Engine oil diluted, smells like fuel, level past full mark on dipstick - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Engine oil diluted, smells like fuel, level past full mark on dipstick

MY 2O18 NIRO HEV, 2nd oil change at 10,000 miles. Noticed oil level over filled on dipstick and smells like fuel. Dealership did not validate my concern. Any one else notice this issue? Any advice?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 09:55 AM
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If you feel that the dealership is not taking any of your concerns seriously, then ask to speak with the owner of the dealership that is servicing your Niro. It might take a few tries and a bit of time on your part, but once they are involved you'd find that everyone else inside the dealership will suddenly change the tone and start taking your concerns seriously. If that doesn't work then I'd write two letters (CC:ing each other so they know). One to the owner of the dealership, and the other to the Regional Manager for KIA in your area. If you want it to be taken really seriously, then send the one to the RM as registered mail, so you have a signature for the receipt. Have a log of every complaint that you have, whom to talked to and what they said, did or to your opinion didn't do. Dealerships are pretty regulated by KIA and they don't want bad customer experiences.



Your oil should not be getting any gasoline inside. if the levels are going up then there is a definite leak somewhere and this will have an adverse effect on the lubrication level in the oil. it will lead to the engine needing to be replaced.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Super.gary View Post
MY 2O18 NIRO HEV, 2nd oil change at 10,000 miles. Noticed oil level over filled on dipstick and smells like fuel. Dealership did not validate my concern. Any one else notice this issue? Any advice?

Have you checked your oil since you got it back from the dealer? Is it high, low, or spot on now that it's had a fresh oil change? You might even want to take a picture of the dipstick in case this happens again and you need to press your concern with the dealer.


A leaking fuel injector might cause unburned gas to contaminate your oil. If you are having that problem, you might find that techron or a similar fuel additive will clean the injectors and put an end to it. I have found that an occasional full tank of Chevron gas will help to alleviate minor problems in the fuel system.



Unless your oil is extremely contaminated with gas, it's likely that a dealer would be reluctant to agree that there's a problem. I don't think they have a good way to measure something like that, a small amount of gas smell in waste oil is probably considered normal, and how strongly something smells of gas is kind of subjective, with different people likely to agree or disagree to varying extents. But I think everyone would agree that the level on your dipstick should not increase by a noticeable amount.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, checked oil right after oil change. ( on the full mark) and next morning when cold. (Level above full) next check will be warm. Also noticed fuel smell gone.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 12:11 AM
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You should do more checking on here by searching for old posts. Other people have complained about this quite awhile ago and from what I remember there is a problem but not wide spread.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:43 PM
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I had this problem several months ago. Took it in to the dealership for an oil change and they said the oil smelled of gasoline. They changed the oil and asked me to drive it around for awhile, then bring it back so that they could see if the problem persisted. When I brought it back, they told me there wasn’t any gas smell in the oil.

Made an appointment a couple weeks ago due to a recall and very low gas mileage (29-32mpg; I have only been getting max of 32-37mpg since I bought my Niro). A few days before my appointment, the car gave me a warning that there was a “engine control system” problem and that I needed to schedule service. The dealership just finished replacing all my fuel injectors today (they said they were 99% sure this was the issue of both my low gas mileage and fuel getting into the oil).

When I turned on my Niro to leave the dealership, the “engine control system” warning occurred, and they took back my car. They’re going to check it again tomorrow and see if there’s another issue. Very long story short, I feel your frustration.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:31 PM
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I had this problem several months ago. Took it in to the dealership for an oil change and they said the oil smelled of gasoline. They changed the oil and asked me to drive it around for awhile, then bring it back so that they could see if the problem persisted. When I brought it back, they told me there wasn’t any gas smell in the oil.

Made an appointment a couple weeks ago due to a recall and very low gas mileage (29-32mpg; I have only been getting max of 32-37mpg since I bought my Niro). A few days before my appointment, the car gave me a warning that there was a “engine control system” problem and that I needed to schedule service. The dealership just finished replacing all my fuel injectors today (they said they were 99% sure this was the issue of both my low gas mileage and fuel getting into the oil).

When I turned on my Niro to leave the dealership, the “engine control system” warning occurred, and they took back my car. They’re going to check it again tomorrow and see if there’s another issue. Very long story short, I feel your frustration.
Thanks for the post, I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to hear how this works out for you.


Your experience today might have been a false alarm: maybe replacing the injectors fixed the problem and they simply forgot to reset the part of the car's computer that remembers historic malfunction signals. Or maybe not. If they wind up replacing additional parts, some of us would be interested to learn the part numbers that were replaced if you care to share them.


Owner's manual documentation makes it clear that Kia is concerned about the possibility that the fuel system can become crudded up. They strongly encourage owners to purchase gas from a brand that is listed on https://www.toptiergas.com/. I don't know how all the different brands stack up, but I have the impression that Chevron, while pricier, is apparently also better than a lot of the competition, in terms of the detergents in their gas, so I occasionally purchase regular gas from Chevron, especially if I think there might be a fuel system problem. It does seem to make a difference in my limited experience. (But don't confuse this suggestion with the idea that Premium might be better than Regular: for many modern cars, Premium gas is a waste of money and Regular is what your car is designed to use).

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:45 AM
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The primary purpose of detergents in gasoline is to clean intake valves and fuel lines in older cars. Neither of that applies to the direct injected Niro with pressurized fuel tank. We also have a lot of anecdotal evidence now with high mileage Ioniqs and Niros that suggest top tier gas is not needed. There have been some "faulty" injectors replaced under warranty but no evidence this was due to gummed up injectors. I think paying extra for top tier gas is money down the drain, especially when often other stations are receiving the same exact gas. No harm done of course other than your wallet.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:51 AM
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The primary purpose of detergents in gasoline is to clean intake valves and fuel lines in older cars. Neither of that applies to the direct injected Niro with pressurized fuel tank. We also have a lot of anecdotal evidence now with high mileage Ioniqs and Niros that suggest top tier gas is not needed. There have been some "faulty" injectors replaced under warranty but no evidence this was due to gummed up injectors. I think paying extra for top tier gas is money down the drain, especially when often other stations are receiving the same exact gas. No harm done of course other than your wallet.

I'm not an expert, but I'm not inclined to agree with that idea that it's all about the intake valves. If your injectors are dirty and because of that they are dripping when they should be off, or if they are spraying unevenly when the computer is directing them to be on, then there are going to be consequences. I've always been inclined to reward the least-cost gas supplier in my neighborhood with my business, and I still like to do that when I can. But I have observed in the past few years that if my engine is running rough and I put a tank of Chevron through it, it seems to run more smoothly afterwards. That's not a blanket endorsement for all brands on the top-tier-gas web site, and I really resent the high premium that Chevron charges. I could probably have the same benefit from buying my gas anywhere and purchasing a can of Techron at the parts supply store and dumping it into my tank.



I do think (after reading what others have said on this forum) that the Niro may well need special attention for the intake valves, and I agree that the Niro's design is such that the intake valves won't benefit much from burning gas with good detergents, but that doesn't mean that putting detergent-loaded fuel in your tank won't be beneficial in other respects.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 10:44 AM
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Sure, it will sooth your belief system. Rock on!

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