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Discussion Starter #1
2015 Outback with 2.5 engine
After getting oil & filter change and tire rotation last week, we now have a "hot" burning smell, very noticeable standing outside the car, after driving. It reminds me of the smell of hot/burning brakes but I can't say for sure. It just smells hot. We thought it might be some stray engine oil that needed to burn off, but it continues to do it after several trips out. We've never had anything like this before (43k miles). What could oil change or tire rotation have done to cause it? Thanks for your help.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Premium
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Hot brakes have that acrid odor and is unmistakeable. You can also check the temperature of each wheel after driving to see if one is unusually hot. Be careful, if a brake is dragging that wheel may be very hot to the touch. If you have an infrared thermometer, use that rather than your calibrated hand.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R ruby red, 2017 Outback 3.6R Premier Crystal Black Silica
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If you accidentally spilled some oil onto engine parts that get hot, that's what you could be smelling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hot brakes have that acrid odor and is unmistakeable. You can also check the temperature of each wheel after driving to see if one is unusually hot. Be careful, if a brake is dragging that wheel may be very hot to the touch. If you have an infrared thermometer, use that rather than your calibrated hand.
Thanks for the reply. Smell seems to be coming from front left corner, but calibrated hand measured all four wheels ice cold. Is it possible the brakes could be dragging enough to smell, but not enough to heat up the wheel?
 

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Brakes get hot in normal operations. To get hot enough to give off a burning smell will be detectable and obvious. I doubt the brakes are the problem since you have not mentioned any driveability issues.
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring Wilderness Green Metallic
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How long would it normally take oil to burn off?
a while (or at least longer than you think it should). Also if they had an oily glove and touched the exhaust at all, that will leave a residue that will burn off in a few engine cycles.
 
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