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Old 03-18-2004, 12:52 AM   #1
jmcomp124
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Question Cosmoline/Rubber smell Dreaded Rear Differential problem

Got the XT this weekend and simply love the way this beautiful machine drives. However, I noticed a strange rubber smell (more like burning rubber) that I thought came from the hood scoop. I still can't point my finger and say "there" that is where it is coming from. I read about the rear differential problem here and http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=493805 and I am praying that I don't have to replace the differential. It is a brand new car and just traded in a problematic Jeep. The XT has only 200 miles on it and I can hear a faint Whine that seems to come from the rear. No smell from the differential. I used a regular thermometer and the differential is about 100F. Is this indeed a differential problem?
I called the service center and they said could be because of Cosmoline. Should I push for a new differntial? Will it fix the problem?
Thanks,
-Jai
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:10 AM   #2
Glass Man
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As new as your XT is, you are just smelling the undercoating (cosmoline?). Had the same exact smell on our '01 VDC, '02 RS and the new XT. It will disappear in a few weeks...
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:19 AM   #3
jmcomp124
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Thanks for the encouraging note. However, this thread here http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...threadid=493805 specifically talks about the rear differential problem related to this smell and whining sound. Please read through it and let me know what you think.
Thanks,
-Jai
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:22 AM   #4
jmcomp124
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Is 100F for the differential, too hot after a normal drive ? The green metal is just warm, not hot.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:34 AM   #5
Glass Man
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Don't know enough to speak about the differential problem, just that the burning rubber smell is a very common thing for all new Subarus. With only 200 miles on the odo, this is most likely what you are smelling.

If you still think that it's the differential, take it in to the dealer...
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:51 AM   #6
jmcomp124
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Let's think through this process....
How can the hot rubber smell be related to the rear differential problem?
I am guessing, a hot differential will transmit the heat to the CV boots which when hot could give out that smell.
Since in my case the smell is not coming from the rear, I guess (really hope) it is the cosmoline and I hope Glassman that you are right.

Now what about the 100F temperature that I observed. Well is that too hot?

A gentleman has answered that question here http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...t+differential that 120F is surprisingly normal.

Since the whining sound is very faint, I guess it may be a non-issue. A lot left to speculation, but looks like this maybe something simple and not worth losing my sleep over.
Thanks,
-Jai
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:35 AM   #7
Corkfish
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New cars make lots of smells when they're being broken in.
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Old 03-18-2004, 11:08 AM   #8
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I told my dealer that they should tell EVERY BUYER of these Subaru's about this "smell". Had I not read about it in newsgroups like this one, I certainly would have turned right around to bring my FXT back after driving it (about 50 miles) home. It STINKS for the first week or two. The initial drive produced a really really bad smell.

Bob
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:17 PM   #9
wuckers
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That's funny, my XT has never made a smell, other than that new car smell.
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:49 PM   #10
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Had the annoying smell for the first couple of weeks, just a new car thing.
As far as the rear differential, I think the stories of a few people are making new owners more paranoid than they need to be.

My $.02
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:08 PM   #11
SubaruCO
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Quote:
Originally posted by wuckers
That's funny, my XT has never made a smell, other than that new car smell.
I also agree. Every new car I have ever been in has a bit of that new "burn in" smell. It's distinct enough from burning oil/trans fluid/gear oil that one can tell the difference. I love my "new car" smell and I'll be very sad when it goes away. Opening the door this morning and getting in the drivers seat made my olfactory senses tingle with pleasure.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:26 PM   #12
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Default problem with your rearend

Hi,

I originally posted the message regarding a whining rear-end about a month ago or so. To sum up the problem: faint whining turned into more noticable whining and a slight hot smell by 500 miles (from 30+ mph both deceleration and acceleration). Last week I had the rear diff. replaced by my dealer (1,300 miles).... and guess what? No more problems, very quiet and not smelly at all. (I was starting to think the smell was something else, but it was the rear-end). I think that some people (round-the-bend) referring to me reporting a known problem as making other potential buyers "paranoid" is silly. That is the purpose of this forum.. to inform, enlighten, and learn.

It is because of the people that do report problems that the rest of the forum users are better informed.

sodak78

p.s. Seriousely considering Silver 17" SDR's w/ 225/50/17's on my Silver 5spd. XT... Anyone else already got these?
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Old 03-18-2004, 03:15 PM   #13
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Hmm....was out clearing off snow/ice from my XT's rims (Causes a nasty vibration like unbalanced wheels if left in there) this morning, after having driven a while, noticed a burnt-rubber smell and dismissed it as I've never had a rear diff whine, but I couldn't locate any other possible source for the smell (no one else was in the parking area, I had not smoked my tires, etc)....6,000mi on it so it's not the new-car smell....
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Old 03-18-2004, 04:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by SubaruCO
I also agree. Every new car I have ever been in has a bit of that new "burn in" smell. It's distinct enough from burning oil/trans fluid/gear oil that one can tell the difference. I love my "new car" smell and I'll be very sad when it goes away. Opening the door this morning and getting in the drivers seat made my olfactory senses tingle with pleasure.
My dads new honda Accord coupe (sweet car) put off such a stink the first couple weeks... we got it in august, and now it only has like 800 miles on it. Maybe the Dad should let me drive it more


Clark
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Old 03-19-2004, 12:03 PM   #15
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For those with higher miles and the smell, refer to the descriptions of the "rear diff whine." It was a VERY quiet whine with my car and ONLY between 55-65 MPH with VERY light acceleration/deceleration. If was pretty hard to duplicate unless you kinda knew what to look for. However, to me, the smell was more obvious. Every time I stopped at light or parked my car, I'd kinda sniff the air and scratch my head. I even checked all my tires to make sure they weren't rubbing anywhere. After the rear diff was replaced the smell went away. If you have higher miles (like greater than 1000) and a kinda "hot" almost like burning rubber smell that seems to waft from nowhere, you should, IMHO, worry about your differential being the culprit.

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXT
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:01 PM   #16
jmcomp124
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Ok guys,
I called the dealer yesterday and explained to him the whining problem I am having with the rear differential and the smell and the guy at the service center asked me to bring it in. He made a comment that sounded a bit arrogant in tone when he said "There has not been even one case of a differential problem with the 2004 XT". I called him on a Monday morning and he said the next available spot was only on "Thursday". Is that how long it takes for a reputable dealer to give an appointment? I used to own a Jeep (which had it's problems BTW) and they always gave me a next day appointment. Is this because the guy thinks that I am making something up and that it is not important? I want to get this looked at ASAP and my car has only 460 miles on it. The Whine and smell are still there and looks like it is getting worse.

What if they come back saying that everything is normal after I take time off work for this reason?

What would be my next course of action? I bought the car from this dealer and I feel like they gave me a defective piece. It had 37 miles on it when I bought it. Please advise..

Thanks,
-Jai
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:27 PM   #17
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Here's a TSB on a similar problem for ya:

Underhood Transport Coating Smell @ Scoobymods

Smell coming from hood transpires to rear diff? Huh?

Last edited by SASniper; 03-23-2004 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:58 PM   #18
jmcomp124
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SA Sniper,
I am aware of that information as I have read a lot of threads relating to this issue. See my previous post, in this thread, to answer your question.

The fact "It is not clear where the smell originates from"

Secondly "The problem is real" if not SOA would not yield to requests and replace the differentials right?

Now it becomes a problem of identifying the real issue from Paranoia. Having invested about $25K on a machine, I think every customer deserves the money's worth and if there is a problem, it needs to be fixed to the customer's satisfaction.
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:21 PM   #19
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I understand your concern ... I was just trying to help

Just noticed you suddenly associated the smell with a rear diff whine

*I'm not usually a gun jumper*
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:38 PM   #20
SuperRuWRX
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Quote:
Every time I stopped at light or parked my car, I'd kinda sniff the air and scratch my head.
I've been doing the same thing for a long while now.
My first thoughts were it smelled like antifreeze. But now others say burning rubber, well maybe.
Mine seems to be coming from the engine compartment drivers side?
Also I've noticed a very very slow loss of coolant.
I have no whine so far.
I'm sure we will figure it out soon, then Subaru will fix it.
Richard
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:55 AM   #21
jmcomp124
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Noticed some kind of green stuff under the engine when I looked beneath. The texture is almost like a petroleum jelly and it is sticking to the metal. Can be rubbed off. What exactly is this stuff?
Is this the Cosmoline? Anyways, it is going in for a check-up tomorrow. Now 525 miles.
-Jai
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:02 AM   #22
boothwrx
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The green stuff is cosmoline. When it gets hot and burns off it turns into a brownish color.
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Old 03-25-2004, 08:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by SASniper
Underhood Transport Coating Smell @ Scoobymods

It says it's green here. Clean it with mineral sprits
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:48 PM   #24
SuperRuWRX
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WD 40 will dissolve it too.
Richard
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Old 03-25-2004, 05:11 PM   #25
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My car was smelling new until I put the suby rubber floor mats in they stink, maybe thats the rubber smell?
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