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'04 OBW, 2.5i, 5-spd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of a sudden I smell something burning inside by 04 OBW. Engine is not overheating, gauge is mid way up. I don't see any smoke. But it smells like burning rubber. Heater fan works at all speeds. I examined the belts and they look OK. No strange noises. Odor seems to be coming from under the hood and being sucked into the cab through the ventalation system. I did a visual exam and saw nothing out of place.

I'm stumped. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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303 Posts
Check the CV boots to see if one broke, specifically the passenger inside. That will throw grease all over the catalytic converter. Next could be diff oil, engine oil, or power steering (auto trans oil) dripping on the exhaust.
 

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When mine went my mom was driving the car and stuck in traffic she called me in a panic car smelled like a tar roofing truck and she had heavy white smoke rolling out from under the car. I suspected CV - told her to pull over clear of the road when she could and to turn the front wheels to the left then get out and peek down under the car behind the front passenger side wheel. She confirmed heavy grease all over the inner end of the axle. I told her what it was and that she was fine other than it will smell bad!

She got home fine and the next day I had the axle rebooted $300 at the dealer - we had a road trip the following day so didn't have time to mess with it to save a few bucks.

The car stunk something terrible for about three weeks after that.


REBOOTING!!! IS ALWAYS better than having a cheap aftermarket Axle installed while the shop sells your very good OEM back for good money!!! Keep your OEM AXLE have it rebooted!
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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303 Posts
The car stunk something terrible for about three weeks after that.


REBOOTING!!! IS ALWAYS better than having a cheap aftermarket Axle installed while the shop sells your very good OEM back for good money!!! Keep your OEM AXLE have it rebooted!
This could not be more true. I rebooted the inner on my girlfriend's '04 at about 85k. I thought wiping the grease spray off the converters heat shield would eliminate the smell faster but all it seemed to do was heat up and burn quicker! Still took two or three weeks to go away. Burning axle grease has to smell twice as bad as burning gear oil.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, H4, Manual
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I've had my '04 with 5MT for about 4 months. I smelled burning rubber or oil when I first test drove it and it comes and goes. I read a few threads here about "stinky clutch syndrome" that convinced me that was the cause. Or it could be oil from the head gasket leak.
 

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'04 OBW, 2.5i, 5-spd
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bingo! Right CV boot. I looked over there and noticed grease all over the place, including all over the cat.

I have an appointment Monday at the local Subie specialty repair shop to get it fixed.

To clean the crud, as soon as it's fixed, I'll get a can of that Gunk spray engine cleaner and blast the area with all the grease, then hose it off.

A couple applications of that Gunk stuff will probably get most of it.

Thanks guys!
 
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