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Honda Accord--Residual oil on engine block after oil change causing smoke

Every time we have the oil changed on our car, the car smells like cigarettes. Today I noticed smoke coming from the hood when I parked it. My husband says that it is caused by oil dripping on the engine block, that this happens to all Honda Accords, and that it is safe. Is it safe? Smoke coming from the hood seems scary. Engine oil is highly flammable, no?

Engine oil can be flammable and I can’t say that I agree for one minute with your husband’s theory that all Honda Accords have oil dripping on the blocks. A drip is a problem, pure and simple.

You should inspect the oil level as a first step and make sure it’s full. The next step is to find out where the oil drip is because this could be caused by an oil change screwup. (Double gasketed filter, loose drain plug or no drain plug gasket, filler cap missing, etc, etc.)

If someone is smoking in your car during any oil change process and/or causing a problem leading to an oil drip then whoever is doing the service should be advised that it not continue or you should find someone else to service the car.

The smell from spilled or dripping oil is a nuisance but there is no hazard. If it is merely the result of a careless oil change, it clears up on its own in a short time.

It is not a feature of all Honda Accords, only those that have been worked on by a sloppy technician. Find a mechanic who does oil changes the right way and you will not run into this situation again.

I have to agree with both ok4450 and with SteveF.

Some people patronize a “Quick Lube” place for its convenience, despite their typical ineptitude.
It appears that the OP is patronizing Quick & Dirty Lube, which is even worse!

OP–Find a new place to have your car serviced.

Hubby is incorrect. It is not characteristic of all honda Accords. It is sloppiness by the tech. It is, simply, spiled oil not properly cleaned up. Although I have to admit that my daughter’s Civics were aleays mess to change the oil on because of the filter location.

Another reason you should see if you can see where the oil drip is is because it could be puddled in a cavity and smoke for a week before it dissipates.

Keep track of your oil level for the next week or so, just in case the filter gasket has not been properly seated and it’s leaking onto an exhaust component.

Your car should not smoke or smell after an oil change. It should be returned to you as you left it.

It may not necessarily be the mechanic’s fault. It may be a shop management issue.

Many cars have the oil filter located in a place that results in oil dripping directly onto an exhaust pipe during an oil and filter change. Most of us clean the oil off with some rags or some aerosol cleaner. But the mechanic at your oil change place may not be able to do so. My laundry service recently told me of a cost-saving measure implemented by our local oil change chain. To save on shop rags, management took the monthly car count and decided that the facility would be allotted 1.2 rags per vehicle. Period. Thus severely limiting the number of rags a guy has to clean some spilled oil. Sure your car stinks, but they saved hundreds of dollars over a year.

What year is this Accord? ASE is right some accords have a oil filter that is IMPOSSIBLE to remove with out spilling oil onto the exsaust… My shop sprays it down with brake cleaner to remove the oil prior to starting the car… The problem with this is every now and then the cars catch fire… No not kidding… has happened twice since I started working here 2 years ago… Usually the “new” guy does it, they then become known as “remember that guy… Yeah what happend to him”

Oil is not flammable, it is combustible. Flammable means that it gives off ignitable vapors at room temperature. Combustible means that the material must be heated up first.

gsragtop, you’re shop should not use brake cleaner on an exhaust system as many of them are flammable. A wipe down with a clean rag will remove enough oil so that the smoking should not last beyond the car being driven tot he parking lot.

If the residual oil is bothering you, pick up a bottle of “simple green” or the like. Stay away from purple stuff or variants of that because it can damage/oxidize aluminum. Let the engine cool, spray on a heavy coat in the affected area and let sit. Rinse well with a regular hose and it should be gone at next start-up. It is OK to let the water evaporate, you don’t have to dry it off.

Vehicle electrical connectors have to pass a very stringent battery of tests for salt spray and high pressure wash. You won’t hurt a thing this way, as long as you don’t spray it into the air filter box opening…

You can dampen a rag with Simple Green, but you need a lot of water to rinse the remainder off if you want to.

I have a 2005 Accord EX V6 and never experienced oil on the exhaust system.

The oil filter on the 4 cylinder Accords is right above the exhaust pipe. The smoke you see is either used oil or the flesh on your arm.

The title of the original post says residual oil and the following text states dripping oil so that needs to be clarified before it can be determined if the engine is going up in flames or scattering connecting rods.

Oil will definitely burn quickly and brightly. Oil field tanks around here going up in a fireball after a lightning strike is not a rare thing.

Like most issues this one is relative. Is smoke visibly coming from under the hood when leaving the shop? After driving 5 minutes is the burnt oil smell still noticeable? If so I would suggest finding a more ‘professional’ shop. The odor of burnt oil the first few minutes after an oil change is acceptable on cars with oil filters located over the exhaust but a good shop will wipe up the excess. When under hood insulation becomes saturated with oil it becomes a fire hazard but an oil film is not likely to flame up.