Question Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

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  • 1 Post By Stone_Blue

Thread: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

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    Default Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    So now I have a rubber burning smell that I notice nearly everytime I get out. I can smell it through the front grill. Could this be related to my valve cover gasket leak? It appears I do still have a very minor leak, but this time it does not smell like oil. A quick visual inspection did not find any rubber items melting or appearing to get hot.

    Oil leak

    BTW, I did a search, and the only thread I found about the (exterior) rubber smell was due to detailing the engine bay, which I have yet to do.

    I believe another thread mentioned a smell (int?/ext?), and then the AC going out. I have been using the heater, because it has been a little "cold" (in Texas).

    I have a 2002 V6, ~105,000 miles, electric fans, not sure what else may be pertinent...

    Has anybody else ever noticed this type of smell (and besides while racing the Fords, of course)?

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    Default Re: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    Have you inspected the serpentine belt?...The grooved, contact side?..like REALLY good?...
    On my ex's Caravan, we were getting a rubber burning smell, same as you...Couldnt figure it out....I had just replaced the serpentine about 6mos before, so didnt think that would be it...

    Anyway, I was driving it one day, and it started making noise under the hood... Then I could smell the burning rubber smell strong from inside the van (windows closed)....Then SMOKE started coming up out of the grill....

    So I pop the hood, and the serpentine is wasted...Had some melted/worn areas on it, and one spot finally broke the belt....

    Turns out the A/C clutch ended up going out...when it finally locked up, and almost caught fire...
    Thing is, the compressor wasnt making ANY weird noises, up until it finally seized.

    So for people in the cold weather states, I suggest turning on the A/C and running it for a few minutes every month or so...Kinda like having to do the monthly 4x4 engagement...Using it occasionally keeps the A/C clutch from getting crudded up and finally seizing.
    As to WARM weather states...Using it all time, you probably can have a clutch just wear out from normal use...
    kerryman71 likes this.

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    Default Re: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    So what kind of cost will I be looking at, and can only the clutch be replaced? I will be inspecting the belt this evening. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    Not sure on cost...
    Yes, usually you can replace the clutch separately from the compressor....the clutch is contained in the "pulley"...Thats why the A/C pulley looks so different from the others.
    However, I'm not sure whats involved, and how difficult it is to pull the pulley/clutch from the compressor...At the time (about 6yrs ago), I didnt have any pullers, the van was our main source of transpo, so it couldnt be down long AT ALL....And we knew the van was on its last legs, and probably only had 2-3 yrs more to go...So I went the (relatively) easy and cheap route: I picked up a whole compressor at a junkyard, and just replaced the whole thing, with a new serpentine.

    Check RockAuto.com ... They might have the clutch pulley, and I suspect, probably about the best price on it.

    Here's the Check Procedure from the FSM:

    COMPRESSOR AND MAGNETIC
    CLUTCH
    ON–VEHICLE INSPECTION
    1. SET ON MANIFOLD GAUGE SET (See page AC–19)
    2. START ENGINE
    3. INSPECT COMPRESSOR FOR METALLIC SOUND
    Check if there is a metallic sound from the compressor when the
    A/C switch is on.
    If metallic sound is not heard, replace the compressor assembly.
    4. INSPECT REFRIGERANT PRESSURE
    (See page AC–3)
    5. STOP ENGINE
    6. INSPECT VISUALLY FOR LEAKAGE OF REFRIGERANT
    FROM SAFETY SEAL
    Using a gas leak detector, check for leakage of refrigerant.
    If there is any leakage, replace the compressor assembly.
    7. SET OFF MANIFOLD GAUGE SET (See page AC–20)
    8. CHECK FOR LEAKAGE OF GREASE FROM CLUTCH
    BEARING
    9. CHECK FOR SIGNS OF OIL ON PRESSURE PLATE
    If necessary, repair or replace.
    10. INSPECT MAGNETIC CLUTCH BEARING FOR NOISE
    (a) Start engine.
    (b) Check for abnormal noise from near the compressor
    when the A/C switch is OFF.
    If abnormal noise is being emitted, replace the magnetic clutch.
    11. 5VZ–FE engine:
    INSPECT MAGNETIC CLUTCH OPERATION
    (a) Disconnect the connector.
    (b) Connect the positive (+) lead from the battery to terminal
    on the magnetic clutch connector and the negative (–)
    lead to the body ground.
    (c) Check that the magnetic clutch is energized.
    If operation is not as specified, replace the magnetic clutch.

    For Step 11, the pulley should free-wheel with NO resistance with no power to the clutch.
    WITH power to the clutch, there should be resistance (you're turning the compressor vanes now).
    I would try engaging/disengaging the clutch under power a few times, just to make sure it switches every time...Quickly and smoothly...If not, that might be your issue right there.

    PS-I would have uploaded the page from the FSM, but I'm still not able to upload any files...??? ...
    Last edited by Stone_Blue; 01-07-2013 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    Thanks SB!

    And this is the thread I was mentioning before, but he replaced the entire evaporator.

    HELP - Weird Smell then No AC
    Last edited by arseum; 01-08-2013 at 11:55 AM. Reason: added link

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    Default Re: Rubber burning smell from under hood / engine bay

    Just to verify; Would I still be able to smell the fan clutch, even when I am not running AC or heater? I am still smelling it while neither is running. I may have time to finally test it per Stone Blue's recommendation under his step #11 additional comment.

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