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2020 Forester Touring
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I've already introduced myself in another thread, but as this is a "new car" question and this kinda fits the "new member" thread, I figured I would post this here.

When I test drove my Forester and for the past week, every now and then I get a burning smell in the cabin. I asked the saleswoman when we were test driving it and she brushed it off as being a "new car" and it burning off the extra bits of plastic. Granted, it is winter, but for a few days it was warm enough that I turned on the AC and still had the smell. It's pretty much gone away now, but I wanted to know if any other brand new 2010 owners were experiencing this.

My partner is a mechanic and it is not a fluid smell (oil, radiator, transmission, etc...). It's not really even a rubber smell... but more like a plastic.

Any ideas?


Also, and this is totally unrelated... but if you've had problems with a dealer, is there a way to lodge a complaint with Subaru (above the local dealer level)?
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
I think thats just the new car smell, like the sales woman said. I had the smell when mine was new too. I think its the gaskets and everything setting up on the new motor. If it keeps up take it back and let the service dept have a look at it, but I think you'll be fine..
 

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2010 XT 4eat
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604 Posts
when I test drove a brand new turbo beetle I smelled a burnt smell too. I also smell it when I had my motor rebuilt on my nissan. It must be a new car thing.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
Related discussion.

I've not had a repeat of the "burning" odor for the past several weeks.

:confused:
Jim / crewzer
 

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2010 FXT
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42 Posts
Could it be a small plastic bag or something silimar got caught underneath your car and it starts rubbing/burning?
Just .02.. cuz it happens a lot in the garbage filled streets here in NYC...
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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1,692 Posts
My 2010 still does it. Smell comes when I'm using the heater. 8k miles on it now and it's gone away mostly.
 

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MY09 XSn 2.0 Diesel 6MT
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967 Posts
Check to see if all of the engine bay wax/oil has been cleaned off during the PDI. After a few hundred miles in mine I had to stop, and was about to call out the fire brigade before I discovered that it wasn't actually on fire.

Apparently it's not an uncommon thing to happen :icon_eek: and is known by the dealers :crazy:
 

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2020 Touring
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151 Posts
Tomorrow my '10 will be 2 weeks old with 525 miles on it. The smell was horrible the first 5 days but now I notice it only after about 10 miles of highway driving and that's after stopping for the first time.
Over time I'm sure it will be just a memory.
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
Usually coating on exhaust buring off. But double Check oil cap, level and dipstick to make sure their seated along with pCV hoses.
 

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2010 X-Premium M/T
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91 Posts
I recently took an extensive demo drive in a 2010 X-Premium / manual transmission model, and could smell the same "burning plastic" odor also. I looked extensively under the vehicle and in the engine area, and could not pin the smell down to any one thing. I thought it was just the one I had, but now I know better!
 

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2010 Forrester
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38 Posts
new member, got mine 1 day before the Super Bowl

Wife noticed it when I closed the garage door.

After driving it some more ...80 miles...the smell is becoming faint, but noticeable still.

Now if I can get my avg fuel consumption readout back :confused:
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
Now if I can get my avg fuel consumption readout back :confused:
Press the trip reset button near speedometer a few times quick to cycle thru the modes to get the avg mpg to show up in the center part of dash'. Don't hold it in too long or it will reset the avg's
 

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2010 Forrester
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Press the trip reset button near speedometer a few times quick to cycle thru the modes to get the avg mpg to show up in the center part of dash'. Don't hold it in too long or it will reset the avg's
oh that's right, we change the trip meter to actual mileage.
thanks:Banane08:

hey there's more smileys in here than other forums...cool!
 

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2010 Forrester
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Press the trip reset button near speedometer a few times quick to cycle thru the modes to get the avg mpg to show up in the center part of dash'. Don't hold it in too long or it will reset the avg's
Just got a quick update, I reset my trip to measure my Home-to-work which avg's 27 miles a day, and accdg to the avg mpg readout, it has been avg around 22 mpg

I was hoping to hit 23 avg but will see since it has only been less than 100 miles
 

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2010 Forester X
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11 Posts
Also, and this is totally unrelated... but if you've had problems with a dealer, is there a way to lodge a complaint with Subaru (above the local dealer level)?[/QUOTE]


One of the members had repeated issues with a head gasket and wrote the CEO of Subaru. They got a response and a warranty promise from the CEO on the latest HG repair! This person would probably respond to your dealer complaint.

Here is the address that was posted.

Yoshio Hasunuma, CEO
Subaru Of America
2235 Route 70 West
Cherry Hill NJ 08002
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
ITs the cosmoline burning off. They spray it on for shipping over to the US, and sometimes don't get it all cleaned off. If it doesn't go away in a few hundred miles, it maybe something else though!
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
You know, I'm only at 400 miles and I think the smell is gone. (cross my fingers) We had quite a bit of snow, ice, etc... since I bought it 3 or 4 weeks ago. I've also had a few instances where to avoid accidents that I've had to floor the engine and drive quite aggressively which I know you really shouldn't do until its broken in. That being said, I wonder if between the weather and the aggressive driving if it didn't burn all the "cosmoline" off. According to several websites, it's melting temperature is well within the engines normal operating temperature.

Thank you funkymonkey1002 for the info!!! Hope this is all it really was, for me and for everyone else!!!
 

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2010 Forester
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70 Posts
A dealer told me a coating is put on the drivetrain and other parts of the car to protect from any salt-water corrosion on its way from Japan. Makes a bit of sense, but won't buy it without seeing the process.

Burning smell in my 2010 very minimal, and only detectable outside of the car. Mostly gone now.
 
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