Question about oil 'smell' and catch-can contents

Messages
163
Location
Jersey Shore, PA
Hello! I have a couple simple? questions about my car's oil. First, I have an 05 Corolla S, and I've been running Mobil1 for the past 13,000 miles or so (and posting UOA here). I've been using FP and LC for the past 6000 miles or so maybe more. I've been slowly extending my oil change intervals, hopefully ending up at a safe 10,000 or so. Q1) I'm at about 6500 miles on my current oil change (M1 EP for the first time), and for the first time, I notice a slightly 'burnt' odor when I check my dipstick. The oil is finally starten to darken past a dark amber towards black, but still semi-transparent. When I get rental cars, they always have a terribly burnt smell to the oil and I always worry about it, but they also supposedly get regular maintainence. Is the 'burnt' odor harmless, or should I plan on getting a UOA in the near future? Q2) I put a homebrew catch can in over the summer, placed the can itself in front of the battery to shield it from heat. Over the summer I'd collect a tablespoon of a dark, thin, smelley liquid once a month or so. With colder weather, I'm getting perhaps two tablespoons of what looks like a water/oil emulsion. Is the water evidence that I'm not warming the engine up enough, or was it always there but the cold temps allow it to condense out or something? Hmm...to put it another way, should I be concerned, or is it normal for the catch-can contents to change over winter? Probably worrying needlessly, but I figured I'd ask anyway! TIA, G
 
Messages
881
Location
NC
For Q2 This is normal. Without the catch can, that oil and water would return to the engine and get burned off, instead you are retaining it. If it was full of water, I'd say you probably aren't driving long enough. Every car has some water. Completely normal.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
quote:
When I get rental cars, they always have a terribly burnt smell to the oil and I always worry about it, but they also supposedly get regular maintainence.
I'd say the average Rental does not get regular maintainence and seeing that the average renter beats the crap out of the car while they are using it, I'd say that ANY oil that is starting to smell burnt is in need of changing. This thread shows the "love" rentals get... [Roll Eyes] Rental car "use" I'd say the catch can contents are normal esp in Humid areas like PA. Take care, Bill [Coffee]
 

GarrettSocling

Thread starter
Messages
163
Location
Jersey Shore, PA
I was hoping that wasn't the case (I'd say that ANY oil that is starting to smell burnt is in need of changing) but I sorta felt the same way myself. I was hoping for much more out of M1 5W30EP + regular 1oz of LC. My UOA done at 5000 looked decent, at 6500 now...was at least hoping to hold out to 7500 or 8000 for another UOA... I'm sorta afraid if I do a UOA on it now its going to come back fine with regards to visc, insolubles, TBN, wear, etc...
 
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