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I just bought this focus from a old friend (1st mistake) 2000 ford focus zts 3 dr hatchback manual trans. 69304miles, didn't look under the hood (2nd), didn't CARFAX (3rd), didnt look up value before agreeing to his price of $5000. (4th), basically trusted my friend (5th), didn't test drive it he took me for a ride around the block (6th)! My issue is a burning smell: cant say its oil or antifreeze just 'Different'; on and off during my first ride (from central jersey to nyc about 20 miles....) Tried both AC and heat during ride, I'm not sure that either initiated the odor. No smoke just odor. Next day popped the hood and saw oil drips on both sides of valve cover... Is this a common problem for this vehicle? What else could I be in store for? Appreciate any help !

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Lisa, Valve covers are a cheap easy fix, and expected on routine maintenance.

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Lisa, I would not freak out just yet. BUT I would keep checking the oil to make sure you have enough until you can get your Focus into the garage and find out what is going on. Could be the oil is dripping onto the exhaust and that is the burning smell. I recommend you get it checked out right away and also have them look it over to make sure there are no other surprises.

Gelina Aquilina, Service Advisor / Mechanic at Leaking valve cover gaskets are a common issue on any car. Smells could be SO many different things. Sounds like you should have the vehicle looked over by a mechanic. Call around and find a shop that will do a "safety inspection." Certain shops will give the car a complete once over at a flat rate. Shop around! And definitely never buy a used car without inspecting it ever again!

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