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Old 11-30-2001, 12:43 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 6542
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
1997 Ver IV

Default constant burning smell = cat going bad?

argh. i don't know what it is, but i smell it every time i drive my car! it's just this hot, burning smell, and it comes through the vents at a stoplight. it smells almost like burning rubber, but not quite...

i'm a shade under 100K mi, so...?

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Old 11-30-2001, 12:56 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 6551
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Carol Stream, IL
'01 GC8 Dinged STM
'09 Concours 14 ABS Black


are you sure there's not a plastic bag caught ont he tailpipe or driveshaft hitting hte exhaust as it goes around?? Look for animals as well......no matter how odd i've seen it.

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Old 11-30-2001, 02:03 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 6831
Join Date: May 2001
Location: philadelphia
98 impreza 2.5RS


I had the same problem a few months ago... turns out i had a small crack in the oil pump and oil was dripping onto the belts... I had to have the oil pump and the belts replaced... Cost somewhere around 400 for parts and labor.
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Old 11-30-2001, 02:04 PM   #4
Scooby Guru
Member#: 4001
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: I love spherical bearings!
2006 Legacy GT
Obsidian black


I am getting the same thing, but could be a separate problem. It happened after I put the new pulleys/belts on. It smells of a burning belt, but I can't see any visible smoke. Also, my A/C won't blow any cold air. I never have heard any squeeling from the belts, and they are tight on the pulleys. Could this be the same problem?

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Old 11-30-2001, 03:43 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2609
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Roseville, Ca, USA
98 BK-GT White
'97 SVX Ebony Pearl


Could be a common ailment. Small oil leak dripping onto hot exhaust. Not enough to cause billowing smoke or big oil spots under the car, but enough to be annoying. Lived with it for years in my Gen1 Legacy! Crawl under and have a look.

Glenn O
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Old 11-30-2001, 04:39 PM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 4071
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Austin, TX
2001 Impreza 2.5RS
Blue Ridge Pearl


My car had a nasty smell a few months ago. Turns out it was the plastic bag melting to the cat syndrome. You might want to check it out too.
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Old 11-30-2001, 08:36 PM   #7
Drift Freak
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 6447
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Falls Church, Va. USA
2001 Impreza RS


Every time I go on gravel or dirt, the dust cakes up on my cat. and smells like burnt toast!
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Old 12-02-2001, 10:51 AM   #8
Subie Gal
Super Moderator
Member#: 301
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: WA
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS


peek under your car.. near the cat.. see if something, fluid is dripping onto the exhaust/cat and burning off...

it's very likely axle or gear oil.

the axle seals are not the best on the Subaru and will be covered under warranty...

i had the seal replaced and axle grease swapped out on my 99 GT....

and just last week the inner seal on my 2001 RS was no good and gear oil was leaking everywhere....

both replaced under warranty...

good indication of this is the "burning smell" that you get...

hope this helps.
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