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      01-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
bigbacon
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burning smell?

My car doesn't get driven very much but over the last few days I had to make some trips (like 40 miles)

I've been noticing when I get the car in the garage, something smells pretty terrible like burning/fire/melting whatever...

The car drives fine, it accelerated fine, clutch isn't slipping only problem I do have it getting into certain gears is troublesome at time and notchy as hell unless I am above 3500rpms.

temperature of engine is normal, oil levels are ok, coolant levels are ok. Brakes seem fine.

I am assuming I am burning the clutch,
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      01-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbacon View Post
My car doesn't get driven very much but over the last few days I had to make some trips (like 40 miles)

I've been noticing when I get the car in the garage, something smells pretty terrible like burning/fire/melting whatever...

The car drives fine, it accelerated fine, clutch isn't slipping only problem I do have it getting into certain gears is troublesome at time and notchy as hell unless I am above 3500rpms.

temperature of engine is normal, oil levels are ok, coolant levels are ok. Brakes seem fine.

I am assuming I am burning the clutch,
Does it smell like a burnt clutch? Does it smell like wires melting? It all depends on what it smells like. Sorry cant be much of help trying to diagnose a smell over internet. Maybe a trip to a mechanic can help you.
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      01-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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When do you smell it most? I would think a possible cause could be valve covers leaking.. The first place to look to me would be somewhere near the exhaust. Unless you're driving the car hard I'd doubt you'd smell burning clutch...

Can you tell where it's coming from if you've got the hood open?
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      01-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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i dont know what burnt clutch smells like.

not driving the car hard.

With the hood open it doesn't really smell but I can smell it in the garage after I park the car. Car is going to the shop in the spring to get its last trip and lots of money worth of stuff done but maybe I need to take it earlier.
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      01-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbacon View Post
i dont know what burnt clutch smells like.

not driving the car hard.

With the hood open it doesn't really smell but I can smell it in the garage after I park the car. Car is going to the shop in the spring to get its last trip and lots of money worth of stuff done but maybe I need to take it earlier.
I would bet your clutch needs to be adjusted. Burnt clutch, to me, always smells like canned tuna mixed with a chemical sort of smell. Hard to explain but very specific in smells.
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      01-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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My money is on the valve cover gasket and/or related seals. The car is the right age to see this, and it's very common. Link.
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      01-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbacon View Post
i dont know what burnt clutch smells like.

not driving the car hard.

With the hood open it doesn't really smell but I can smell it in the garage after I park the car. Car is going to the shop in the spring to get its last trip and lots of money worth of stuff done but maybe I need to take it earlier.

My clutch finally gave out but it worked fine, but I could notice a distinct smell...it wasn't like anything I'd ever smelled before...it wasn't like a smoke or oil burning smell, again, it was very distinct... a while later I noticed clutch slippage, and the smell became more noticeable...I wasn't in the position at the time to switch it out, so I started engaging the clutch differently to not cause more issues, but I completely lost performance by changing the way I had to go into gears...
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      01-14-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbacon View Post

I've been noticing when I get the car in the garage, something smells pretty terrible like burning/fire/melting whatever...
This smells familiar: http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=613072
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      01-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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Oh man, yes, mice!
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      01-14-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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Check to see if you caught a plastic bag anywhere near the exhaust system underneath the car or on the mufflers and you still have melted plastic on any of the hot parts. This would smell the most when you have the car parked in the garage after driving it. This would match your description of "melting".
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      01-16-2013, 09:31 PM   #11
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I'll have to look at the valve cover, I know when I changed the spark plugs I didn't notice any oil getting in to those areas but that a like a year ago.
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      01-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #12
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if your clutch is worn it would certina behave like this and could smell like this too.
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      01-22-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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Man I got the same dang problem, do you have any smoke coming form the right side of the engine. My wife was the one who noticed it. It's faint at first, and I just changed my spark plugs about 2 months ago. I think it might be my rubber seals, so I'm going to order some this weekend....see if that takes care of it. Yeah no leaks on the ground or anything like that...
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      01-23-2013, 07:00 AM   #14
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That sounds like a valve cover to me, pretty straight forward job, maybe 1-2 hours?
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      01-23-2013, 07:42 PM   #15
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Your nose has amplitude sensitivity... does it have directional sensitivity?
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      01-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFGJR View Post
...man, funny thread to read (prob not fun to deal with though)!

OT
I was cringing and at the same time waiting on the mouse to shoot out of the cannon :-/. Reminds me of one time in college: There was a guy in my apartment complex that apparently had early classes every day during a winter session. He loved to crank the car and rev it over and over until it warmed up (idle-5-6krpm, no joke)...which isn't good to do anyway, idiot. So one drunken latenight my roommate and I got the bright idea to go stuff potatoes in his exhausts (it was an older prelude, so 4 exits). The next morning I heard it crank, one rev and BOOOOOM!! Potato cannon. Then I didn't hear any revving. I think he was in awe and pulled off. I would have loved to have seen his expression. However, I saw 4 perfect little potato cylinders in the parking lot when I went to class and almost fell on the ground.


BOT, I would side with the valve cover/sparkplug seals. I would take a look again, a lot can happen in a year! It helps to know what things smell like when 'bad things' burn though...They all have pretty distinct smells. Oil, coolant, electrical, brakes, and clutch. Unless your fender liner is rubbing on the tire (melting plastic smell)? GL

Last edited by Neegra; 01-24-2013 at 02:31 PM. Reason: storytime
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      02-06-2013, 06:23 PM   #17
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finally pulled off the cover and I didn't see antything out of thge ordinary.

I pulled 2 of the ignition coils out and the spark plug area in those two were clean as a whistle. I peeked around the engine bay and for a car with 78000 miles on it, I don't see a drop of oil anywhere, the engine bay is amazingly clean.

is there more I need to do to really figure out if the seal is leaking?
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      02-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #18
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Take a mirror and look under and around the valve cover gasket region. Look under the heat shield that is above the exhaust manifold. You really need to know what kind of smell you're smelling.

If it's sweet it's coolant,
If it's nasty it's oil
If it's nasty but not repulsive it's brake/tranny/diff fluid.

You can take a whiff of any of the 3 types of fluids and it will help you a lot. If you are leaking brake/tranny/diff fluid enough to smell it, you'd better figure it out right away.
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      02-10-2013, 02:41 AM   #19
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I had this... Alternator.
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      02-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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definitely not sweet.

I can find no visible leaks anywhere.

Planning to take the car in anyway to get all the fluids swapped out so maybe they'll figure something out while doing it.
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      02-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #21
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It could also be the oil separator if you notice a lot of white smoke when you accelerate.
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      02-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #22
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I'll have to look for that next time I drive it.
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