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Old 11-16-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
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Burning smell

This past weekend I was riding around with the top and doors off as the daytime highs were unseasonably warm. As the sun went down and if cooled off, I got cold fast and cranked the heater while I was finishing my errands, probably about 45 minutes at full blast, which did a nice job of keeping me comfortable. When I got home and got out of the Jeep there was a strong burning smell coming from the engine, almost a burning clutch kind of smell (mine is an automatic). A quick inspection under the hood and I could not see anything smoking or anything sitting on or near hot stuff that did not belong. I wasn't doing anything fancy with the Jeep prior, not towing or offroading, just running errands around town. Anybody have any insight what was burning or where the smell was coming from? The only cause and effect I can imagine is the heater being on full blast for a while, but there was no smell inside the cabin. BTW, '08 JKU.

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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Fluids leaking and burning off? Exhaust/cats are below the engine FYI

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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Fluids leaking and burning off? Exhaust/cats are below the engine FYI
What fluid would only be running/leaking with the heater on full bore?
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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Thought maybe a coincidence.

No smell now when the is heats of?

Jk's heat if very hot.
My Tj would roast all the electrical as the motor got old and pulled more current. It was a mess. Smelled it inside the cabin though
Hope the Jk is not the same.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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Is your Jeep new?
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:38 AM   #6
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No, I only had the smell when running the heat that day, not since. And no, it's not new, 2008 bought used this past summer.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
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No, I only had the smell when running the heat that day, not since. And no, it's not new, 2008 bought used this past summer.
Maybe you have a leak from the hoses and/or heater core that's hitting the engine or exhaust. Have you checked your coolant level. Other than that, I'm with kjeeper10.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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Dirty cabin filter?

Just one other thought, does the Jeep have a cabin filter that is now dirty after a few years of use? That happened on a car of mine, and it was a "burning" smell.

Disclaimer: The car wasn't a jeep, and I'm not a bright mechanic. Just throwin' the idea out there.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:08 PM   #9
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Mines new and has the same problem. Hopefully it will fix itself. After 1200 miles maybe something has to burn off. I've been driving for 30 years and work around armour so I know this isnt normal. If not Im going back to Toyota.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by carrotzilla
Mines new and has the same problem. Hopefully it will fix itself. After 1200 miles maybe something has to burn off. I've been driving for 30 years and work around armour so I know this isnt normal. If not Im going back to Toyota.
Op is a different situation plus his jeep is used.

In your case, there is a few threads concerning an exhaust smell like your describing.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:52 AM   #11
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No cabin filter on a 08 JK, besides, I only smelled it coming out from the engine bay, not actually in the cabin. I will try to duplicate the conditions and see if I can find a fluid leak that may be burning off one of the exhaust components.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:00 AM   #12
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does it smell like burning oil, or electric fire, or plastic, or just plain smoke?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:23 AM   #13
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I would relate it best to a burning clutch kind of smell. Metallic-earthy kind of funk. Certainly something burning. Not plastic and not really electric. No visible smoke, which was odd to me based on the strength of the odor.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:32 AM   #14
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I would relate it best to a burning clutch kind of smell. Metallic-earthy kind of funk. Certainly something burning. Not plastic and not really electric. No visible smoke, which was odd to me based on the strength of the odor.
did you happen to check all your fluid levels?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:42 AM   #15
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I'll get on that tonight after work. What is your suspicion? I have not had any puddles under the Jeep in the driveway or my spot at work...
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gluestick
I'll get on that tonight after work. What is your suspicion? I have not had any puddles under the Jeep in the driveway or my spot at work...
How many miles? Should have none
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:51 AM   #17
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well I mean, it could even be as simple as your tranny radiator is leaking, so the transmission is overheating, or your oil might be running low and everything is running hot
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #18
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32k on the Jeep, just changed the oil a few weeks ago.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:00 AM   #19
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32k on the Jeep, just changed the oil a few weeks ago.
did you do it or did someone else? either way, just changing the oil is a really good reason to suspect an oil problem.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneck

did you do it or did someone else? either way, just changing the oil is a really good reason to suspect an oil problem.
Oil filter leaking?
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:05 AM   #21
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I did it, 1000 miles ago. Again, the smell was only present after running the heater on high for an extended period of time. If the roof and doors were on the dashboard would likely have melted based on the strength of the heater.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:06 AM   #22
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well I mean, it could even be as simple as your tranny radiator is leaking, so the transmission is overheating,
Transmission radiator?

Educate me please.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:15 AM   #23
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Oil filter leaking?
This should be easy to check, but again, no puddles?
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #24
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If there are no leaks etc. which has already been mentioned check the brakes. If it smells like "burning clutch" and you have an automatic it might be a calpier starting to hang up, and you have "burning brakes". Sometimes a caliper might start to hang up and release driving you nuts. JMO
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:47 AM   #25
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My jku has the same smell it started about 1000 mi. It now has 1650 mi. Now. 1 time you drive it you can smell clutch or brake smell and the next time you drive it nothing,mines a auto. I have checked the brake rotors & e-brake drums and are cool to the touch. I change oil at 800 mi. No leaks ,no puddles, no other signs.i hve not used the e-brake since the smell started thinking it was what was hanging up butt it still smells butt no smoke!!
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:11 AM   #26
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My jku has the same smell it started about 1000 mi. It now has 1650 mi. Now. 1 time you drive it you can smell clutch or brake smell and the next time you drive it nothing,mines a auto. I have checked the brake rotors & e-brake drums and are cool to the touch. I change oil at 800 mi. No leaks ,no puddles, no other signs.i hve not used the e-brake since the smell started thinking it was what was hanging up butt it still smells butt no smoke!!
I've had it happen to other vehicles, sometimes it's dragging slightly, not enough to smoke just enough to smell. Finding the problem can be a PITA. I pulled both front wheels, and properly greased all caliper and sliding areas that call for grease. Just be sure to use a ceramic grease for calipers. HTH

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