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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, ASE Certified Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 19451
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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Chrysler Sebring Limited: Car has strong oil smell from vents

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Car has strong oil smell from vents and oil light comes on when foot taken off gas a.d braking. Oil light does not come on when driving or accelerating.

Hello and thank you for using Justanswer. The oil smell is likely due to oil leaks on the engine, check the valve covers and oil pan gaskets for leaks.

The bigger issue is the oil light coming on. This indicates that the engine oil pressure is low at lower engine speeds. This means either a bad oil pump or excessive internal parts wear in the engine. You can remove the oil sending unit and temporarily connect a manual oil pressure gauge to verify the low pressure condition. From there I would suggest starting with replacing the oil pump. If that does not work then you are looking at needing to rebuild or replace the engine.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've been thinking about your excellent answer and have a follow-up: I am not confident that the car is is worth putting much money into it-which even replacing just the oil pump is expected to be near $1000- and the trade-in value would probably be not much more than $1000, so I'm thinking it would be best to just run the car as is and just use it around town. I'd expect to put no more than a hundred miles on it every two weeks. Does this sound reasonable to you? Could I reasonably expect the car to be usable for several months and when it fails what will happen-- I don't want to create a safety issue? I realize you can't offer a definitive answer, just looking for your opinion on the matter.

Change the engine oil and go with a 15w40 oil. This oil is thicker and will hold pressure better. This should get you by for several months. I would likely not want to sink any money into this car either. I am a used car dealer and do not have a high opinion of the Sebring. If the engine does eventually give out on you it will likely just start knocking at some point. I do not believe it will just die on you or pose a safety problem.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much. You've been very helpful and I will be following your advice. And your opinion of the Sebring is spot on- the worst car I ever owned and that's coming from someone who once drove a Rambler and a Karmen Gia.

You are very welcome.