Burning Smell From Engine Due to Valve Cover Gasket Leak on Saturn Vue

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The engine valve cover gaskets may develop and engine oil leak. A burning smell may be noted from the engine area if the type of leak were to occur.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 130,792 (48,500–219,000)
Engines affected: 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 2.4L 4 Cylinder, 3.0L V6, 4 Cylinder, 6 Cylinder
5 model years affected: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, more2008
56 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 31 comments
Burning smell then smoke coming from front and exhaust pipe. I had the Valve Cover Gasket replaced but it kept leaking so they replaced it again a week later. it seemed fixed for the past 8 months but now that the weather is getting colder it is leaking again and seems like I need to have gasket replaced again. Why does this keep happening? Is it not being fixed correctly?
My 2003 Vue was leaking oil on the garage floor and I could smell burning oil after driving. Took to a certified mechanic and they said the valve gaskets needed replaced. I had them do the work. Notice car was still leaking just as much oil on the floor after repair. Called and they took a second look and said the oil filter housing was cracked and that was probably the problem all along. They replaced the oil filter housing. One month later I still have an oil leak. Does any one have any idea what I should do next. I am tired of spending money and not having the car fixed.
i have an oil leak an do not know were it is coming from.I had the valve covers changed an the leak remains a problem.
I have a 2003 vue v6 3.0 and when I changed the spark plugs the holes where full of oil from both valve cover gaskets leaking. car didn't use oil but smelt like burning oil when you shut it off.
My Saturn Vue ran great for a while after I purchased it. But, I noticed a burning smell coming from under the hood. Upon investigating where it was coming from, I discovered a major valve cover leak. A build up of burnt oil rested upon the outer portion of the valve cover. This explains the need to put oil in about once a month. Now I am in a fix because all the Saturn Dealers are closed down and other GM dealerships are reluctant to address the issue. I have been unable, to date, to have the problem fixed. Now I am battling GM over taking responsibility for the ignition recall. They do not want to reimburse me for the repair I had done claiming 'it doesn't qualify' even though GM sent me the notice to have it repaired at me local GM dealership, of which, I did. Now the dealership gets paid 'twice' and I get nothing!!!!!! Way to go GM... that's one way to cut down on the claims made by Saturn Vue owners. The dealer gets theirs and the owner gets nothing but a devalued vehicle that will be hard to resell because of your poor manufacturing practices and failure and delay of notifying the public of issues needed to be recalled. Now you want to blame the poor manufacturing on 'old GM' and avoid what you failed to alert the public about. Well, the way I see it, you can't avoid issues just because a bankruptcy has been discharged. The issues themselves were not known at the time, and if they were, you again failed the customer by not alerting them to the issues related to recalls. A bailout is one thing, but a complete bailout against the consumer and the faith they put in buying your products is another. I think if you are claiming to 'wipe the slate clean as of 2009', then maybe the 'people' need to 'keep it wiped clean'. I will never buy another GM product again. You do not stand behind your product or the people that purchases it!!!
Was going on a 1,400 mile trip and went to the dealership to have it looked at; was advised it was a quart low (I think they forgot to put all the oil in); I never check the oil because I have the oil changed faithfully and serviced as needed. When I returned, I immediately went to have the oil changed and they said there was some leakage at that point. Have started to smell the burning oil. Took it by for regular oil change and I've been told the valve cover gasket is leaking and must be replaced. It will cost approximately $300 at the dealership. I never had these issues with other vehicles I've owned since the 70's and I keep my vehicles for a very long time...7-10 years min. I've had numerous other issues with the Vue, but this is the current problem. This is my first and last Saturn/GM product.
Valve cover gasket leakage, allowed oil to get into the windings of the alternator contributing to premature failure of that unit and associated expense of $250 + for replacement. Had gaskets replaced once, but they are leaking once again, has't ben a year and $279 +
2nd time I've been told filter housing cracked. Both places said they fixed, but still leaking.
This causes a smoking coming from the engine which is alarming. I had the gasket replaced but within 5000 miles it started again. It costs $500 to get it replaced.
Oil leak from possible valve cover gasket dripping on exhaust manifold sending nasty i'm sure carcinogenic smoke into passenger cabin.

I hope getting new gaskets will fix the problem. However I have been reading other blogs that it has not helped a lot.
Every time I use my car there is a burning smell... I thought it was the radiator but my husband checked the radiator & said it was fine.