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Burning/hot oil smell inside car compartment

Our 6-cyl. 2000 Camry XLE(118,000 mis.) is giving off a strong smell of burning oil when we stop at lights or sit at idle. Have used flashlight under hood to spot oil on block, but can see no trace there or under filter. Although occasionally noticeable when I lift hood, the smell there is much less obvious than inside the car. If heater is in recirculate versus outside air mode, smell is much less noticeable inside car. Any ideas on source of odor? I’ve fiddled with cars for over 50 yrs. and am frustrated to not be able to figure this problem out. Pretty sure it started before last oil change. Thanks.

Have a mechanic determine where the oil leak is coming from. Could be an oil sending unit or valve cover gaskets or oil filter.

Thanks Mike, Have already checked valve cover and no sign of oil. Ditto around filter. Will check out the sending unit if I can locate it. Rodg

Maybe you have something like a plastic bag stuck to the exhaust system under the car. When that happened to my 2000 Camry I managed to pull off most of the plastic, but the remnant already melted to the exhast took many days to burn off. It did smell sort of like burning oil.

Thanks Art, but no plastic bag. Rodg

Oil leaks can be difficult to locate on these V6 engines. Especially on the firewall side of the engine. Raise and safely support the vehicle and with a flashlight slide under the vehicle and look up in the area between the engine and the firewall.