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brownjeff, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 13886
Experience:  17 years experience, ASE certified, dealership certified, Service Manager for 15 years,
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2003 Jeep Liberty Sport: smell of oil in the drivers compartment

Customer Question

I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty Sport. I have owned it for about a year and a half.

About two months ago I started experiencing the smell of oil in the driver's compartment. It is not consistent. Usually it is after driving a while to get the engine warm, then shutting it off. Restarting (much like a gas station stop). Other times it is strong, sometimes faint. I looked under the hood and their is not evidence of oil spraying around. I looked under it and their is not evidence of oil dripping. I was wondering if it was sort of a PSV type failure but my understanding of the engine is so low I can't see anything that looks like the old PSVs that I am used to seeing.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.

If not leaking oil then your on the right track and would suggest replacing the PCV valve which is located in the oil fill tube.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will take a look at the PCV valve and see what I learn. Without your note, I would not even have known where to look. I will get back to you in a couple of days.
Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.

Sounds good.





Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I looked yesterday and I think I may have two problems.


I still get the big puff of oil smell sometimes when I start the jeep. Yesterday it was very dramatic one time and nearly none the rest of the day. I looked at the PCV and it looks like it may take a special tool just to loosen the clamp on the PCV. Is it really that hard or can I do it myself?


I also looked under it for oil leaks. On the passenger side, there is a sensor in the exhaust pipe. The sensor has wires coming down from above. There is a small stream of oil coming down the wires and dripping on the pipe. That would account for a slight smell of oil but I can't bieve it would account for the large puffs. I recently had the oil changed. Is the oil filter above that sensor area?

Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.

The oil filter is not located above the exhaust sensor.


Here is how to remove the pcv valve.


  • Disconnect PCV line/hose by disconnecting rubber hose at PCV valve fitting.
  • Remove PCV valve at oil filler tube by rotating PCV valve downward (counter-clockwise) until locating tabs have been freed at cam lock. After tabs have cleared, pull valve straight out from filler tube. To prevent damage to PCV valve locating tabs, valve must be pointed downward for removal. Do not force valve from oil filler tube.
  • brownjeff and 4 other Jeep Specialists are ready to help you
    Customer: replied 7 years ago.
    I purchased a new PCV and installed it. I have not yet had the large puff of oil smell. I do still have the faint oil smell and I think I may still have a small oil leak that is finding it's way to the manifold. Overall I think you help to resolve the oil smell from the PCV is good so I accept.
    Expert:  brownjeff replied 7 years ago.
    Glad to hear it is better!