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Discussion Starter #1
I don't believe this to be the usual crud burning off the engine/exhaust that is frequently posted.

I have an oily smell, like a PCV system leak. Has anyone has issues with the PCV system?
 

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What times do you smell it?

You'll smell exhaust when the engine is running while the car is stopped, because of the tailpipe's orientation. Usually never happens but ERDTT will allow the engine to run while stopped.

Sounds like your issue may be something else, but figured it was worth mentioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What times do you smell it?

You'll smell exhaust when the engine is running while the car is stopped, because of the tailpipe's orientation. Usually never happens but ERDTT will allow the engine to run while stopped.

Sounds like your issue may be something else, but figured it was worth mentioning.
When the engine is running.
This is not exhaust. It seems that the PCV system is somehow integrated into the valve cover, so I guess a trip to the dealer is in order.
 

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Miles on the car? Car model year?
 

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I had a similar problem. The dealer traced it to a cracked oil filler cap. It cost about $25 to replace. I was so happy to learn it was a minor problem I happily paid and drove off before it occurred to me this should have been covered under warranty and this was the only dealer that had ever done an oil change on my Volt.
 

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Check your oil cap.

It may be cracked as mentioned above, or it may be not be on tight.

The cap design is very dumb.
 

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Oily smell

When I bought my 2013 with 49,000km on it I drove it home from Calgary, about 600km. When I got back their was real oily smell, like oil spilled on manifold. I happened to take it to the dealer for some warranty the next day and they said the oil fill cap wasn't installed properly and had leaked oil. A Ford dealer in Calgary had this as a trade and I stole it at $16,990 back in November. Loving the whole Volt experience so far.
By the way, lots of great info on this forum. I have been following the forum since inception. It took me a while to get on the Volt bandwagon but won't look back now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I had a similar problem. The dealer traced it to a cracked oil filler cap. It cost about $25 to replace. I was so happy to learn it was a minor problem I happily paid and drove off before it occurred to me this should have been covered under warranty and this was the only dealer that had ever done an oil change on my Volt.
I checked it recently but didn't inspect for cracks. That would explain the odor, good idea.

No cracks but it came off a littler harder than it went on. Perhaps it was cocked a little. Hard to say. It'll probably be several months before I drive on gas again to find out.
 

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It'll probably be several months before I drive on gas again to find out.
Ok, this could be the problem. With a car like the Volt, we drive around a lot WITHOUT the ICE running, so the exhaust system stays cold. The problem is, dirt & debris from the road (including oil drops) gets picked up and distributed onto the exhaust system, which is cold, and is NOT burnt off as we drive. Then weeks later, the ICE is forced to run and the exhaust system gets hot and THEN starts to burn all of that dirt & oil that has been collected.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, this could be the problem. With a car like the Volt, we drive around a lot WITHOUT the ICE running, so the exhaust system stays cold. The problem is, dirt & debris from the road (including oil drops) gets picked up and distributed onto the exhaust system, which is cold, and is NOT burnt off as we drive. Then weeks later, the ICE is forced to run and the exhaust system gets hot and THEN starts to burn all of that dirt & oil that has been collected.
Dirt and debris cooking off the exhaust doesn't smell like oil. It's also stronger under the hood.
 

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It'll probably be several months before I drive on gas again to find out.
I sense you have an extreme case of anti-gas syndrome. Many Volt owners succumb to this. If it was me, my curiosity whether the fix worked or not would overcome the anti-gas feelings and force me to run the engine to test it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I sense you have an extreme case of anti-gas syndrome. Many Volt owners succumb to this. If it was me, my curiosity whether the fix worked or not would overcome the anti-gas feelings and force me to run the engine to test it.
it's more just laziness. Ok I'll go pop the hood and put it in MX mode.

edit: couldn't really tell, I'll have to drive around. Sitting still there's too much exhaust smell to decipher anything abnormal. A lot of times in a darkish garage with some light you can see oil vapor leaks, and I didn't see any from the cap.
 
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