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Old 10-29-2000, 08:23 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 156
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: san francisco, ca, usa
Exclamation smell coming from car after drive...

there is a "burning plastic" type smell coming from my car now when i drive it.... my guess is it has to do with the clutch (although it doesn't feel any different then before) since it started smelling right after i was stuck in traffic trying to pick up friends at the airport ( a lot of '0-10-0mph' for about an hour). i checked all my fluid levels and everything seems fine... no engine lights or anything and it drives completely normal.

any ideas?

[oh, and my car is a 99 w/ 32,000 miles on it and no engine mods.]
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cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2000, 09:47 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 233
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Cupertino, CA

I assume when you start the car moving, you slip the clutch, right? probably just slipping too much in one day...
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Old 10-30-2000, 03:46 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 660
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Windsor, Ontario CANADA

This topic has puzzled many in the past, and in the end it almost always resulted from a plastic bag that has found it's way to sticking to your exhaust. Have a look under your car and see if there are remnants of burning plastic along your exhaust. If there is, you can expect the smell to go away after a few days (unless you wanna get under there and clean it yourself) This happened to me last year, and I thought I broke my scooby! :P
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Old 10-30-2000, 06:49 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 298
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Oahu, Hawaii
2000 Impreza 2.5RS


I had a similar burning smell and it turned out to be grease/transmission oil leaking from the driver's side front transaxle onto the exhaust pipe. Someone mentioned it might be the axel seals gone bad. Anybody else have this problem?
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Old 10-30-2000, 07:46 AM   #5
Subie Gal
Super Moderator
Member#: 301
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: WA
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS


I had issues w/Axle grease once... stock grease was too thin and was leaking onto the exhaust - causing the burning smell... there was a dealer recall...

could be tranny fluid?? as well???

of course, I still have that problem
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Old 10-30-2000, 09:08 AM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 156
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: san francisco, ca, usa

ahh... plastic bag... i think i remember running over one and not seeing it behind me. i hope that's it.

thanks guys.
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Old 10-30-2000, 04:09 PM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 2477
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: sj, ca usa

i had the same burning-plastic smell too. first i thought it was my clutch, but turns out there was a melted plastic bag stuck to the exhaust piping. this was last week and i still have that smell, even after scraping off as much plastic as i could. could be just the remaining bits being burned off or something else, like my clutch after all.. let us know what you came up with. -g
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