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Old 07-29-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
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Awful smells in reverse

Hey guys,

So I've only got 1000 miles on my 2012 wrangler standard transmission. I had to reverse up a hill earlier today, And was overwhelmed with a awful burning odor. Ive smelt it before, when moving the jeep in and out of the driveway, but figured it wasn't a big deal, just "breaking in". It seems to only occur when in reverse. Any idea what's up?

I would take it to a dealer, but currently traveling for a conference, and I got a 500 mile drive to take it back to the original dealer.

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Old 07-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Mine had a burning smell for about 3 weeks. Didn't notice it in reverse though. As for taking it to the dealer you don't have to take it to the dealer you bought it from. You can go to any dealer.

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Old 07-29-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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The burnt smell is likely from slipping the clutch. The friction material on the clutch disc overheats.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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It could be a few things. If you're sure you have no external fluid leaks. If not you could be leaking fluid internally on your clutch and the odor would be the fluid burning off. Or, you might have just rode the clutch a bit hard backing up the hill and you wore a bit off which would smell like burning brakes also. But, you said you've noticed it before that. Or, your e-brake isn't fully releasing and you're getting the odor of burning brakes because of drag. You can take it to the nearest Chyrsler dealer. It doesn't have to be the original dealer as you know. If it is fluid leaking internally you definately shouldn't be driving 500 miles.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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Its the catalytic converter breaking in. You smell it in reverse because you are driving through the exhaust plume. Mine did this for about a month. It goes away. Slowly...
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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I've always been absolutely horrible at backing up with a manual transmission. It doesn't matter the vehicle, I always wind up with "clutch stink." It seems like when I let out all the way on the clutch instead of "riding" it in Reverse, the vehicle just shoots back at a really high speed.

Anyone have any pointers on how to back up SLOWLY while OFF the clutch?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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As far as I can tell, there is no fluid leaking.

The clutch could certainly be slipping because it's so new and tight, but I don't think I ride it any harder in reverse than going forward.... I've pretty much driven standards all my life, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem.

If its the catalytic converter, would I smell It if I just revved the engine in neutral? Just trying to figure out if this is the issue, any way that I can be sure?

Thanks for the help so far. Just trying to figure out if it's a problem or not.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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"Awful smells in reverse"
Is it kind of a sulphur smell? This is only a theory mind you but, perhaps you expended/released some "methane" when you were in the Jeep. The natural place for the fumes to to accumulate in the rear area of the cab. The nasty olfactory sensation you are experiencing is the , uh "methane" molecules causing the gas to rush from the back seat to the front seat, assaulting your senses.

As far as the issue my 12 is right around 3000 miles and I did get that smell for quite awhile even after the first 500 miles.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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This forum is awesome! It seems like every time I've gotten on here with a question someone else has asked it right before me. I started noticing that same thing a few nights ago. To me it smells just like bugs burning on a Zapper. And also only in reverse. I'm right at 800 miles and I've noticed it only after it's been running for 5-10 minutes and then I reverse. If I've just fired it up and back up, or if I've been running for a decent length of time before backing up it's not there.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:18 AM   #10
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This forum is awesome! It seems like every time I've gotten on here with a question someone else has asked it right before me. I started noticing that same thing a few nights ago. To me it smells just like bugs burning on a Zapper. And also only in reverse. I'm right at 800 miles and I've noticed it only after it's been running for 5-10 minutes and then I reverse. If I've just fired it up and back up, or if I've been running for a decent length of time before backing up it's not there.
It takes that long for the cat to get up to temp. It WILL go away. Eventually.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SinesPointToYes View Post
Hey guys,

So I've only got 1000 miles on my 2012 wrangler standard transmission. I had to reverse up a hill earlier today, And was overwhelmed with a awful burning odor. Ive smelt it before, when moving the jeep in and out of the driveway, but figured it wasn't a big deal, just "breaking in". It seems to only occur when in reverse. Any idea what's up?

I would take it to a dealer, but currently traveling for a conference, and I got a 500 mile drive to take it back to the original dealer.
Pretty sure you're smoking the clutch. Mine still does it with over 20k on it on reverse up a hill if I'm not careful. These JKs don't reverse well up a hill in 2H.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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Yup it's the clutch. Mine did it Friday backing into my driveway. I was surprised at how in just a couple of seconds the clutch started stinking. Must not be a very robust clutch disc.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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awful smells in reverse!

Mine did that then I realized I farted recently and shuffled around to look backwards....
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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Must not be a very robust clutch disc.
It's not. Unfortunate, but that's what aftermarket is for
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #15
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It's probably the clutch. If you feather the clutch when backing up to control speed the clutch slippage causes a really awful burnt clutch smell. Mine did the same thing when reversing up a small grade. I found that putting it in 4 wheel drive eliminated the problem.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #16
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Had a buddy look like he was burning up on a trail we were running....ran back with fire extinguisher s and sprayed before looking being the dry brush...


Was his clutch, needless to say he needed to be towed home and have it replaced...so they do smoke its not the first time I've seen it, saw it the last coup,e weeks with the manual guys on the nastier stuff...

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