanic that suspects the timing (chain) cover gasket needs to be replaced.
Alternately the engine could be thoroughly cleaned of all exterior oil and grease then look for the oil leak.

No, it’s not just you.

The whole thing is a bit murky but 360 for the repair of something that he did not even specify was leaking might cause me to hold back a little.
And it only leaks when the accelerator is pressed hard? That might point to a clogged PCV valve or a leaking oil pressure sending unit. The latter can have a tendency to fail during winter and will spray oil more based on RPMs.
A crank seal can also leak profusely if the PCV is clogged.

One thing for sure; check the motor oil level and keep it at the FULL mark until this is repaired or you run the risk of wiping an engine out.


Years ago I had a Dodge with an oil leak. I had the valve cover gaskets replaced and it didn’t stop the leak. It turned out to be a hole in the oil pressure sending unit. Another time I had a Pontiac that leaked oil and received a diagnosis of a bad main seal. That one turned out to be a punctured oil filter. Oil leaks can be tricky to find.

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