Rubber "burning" smell??? - Page 2 - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 09:07 AM
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Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Impreza RS Wagon
Transmission: Auto
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
ew that sucks....

05 2.5RS
03 Outback
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 10:06 AM
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Car Year: 2005
Car Model: Forester XT
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Originally Posted by guylr View Post
If you are having a burning rubber smell then it probably is rubber and not oil as some have suggested. Check the accessory belt tension.
I'm not trying to start anything, but I wouldn't eliminate any possible sources of the smell based on the fact that it smells like rubber. Your nose is not a gas chromatograph, and even if it were, it still might not be able to tell the smell of burning rubber from the smell of burning gear fluid or axle grease. All you need to do is read the other posts, and decide for yourself.

Originally Posted by tallazzFilipino View Post
currently, i have an awful burned rubber smell as well. when i pop the hood open to sniff for it there, i don't smell it. it seems to be under the vehicle, behind the engine, somewhere. it has been smelling for about 3 weeks now. it's annoying me!

i had something like this on one of my past Civics before. the smell lasted months. it turned out to be a plastic bag i had drove over, which caught on to, and melted on the exhaust piping. i was never able to take it off. i just drove with it there eventually melting it to nothing.
Originally Posted by Real Lyte View Post
I know mine is spewing but its not a burning grease/oil smell, its straight up burning rubber (I have a temporary split boot on it now).
Originally Posted by k24hennings View Post
I had that same smell. But then my trans started making a weird noise. So I took it in to a local mechanic and he said that it was leaking gear box fluid. So I then had to take it in to gear masters. They had to replace a bearing that was all messed up. There was actually no fluid at all in the gear box. They said it could have happened at a check up and subaru might have forgot to add fluid after draining it. Since I got it fixed I haven't had that burnt rubber smell. Only bad thing is that it cost me over 2000 dollars :(
It's simple. If you don't smell anything under your hood, but you smell it while you drive, it's likely to be something burning on your exhaust pipes. If you have checked your belts, and the aren't fraying or showing abnormal signs of wear, check under you car for leaks from the transmission, axle boots, and diff case. If you can't find anything, give the undercarriage a good wash and see if the smell goes away. If it goes away and comes back, check again for leaks.

2005 Obsidian Black Pearl XT w/4eat
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2008, 08:32 PM
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i got to check my undercarriage, today, and it looks like maybe a plastic bag had caught onto the exhaust piping. i can see the burnt up leftover just in front of the rear axles. the smell is definitely not as strong as before.

- my second SG6
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 01:42 PM
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Car Year: 2003
Car Model: Baja
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I have the same problem, read all the posts, spent over $6,000 in 'tuneups' over the past 5 years, and on one can find the problem. Not even click and clack.
It started out really small when I bought the car (used, 6 years ago), so slight I thought it was the tires. Fast Forward 6 years: it is now so bad I can't run the heater. Not so bad if I have the re-circulation on. So its coming from within the heating system, or the heating/vent intake is right where the source is. Since it has been going on for so long, there must be a LOT of rubber burning! It smells exactly like burning rubber tires, not oil, fluid, plastic, belts, gaskets... rubber. I can't believe it can't be found, it just doesn't make sense. If I find out what it is, I'll post that.

Oh, btw, I have a 2003 Subaru Baja, not a Forester, but I Googled "subaru burning rubber smell" and it brought me here!

Also, BTW, I do smell it from outside, and from beneath the hood (when I open it), but it is not that strong. It is there, but not nearly as bad as inside the cabin.
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