Author Topic: Need help with tracking down a car issue  (Read 1209 times)

okkiedokki

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Need help with tracking down a car issue
« on: May 21, 2017, 09:33:41 AM »
I need some help with where to start tracking down a issue with my wife's 2005 Chevy equinox.  Lately when the car is turned off in our garage a burning plastic/rubber smell fills the garage.  It's always been present and faint but lately it's gotten a lot stronger.  I've tried popping the hood but I can't pinpoint the smell and taking it to a mechanic would end up costing more then what the car is worth so any idea is much appreciated.

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Dave1442397

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 02:42:42 PM »
I need some help with where to start tracking down a issue with my wife's 2005 Chevy equinox.  Lately when the car is turned off in our garage a burning plastic/rubber smell fills the garage.  It's always been present and faint but lately it's gotten a lot stronger.  I've tried popping the hood but I can't pinpoint the smell and taking it to a mechanic would end up costing more then what the car is worth so any idea is much appreciated.

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Check the engine bay and exhaust system for plastic bags or other debris. Sometimes a plastic bag  or a piece of a blown-out truck tire will get caught under your car and melt on to hot parts.




HipGnosis

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 03:49:38 PM »
Take it to a garage for a free estimate.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2017, 10:14:35 PM »
I need some help with where to start tracking down a issue with my wife's 2005 Chevy equinox.  Lately when the car is turned off in our garage a burning plastic/rubber smell fills the garage.  It's always been present and faint but lately it's gotten a lot stronger.  I've tried popping the hood but I can't pinpoint the smell and taking it to a mechanic would end up costing more then what the car is worth so any idea is much appreciated.

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Check the engine bay and exhaust system for plastic bags or other debris. Sometimes a plastic bag  or a piece of a blown-out truck tire will get caught under your car and melt on to hot parts.

This is where I would start, I've had a plastic grocery bag get melted to the exhaust system one a couple occasions. If that is the case, you can wipe and peel some of the plastic off, but it will still take some time to burn off the plastic.

sequoia

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 09:03:08 AM »
I need some help with where to start tracking down a issue with my wife's 2005 Chevy equinox.  Lately when the car is turned off in our garage a burning plastic/rubber smell fills the garage.  It's always been present and faint but lately it's gotten a lot stronger.  I've tried popping the hood but I can't pinpoint the smell and taking it to a mechanic would end up costing more then what the car is worth so any idea is much appreciated.

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Does this smell appears when (1) the car engine is hot (not driven) OR (2) engine is hot (has been driven)?

If 1, then maybe there is a plastic bag or some rubber debris got stuck in the exhaust or somewhere it is hot, and it got melted.

If 2, but for sure it is not 1 (you can test this by starting the car, let it warm up without driving it and no smell).  Maybe one of the brake caliper is not working and it keep braking without releasing the pads. Good luck!



tyler2016

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 10:36:26 AM »
Don't put this off! While it could be what some of the previous posters suggest, I would check the tensioner pulley(s). The car is old enough where a failure could happen. A bad pulley will misalign the belt and cause a ton of friction, heating up the belt to the point where you will smell it. This will lead to the belt slipping off or breaking, leaving you without power steering, A/C, and whatever else is belt driven. In the case of power steering, losing it at an inopportune time could cause you to crash.

bender

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 12:03:05 PM »
Tyler has a good idea with the belt/pulley.

It could also be burning oil.  Check the oil to see if the level is low.  Oil could be leaking from somewhere and burning on the hot exhaust.  Is the filter on tight and not leaking?  Also check for spots of oil under the car after sitting.

Spork

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 12:06:24 PM »
I'll toss in a free guess:  Old, cracked vacuum line has fallen onto block or exhaust.
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HipGnosis

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 03:31:16 PM »
I'll toss in a free guess:  Old, cracked vacuum line has fallen onto block or exhaust.
Or some wires.
Wire looms and wire insulation are plastic.

okkiedokki

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 06:01:55 PM »
All excellent suggestions.  It always seems to come after it has been driven for a while.   I'm going to get on checking for what I can and maybe youtube some of these.  Thanks for the suggestions I appreciate it.

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sequoia

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 07:37:35 PM »
I'll toss in a free guess:  Old, cracked vacuum line has fallen onto block or exhaust.
Or some wires.
Wire looms and wire insulation are plastic.

Cracked/loose vacuum line usually will turn on check engine light. Wires that got worn-out will create shorts, and usually also turn on check engine light. If the CEL is not on, most likely are not these.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 04:51:20 PM »
These are all excellent suggestions.  I would also double check that your engine is operating at the proper temperature.

cadillacmike

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 08:46:49 PM »
Start it and run it in the garage / driveway,etc, without moving it. If the smell comes up , then it is NOT brakes related.

If you have to drive it around for the smell to re-appear then it IS brake related.

It's probably not burning oil, unless the engine gaskets are leaking quite profusely. Oil burning smell different and comes out the exhaust.

It is something that is getting on hot (probably exhaust manifold or pipes) engine parts., or as noted the rive belt(s). Most cars will lose AC, power steering, alternator and water pump if the belt(s) go,. You would have a few minutes at best before the car overheats to the point of eventual engine bearing failure.

The reason the smell appears strong when you shut it off is because the engine cooling fans are blowing the odor away while the engine is running.

Salvo

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2017, 11:45:32 AM »
No smoke appearing under the hood?  Belts would be my first place to look, and anything near the exhaust manifold that could melt.  Check the inside edges of your tires also, maybe you are rubbing the wheel wells or a plastic splash guard piece.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 07:24:54 AM »
Make sure to open the garage door before running it in there...

okkiedokki

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Re: Need help with tracking down a car issue
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2017, 08:59:39 AM »
Thanks for all the help.  After trying many different things for the last few months off and on I finally found the problem.  It's the car's second head gasket leak.  I got a bottle of bluedevil and ran it how the instructions said and I haven't smelled it for the last two days.

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