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Doing a regular oil change, but find that your oil is smelling like gas?
This isn’t a bad sign; usually, there is some gas mixed in with your oil, but a large amount of gas in your oil could be signs of something much more serious.
Therefore, getting your engine checked out as quickly as possible is recommended when your oil smells like gas. But what are the causes behind it and possible solutions?
Let’s find out as we explore the question, What Does It Mean When Your Oil Smells Like Gas…
Why is Oil That Smells Like Gas Bad?
Gas mixing with oil is not a good thing. Oil is used within the engine to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
Oil protects the engine components, which are mostly metal, from wear and tear of friction. If gas gets mixed in with the oil, it might lead to less efficient lubrication of critical engine components, which leads to faster wear and tear or even engine failure.
Another reason is fuel economy. When your oil smells like gas, the gas has probably entered the oil pan through the combustion chamber, which means fuel is not being burned efficiently. This can lead to higher fuel consumption, therefore, wasting money.
How Does Gas Get Into The Oil?
If your oil smells like gas, it most likely made its way through the combustion chamber. To be clear, some gas will always make its way to the oil pan eventually, especially if you drive long distances. The reason is that oil is distributed throughout the car’s engine, lubricating all the components.
During these standard operations, fuel is sent to the combustion chamber, where it is combusted and sent through the valves and pistons. Some fuel might not be combusted and make its way through to the pistons, which then will drip through to the oil pan.
A real cause of concern is if there is a lot of gas in the oil. Usually, this can be smelled but not seen. Gas usually won’t change the color of oil much, but the smell will change to a strong, sharp gasoline smell if a lot of gas has made its way through.
What Causes Oil To Smell Like Gas?
So, after establishing that gas is making its way through to the oil pan, it is time to look at some causes. Here are a few reasons your oil is smelling like gas…
Rich Fuel Mixture
If the fuel you are using is too rich, it can cause the fuel to not combust correctly. The compression rate of the combustion chamber is set to a specific ratio; if that gas to air mixture is off, due to rich fuel, then a lot of fuel will be left unburned. This will lead to fuel dripping through the piston rings to the oil pan.
This problem can be caused by faulty sensors in the engine. The O2 sensor measures if the fuel mixture is burning correctly. It checks if the fuel is too rich or too lean. It might also be the air intake temperature sensor. This sensor detects how hot the air that is coming into the engine is.
Old Piston Rings
If the piston rings wear out, then gas will start leaking through from the pistons to the oil pan. Fixing the piston rings will require a complete tear down of most of the engine, which is costly. This is usually the last thing a mechanic will recommend or check.
Broken or Faulty Carburetor
If you own a vehicle that still uses a carburetor, then it might be the cause of gas leaking into the oil. Carburetors have a diaphragm that handles the air and fuel mixture. The diaphragm is connected to the gas pedal. If it gets rusty or worn out, it could get stuck. This leaves it open, allowing more gas to come in than should, leading to gas leaking into the oil.
Faulty Fuel Injector
Fuel injectors are found in newer vehicles. They are responsible for atomizing and spraying gas into the combustion chamber. If a fuel injector is worn down or broken, it could lead to gas leaking and not being properly spread throughout the combustion chamber, which could make gas drip into the oil pan.
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I’ll finish by discussing how do you fix gas leaking into the oil?
If your oil smells of gas, it is important to get the vehicle to a professional as soon as possible. This is because the things that might be causing it, like faulty injectors or broken sensors, can lead to more serious damage.
The best thing to do is to service your vehicle regularly by a certified mechanic and follow the car’s book.