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Old 12-29-2010, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Burning rubber smell under hood

I am posting in regards to a 2000 Outback with a smell that is coming from under the hood. Origionally, it was thought to be related to the alternator. I have cleaned all contacts, and wire connections, and replaced the belts. This has resulted in an improvement in available power, in that there is no longer any voltage drop under load. The smell has persisted. It is an intermittent smell, and is almost like burning rubber rather than an electrical smell. As a test, when we were driving, we shut off the outside air and we did not smell the odour any more, untill the recirculation was opened again.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Smells can be hard to describe, and interpret. But one very common source of a burning smell under the hood, that also often gets into the HVAC, is grease being thrown out from a front axle CV boot. The grease lands on the exhaust and burns/smokes off. Check the boots on both front axles for cracks and signs of grease on the front chassis crossmember.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
Smells can be hard to describe, and interpret. But one very common source of a burning smell under the hood, that also often gets into the HVAC, is grease being thrown out from a front axle CV boot. The grease lands on the exhaust and burns/smokes off. Check the boots on both front axles for cracks and signs of grease on the front chassis crossmember.
X2. This is what caused this smell on our 2000 Outback. We had a cracked CV boot. It does smell like burning rubber at times as well as a few other things.

Good luck.

KB
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a 2000 outback with 110k in it, it also has a rubber burning smell under the hood. I found the valve covers leaking, oil runnung down the frame and then dripping on to the exhaust system wich in turn caused the smell. I cleaned all the oil I could and the smell went away for a while untill the oil once again reached the exhaust. I have to replace the gaskets in the valve covers. I was confused because oil dosen't smell like rubber when it burns, but when I cleaned it up the smell went away. good luck Mark
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have an 05 that smelled like burning rubber since new. I drive the car like a granny but under load uphill exhaust gets very hot and crap on it start stinking. I dont have any leaks nor tears in CV boots. It smells in winter or summer, anytime car is under load. I definitely think its realted to exhaust pipes geting hot. I am surprised that at 80k miles it still smells.....
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have that smell on my 09, i live on top of a mountain, and i only smell it when i get to the top, in snow. The tires are not spinning or anything, after someone said the tailpipe, I'm thinking that it gets hot because of the high snow, and low air flow across it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. We took it to a garage to see if the CV needed to be replaced.. I am embarassed to say the smell was a garbage bag melting on metal in the front end. :P
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