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Based on the fifth generation Legacy, the fourth generation Subaru Outback was introduced in April 2009 at the New York Auto Show, the fifteenth anniversary of the first Outback's introduction at the same event.

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Oil smell when heater is on

I am currently in the military and my wife is telling me there's a smell of oil coming from the ac when the heater is on. I am thinking I have to replace the pcv valve what are the other factor?

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Did you check the engine for a leak?


If possible, she can try checking under the hood for oil leaks(1), possibly dripping onto the exhaust pipes(2) resulting in cooking off motor oil. The cabin air intake would draw in any odors coming from the engine and surroundings. If unable to do this, perhaps she can reach out to other military families, friends, relatives for help and/or ask for recommendations for local repair shops.


If she is using defrost when it happens, it is pulling air from the engine compartment. Some vehicles will not allow recirc in defrost mode. Most likely there's an oil leak in your motor, and when the heater pulls in air from the engine compartment she smells it. Test this by having her turn the vents to floor, and recirculation.


Most likely what Brandon said


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Hello, I'm not sure how your wife can distinguish the smell of oil but I'm pretty sure it's not that, or if assume that's true then the only possibility is that the water and the oil are mixed together and you have a leak in the heater radiator, in this case the last thing you need to care about is the leak because water and oil should not be mixed otherwise your engine will wear faster, among other things.

So first of all, check the bottle that contains the water, if you see black oil floating then that's a bad sign otherwise it's fine (you have to do that while the engine is cold !!!), after that you need to keep an eye on the water level after every trip, the goal here is to detect if the water is decreasing or not, you don't need to wait until the engine cools down because you can see the water level without opening the bottle.

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