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2001 Outback 2.5L Wagon
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255 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
No, it's not the tires. My 2.5L OB barely has enough power to drive along the road let alone burn the tires on pavement. :rolleyes:

So, once in a while I smell a burning rubber smell from the rear wheel wells after getting out of the car. It is definitely more pronounced if I've been horsing around in the snow and swinging the back end around a bit.

I've checked while the car is up on stands, there is nothing even close to rubbing any of the tires.

Anybody else ever notice this? I thought I had seen it mentioned before but couldn't find anything with the search.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
CV boot split spilling grease on a hot exhaust. Check at the cat on the passenger side under the hood.
Oil leaks
A hot clutch.


nipper
 

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2001 Outback 2.5L Wagon
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255 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
nipper said:
CV boot split spilling grease on a hot exhaust. Check at the cat on the passenger side under the hood.
Oil leaks
A hot clutch.


nipper
Good idea on the CV boot. I'll have a look next time it's up on the stands. Since it's coming from the rear it doesn't seem like the answer. If it were the fronts, where it could possibly get on the exhaust, I would expect the smell to come from th front wheel wells. I don't believe the rear CV joints are near any exhaust.

No oil leaks. This thing is tight.

Auto tranny so no clutch to smoke.

Thanks for the reply.
 

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'08 OB 2.5i MT
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257 Posts
There's some posts about this - including mine - over at Edmund's Outback Thread - starts around post 10347.
 

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2005 Outback XT LTD 5EAT
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1,262 Posts
Here in "dry" so cal, I also get the "burning rubber" smell every so often when I get out of the car.

The last 5 miles of my commute is on residental roads, at 30mph, so it's NOT burning rubber from road antics...

It doesn't happen EVERYTIME i get out, but I'd say about 30% of the time.

I still haven't tracked down the source.

At first, I thought it was just new hoses/belts in the engine "heat cycling" and outgassing. But I've got 55,xxx miles on the car now, so any "out gassing" should have been LONG DONE by now.

I've felt each tire, none of them are "hot". Warm to the touch as you would expect from a 50 mile drive, but not "hot", and not hot enough to "smell".

I'm still thinking it's some hose/belt in the engine compartment, but I've never been able to track down which/what is the cause.

BTW... Checked my CV's, all are good. No drips/leaks or anything like that, so that's not the cause.
 

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2001 Outback 2.5L Wagon
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255 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Random said:
Here in "dry" so cal, I also get the "burning rubber" smell every so often when I get out of the car.

The last 5 miles of my commute is on residental roads, at 30mph, so it's NOT burning rubber from road antics...

It doesn't happen EVERYTIME i get out, but I'd say about 30% of the time.

I still haven't tracked down the source.

At first, I thought it was just new hoses/belts in the engine "heat cycling" and outgassing. But I've got 55,xxx miles on the car now, so any "out gassing" should have been LONG DONE by now.

I've felt each tire, none of them are "hot". Warm to the touch as you would expect from a 50 mile drive, but not "hot", and not hot enough to "smell".

I'm still thinking it's some hose/belt in the engine compartment, but I've never been able to track down which/what is the cause.

BTW... Checked my CV's, all are good. No drips/leaks or anything like that, so that's not the cause.
So this says it's common between model years as well. Mine's an '01, yours is an '05. Spans two generations of cars.

I'm going to call Subaru tomorrow and ask them what the story is.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
I did a quick search on the net, and they all point to the AC belt. Check the AC belt tensioner, the bearing may be going. Inspect the belt, check the compressor.

nipper
 

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'08 OB 2.5i MT
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257 Posts
But it happens with new OBs as well like my '08 so the conclusion may be that it has a number of different causes ???
 

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01 Outback LL Bean - SOLD
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90 Posts
I hate to bring back this dinosaur of a thread but...well... Does anyone else have this? I get the same weird burning rubber (almost like brake) smell from the rear end, only about half the time.

I was thinking it MIGHT be the parking brake stuck on, or it MIGHT be a bad caliper. But also, as about the same time as the smell started... the AC crapped out. Any connection?
 

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'08 OBW, 2.5i, auto
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12 Posts
I've experienced a similar problem except I notice this when I turn on the cabin fan (A/C not turned on). It seem the intake is drawing in air around the engine compartment. It is noticeably warm at low speeds and has a burnt smell.

While I cannot determine the exact cause of the burning smell, I do attribute the warm air intake to poor design. Oh well. Just another thing that makes it a 'Subaru'.
 

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2007 Outback 2.5L
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24 Posts
Just a thought:

My 07OBW has 45k miles on it. At about 20k miles I started experiencing something like what you are describing. I never could locate a problem. I noticed later, at about 30k miles, that my power steering reservior was low. I have been told that some of the power steering racks have problems with leaking. (I don't know more about the problem beyond that.)

All that to say I have not experienced the smell in 12k miles or so. In my case my hypothesis was that power steering fluid was dripping on something hot causing the smell. Just something to check.

CAH
 
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