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Old 03-07-2008, 08:53 AM   #1
balub
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle:
2000 Impreza OBS
Silver

Default Burning smell - what is it?

I have a 2000 Impreza OBS. I have been trying to figure out a burning smell which seems like plastic burning. It is strongest from the right front side. I can smell it near the wheels and on the same side under the hood. Does not seem to be coming from the engine itself.
The car does not need to be fully warm to activate the smell. So I suspect it has not much to do with the engine heating up. I think it has do with friction. Something is grinding against some moving part. Although I hear no noise. I do not see any smoke either. Just a strong smell. Could anyone help me diagnose the problem?

My idiot of a mechanic suggested I put the car vent on re-circulate so that I do not smell it when driving.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
mopartodd
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2010 2.5i Outback
Satin White

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Fluid leak, maybe??
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
balub
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Silver

Default

First I thought it was coolant fluid because of the kind of smell. Although I do not know how a burning coolant would smell like. To me it does not smell like any oil burining. Is there anything special around the passenger side of the vehicle, under the hood? Or may be it is something around the wheel area. Any specific suspects, could it something to do with the brakes?
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #4
Subie Gal
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1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS

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get full under the car (safely of course)

check the inner axle seal where the axle meet the transmission

check for any oil leaks


something is dripping onto the exhaust and burning off.

Jamie
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
balub
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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2000 Impreza OBS
Silver

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I think I found the problem. Right under the engine what I believe is the exhaust pipe (still trying to figure out my car without a service manual) closer to the passenger side there was molten plastic stuck. It was burning off slowly and when I scraped that (while the engine was running) smoke came out. I brushed off as much as I could. I do not have a way to lift the car so I had basically stretch as much as I could. I burnt the scrap pieces outside to confirm it was the same smell.

Now I am wondering whether it is some plastic part that fell of from some other part of the car above it. I am suspecting a wire tie. Another puzzle. My thinking is that it would be harder to pick something from the roads. Given pittsburgh's potholes something fell off the car which was probably already loose.

Thanks subie gal, i was kind of under the car when you were posting the reply.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Subie Gal
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1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS

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likely a plastic bag.... or some kind of debris which ended up under your car....

happens quite a bit actually

Jamie
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