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Old 03-21-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Burning smell

I began noticing a burning smell from my 1996 SC2 last Sunday. I thought it was from my front driver side brakes. I checked the front brakes today. I did not remove the caliper but just rotated the wheel. There was no rubbing between the brake pads and rotor.

The smell is noticiable when I'm kneeling down between the window and ground. The smell would waft up. I could not smell anything while looking under the car (probably due to the breeze). I turned the car around and smell occurred on the passenger side.

So now I speculating the smell is from underneath the car. It's not coming from underneath the hood. Could it be my exhaust system? It's not a rotten egg smell so does that rule out the catalytic converter? I don't smell it at the tailpipe.

I believe I see three main sections to the exhaust system. From the engine, first the catalytic converter?, then an enlarged "torpedo" like tube, then the muffler. What is that "torpedo" looking thing in the middle of the system?

Any ideas what is causing the smell? I can't really describe the smell. It just smells like a "hot" smell. I do notice it when I come to a stop at the light and idle.

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:28 PM   #2
Uzzy
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Default Re: Burning smell

"torpedo" = resonator
How closely did you look under the car? Could it be a plastic bag or something caught up on the hot exhaust?

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:32 PM   #3
Norseman
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Default Re: Burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy
"torpedo" = resonator
How closely did you look under the car? Could it be a plastic bag or something caught up on the hot exhaust?

Resonator? What is it for? A sound baffle?

Everything seem clean underneath. The smell is not a plastic smell.

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norseman
Resonator? What is it for? A sound baffle?

Everything seem clean underneath. The smell is not a plastic smell.
Yes sound baffle. Umm maybe some other sort of debris? I'm not sure, but I'll give you the advice that I gave my friend when she complained of a burning smell in her Ford Escape. "If it does catch fire, pull over, get clear of it, and let it get good and burnt before you call the fire department. You want it well past written-off, 'cause you won't want it back." It still hasn't caught fire, and I doubt yours will. I don't know what else it could be.

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Burning smell

check and smell your fluids, start with ATF and coolant

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Old 03-22-2006, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy
Yes sound baffle. Umm maybe some other sort of debris? I'm not sure, but I'll give you the advice that I gave my friend when she complained of a burning smell in her Ford Escape. "If it does catch fire, pull over, get clear of it, and let it get good and burnt before you call the fire department. You want it well past written-off, 'cause you won't want it back." It still hasn't caught fire, and I doubt yours will. I don't know what else it could be.
just make sure the car has the best insurance policy on it before that "procedure" you mentioned. actually i would do the same thing! lol! people who owned those old pontiac fieros know what i'm talking about & i'm sure they had their techniques honed to high perfection.........

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Burning smell

What does your temp gauge show? Is it overheating at all?

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Old 03-22-2006, 08:13 PM   #8
justin_zink
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Default Re: Burning smell

Is it a burning oil smell, a break smell or something else?

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Old 03-25-2006, 09:56 PM   #9
steve-o
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Default Re: Burning smell

3 fieros, over 200k miles between all of 'em and no fires.

if it smells like 'heat' could it be the cat overheating?
run it for a bit at nite, then park in a dark area and look underneath.
one of my fieros ( ) had a dis problem and turned the exhaust cherry red, but could only see it at night.

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Old 03-25-2006, 10:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Burning smell

Temp gauge is fine. It's not overheating.

I can't describe the smell. At first I thought it was the brake dragging but the smell wasn't similar to a brake smell. I checked the oil level and transmission oilmotor and they are fine. Did not check the coolant bottle.

The smell seemed to have faded a little today. I'll have to see the next couple of days. No sweet coolant smell from the heater.

I'll check into the cat heating up. It is a "hot" or "hot metal" smell.

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Old 03-25-2006, 10:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Burning smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norseman
Temp gauge is fine. It's not overheating.

I can't describe the smell. At first I thought it was the brake dragging but the smell wasn't similar to a brake smell. I checked the oil level and transmission oilmotor and they are fine. Did not check the coolant bottle.

The smell seemed to have faded a little today. I'll have to see the next couple of days. No sweet coolant smell from the heater.

I'll check into the cat heating up. It is a "hot" or "hot metal" smell.
If everything else you have checked is fine and the smell is fading, sounds to me like you may have had some debris caught on the exhaust and it has either come loose or has burned off for the most part. I would still keep an eye on it.

I second the "catch on fire" thing. The only thing a fire extinguisher in a car is good for it to hit people with it that try to put the fire out. (on a serious note, unless there are people trapped in the car). But if there is no hazard to anybodys safety, let it burn. I have never heard of a vehicle that was ok after a fire.

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