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Old 03-19-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 76682
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: WNY
03 Baja
Yellow (of course)

Default That burning smell?!

Anyone ever figure out what it is, and how to fix it? We rented an 05 Outback auto before we bought the baja for a trip to NC, and it had it (had about 4,000 miles on it)-and the Baja has it too (has gotten worse since we bought it with 3,000 on it 12/04, it now has @12,000 on it). Since both are Automatics, and it smells like burnt clutch, we are at a loss. It's buggin the heck out of us!
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 71549
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Anywhere but on Facebook.

There is a substance (I forgot the name) that is used to coat the undecarriage during transit to the dealer that slowly "burns off" during the first few hundred miles of driving. I still have a bit of a burnt smell from that on my '05 Impreza RS at 2,700 miles, but it is a heck of a lot less than it was when the wagon had less than 300 miles. (I have manual transmission.)
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:48 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 69294
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Washington The State
2004 Baja Turbo
Regatta Red / Silver


The consensus seems to be that is either some form of underbody coating or "cosmoline" (packing grease) that is cooking off...


I have 3700 miles on my BT, and it is mostly gone. However, if I am driving hard, or have driven a long freeway distance, I still get the Stink sometimes.

I have a 5MT, and I have roasted the clutch once, and the Stinky Smell is different. For the new folks to the Baja, power launches with AWD AND high-traction snow tires are not reccomended for clutch happiness.

Anecdotally, it seems Turbo models stink more and longer.

Now there also seems to be trend that a radiatior hose clamp on some models gets weepy and the Stink is leaking (in wee amounts) coolant getting cooked.
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Old 03-19-2005, 06:55 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 34811
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Denver
04 Baja T


Long shot, but Impreza in the late 90s had the axel boot torn due to the engine heat, spraying the grease inside the boot, resulting in a burnt smell. Warranty works were done to replace the boot in this case. Check the control arm for grease spots.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:27 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 39844
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boston, MA
2003 Baja
Black / Silver


I just took my 2003 Baja automatic to the dealer to try to figure out the burning smell. What the service dept. came up with is that there was a slight oil leak from the "aftermarket" oil filter and also from a drain plug gasket. I had an oil cange at one of those "quick oil" places several months ago. It's been a couple of days and the smell is gone, so who knows? Maybe something to look into if you have the "burning" smell problem. Hope this helps, guys..BTW, Subaru suggested that I get my oil changed at the dealership!!
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