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Old 8th December 2013, 00:00   #1
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Default Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Folks,

I couldn't find any thread/post on this topic. So decided to start a new thread (hope the mods will help me out here). My Skoda Rapid TDI Elegance (clocked 20K in 1.5 years) smells like burnt rubber after a drive. Even if driven only for 10 mins or so.

Couple of things I noticed. No smell with or without AC inside the car. But as soon as I step out, I could smell it. Though I couldn't make out from where, I strongly sense the smell is coming from driver side rear wheel area.

No drag during driving. So handbrake is not the cause I presume.

Checked the wheels, alloys... but couldn't find anything. As the best approach, booked a service call and decided not to use the car until it's clear.

Meanwhile wanted to set some opinion from the experts. Anyone faced such issue? What could be the reason? Is it the tyres?
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Old 8th December 2013, 00:28   #2
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

One thing I can think of is near the Exhaust pipe.
Check if there is something stuck around it: maybe some road debris or a cloth. Worth a Shot.
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Old 8th December 2013, 03:21   #3
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Carefully touch the wheel rims and see if any of them is very very hot. If so, faulty brakes is the culprit. Do be careful as the rims may be very very hot.
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Old 8th December 2013, 09:00   #4
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by negativeH View Post
One thing I can think of is near the Exhaust pipe.
Check if there is something stuck around it: maybe some road debris or a cloth. Worth a Shot.
Thank you nH. Checked exhaust and looks OK there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Carefully touch the wheel rims and see if any of them is very very hot. If so, faulty brakes is the culprit. Do be careful as the rims may be very very hot.
Thank you db. I did check the wheel rims. They are fine. The rear wheel brake drums are normally hot and the front wheel disk brakes are quite hot. I guess this is normal too.

Nevertheless, did another round of testing. Decided to let the engine run while the car is stationary and when parked in basement. So without wind I could try to pinpoint the source of smell.

Pop'd-out the hood and started the engine. Within few seconds I could smell something from the engine bay. It looks as if it's coming from the belt. There's no visible friction anywhere. But I couldn't see entire section of the belt too to be precise.

So it could be from the rubber belt. I'm wondering how there's no smell inside the car if it's from the engine bay. Is that normal too?

It's probably a mis-judgement earlier that smell's coming from driver side rear area. But the belt is directly ahead of the driver under the hood. The wind could have made me think the smell is from the backside.

Oh, by the way, when the belt is rotating, I could see patches of area where the belt is relatively clean. Very small patches. Not visible when the belt is not in motion. But gives you an idea when in motion due to alternating dirty and clean sections.

Considering this belt factor, any suggestions?
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Old 8th December 2013, 15:59   #5
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivingme.crazy View Post

Pop'd-out the hood and started the engine. Within few seconds I could smell something from the engine bay. It looks as if it's coming from the belt. There's no visible friction anywhere. But I couldn't see entire section of the belt too to be precise.

Considering this belt factor, any suggestions?
Is the belt abnormally hot or tender if you touch it (after engine shut off)?

If so, it may be getting weaker and being 'eaten' by the pulley.

Do check on the Cat-con mounted after the engine exhaust headers in front of your vehicle. A small rubber band or any rubber part near the cat-con may have melted and stuck to it and during warming up, it may be giving off that smell.
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Old 8th December 2013, 16:43   #6
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

There are a lot of rubber parts that could emit this smell and for various reasons. Unless you are able to exactly pin point the location of the smell, a discussion here would result in more confusion than alleviation of your problem. You have initially thought it was from the rear wheel and now think it is from the engine bay and this itself may also be wrong. And we would all be giving you wrong advice on that basis. It would be best to take it to an ASC and hopefully they would be able to diagnose the problem correctly.
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Old 8th December 2013, 21:25   #7
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Does this burnt rubber smell a recent one or is it happening since car was bought?
Is smell from engine bay same as previous one perceived from rear right wheel?

If burnt rubber smell is coming from a belt, you should have witnessed some abnormal driving behavior in your car.

Request you to please take it some garage or A.S.S. and hoist the car to check underbelly of the car once.
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Old 8th December 2013, 22:09   #8
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Did you experience any lack in acceleration or power? A burnt smell could also come from a half engaged clutch(ie. if the clutch remains half engaged for quite some time).
If the clutch remains half engaged for some time then the friction material of the clutch disk/plate heats up and is known to cause a burning smell.

PS : Since the Skoda Rapid is FWD, Your drivetrain is laterally/transversely mounted , so the clutch would be located in your engine bay. That could be the cause of the smell.

Last edited by sr_1445 : 8th December 2013 at 22:11.
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Old 8th December 2013, 22:45   #9
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCause View Post
Is the belt abnormally hot or tender if you touch it (after engine shut off)?....
No. Feels fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
...It would be best to take it to an ASC and hopefully they would be able to diagnose the problem correctly.
Agree. As I mentioned when I started the thread, booked a service call. Expecting a pick up on Tuesday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Does this burnt rubber smell a recent one or is it happening since car was bought?
Is smell from engine bay same as previous one perceived from rear right wheel?

If burnt rubber smell is coming from a belt, you should have witnessed some abnormal driving behavior in your car.

Request you to please take it some garage or A.S.S. and hoist the car to check underbelly of the car once.
It started very recently. It's the same smell which I suspected at the rear before. Quite sure. No abnormal behaviour at all. Either that or I'm not sharp enough to notice a change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr_1445 View Post
Did you experience any lack in acceleration or power? A burnt smell could also come from a half engaged clutch(ie. if the clutch remains half engaged for quite some time).
If the clutch remains half engaged for some time then the friction material of the clutch disk/plate heats up and is known to cause a burning smell.

PS : Since the Skoda Rapid is FWD, Your drivetrain is laterally/transversely mounted , so the clutch would be located in your engine bay. That could be the cause of the smell.
As I mentioned above, no notable change in driving experience.

However noticed something now. When I shut the engine down, the whirr stops with a tick, tick, tick. I don't think I have noticed that sound before with the hood open. It was not audible today morning with the ambient noise. When the basement was quiet I could hear that.

I know how difficult it is for you guys to suggest something when we have interpretation difficulties in a forum.

I'll anyway go through the A.S.S but since I couldn't find a similar thread I wanted to start one, just to make sure my experience is shared which someday, could help someone.

Hopefully I'll get to know more by Tuesday evening. What worries me is a problem more serious (and the scary Skoda service issues all over the forum). Fingers crossed.
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Old 10th December 2013, 11:32   #10
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivingme.crazy View Post
Folks,

I couldn't find any thread/post on this topic. So decided to start a new thread (hope the mods will help me out here). My Skoda Rapid TDI Elegance (clocked 20K in 1.5 years) smells like burnt rubber after a drive. Even if driven only for 10 mins or so.

Couple of things I noticed. No smell with or without AC inside the car. But as soon as I step out, I could smell it. Though I couldn't make out from where, I strongly sense the smell is coming from driver side rear wheel area.

No drag during driving. So handbrake is not the cause I presume.

Checked the wheels, alloys... but couldn't find anything. As the best approach, booked a service call and decided not to use the car until it's clear.

Meanwhile wanted to set some opinion from the experts. Anyone faced such issue? What could be the reason? Is it the tyres?
Pal, hopefully the same could be the case with your ride that I found with my Fabia some months back. It was a rubber burning smell but not exactly as rubber of Tyres but somewhat similar to that of plastic of electric wires. [yes, but it could have been anything, even like Pizzas!]

To add to the fact she was bitten by the Rodents and the smell started just after that wiring harness was fixed. I was like whats going on with the wiring, they must not have repaired it properly and all that. I've insisted them to check the (engine bay) wiring all again, everything was alright. Made 2 time VAG scans, everything was just fine.

The smell started only after certain period of time, and not right from the time you start the engine. The SA has tried running engine for quite time and keeping the the bay open and try to smell it, no luck. Yep, just as in your case it was coming from outside while driving and you get to know if only if you keep the window open. Within the cabin with all window rolled-up, no smell at all. To give demo to the SA, we had a long test drive and after few kms suddenly the smell started coming from the windows. He suspected it to be of (wheel) rubber burning, bu there was no sign of it.

Finally they took the car, raised it on to the hydraulic jack to inspect the bottom of the engine bay. There was not much to investigate but fortunately from there they found the root-cause. There was something sticky on exhaust manifold. Most probably the rodent brought some rubber (polythene) piece and it stuck on it, the smell started only when it used to heat up the rubber material at certain level. Rarely but such incident can happen to even a running car also, I could think of driving on under-construction Tar roads would accumulate some tar on exhaust and result in such foul smell.

Sorry for the longer post, wanted to catch the details and whole story behind it so that you may check the relevant areas/parts.
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Old 10th December 2013, 12:39   #11
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Default re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Skodas are notorious for fuse burn outs. In one case the entire car has gone up in flames in less than 10 minutes (octavia).
I would suggest you look at the fuse box and the connections there. There is a good chance that some sort of weak contact is causing sparks or friction when the vehicle is 'on' and this is giving out the burning smell.
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Old 4th January 2014, 12:17   #12
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Default Re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

@ iSpoke & stormsearcher: Thank you for your comments.

Have few updates from my end. Sorry for the long gap but I was on a vacation. The car went for Skoda A.S.S after my last post and came clean with no cause found. Also, A.S.S folks said they couldn't smell anything the whole day the car was there. And true, when it came back it was normal. After a few days I thought I could smell it mildly now and then. Not as frequent as before. Nevertheless, took the risk by travelling by car to my home town. Drove over 1K KMs during my vacation and everything went fine.

Only thing that remains to be checked is to put the car on a hydraulic jack (as iSpoke too suggested) and inspect the bottom. Plan to do it with my next car wash.
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Old 28th February 2014, 14:40   #13
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Default Re: Burnt rubber smell after a drive

Was talking to a near by mechanic about this. He mentioned the smell comes from exhaust system and it's common in single muffler (or resonator??) systems. He added it's not exactly a burnt smell but something very similar and happens when the exhaust system is dirty. He suggested the smell will go away if the exhaust system is cleaned up.

Any suggestions?
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Old 1st March 2014, 21:57   #14
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Mod note: Use Multi Quote [Quote+] instead of creating back to back posts. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivingme.crazy View Post
Was talking to a near by mechanic about this. He mentioned the smell comes from exhaust system and it's common in single muffler (or resonator??) systems. He added it's not exactly a burnt smell but something very similar and happens when the exhaust system is dirty. He suggested the smell will go away if the exhaust system is cleaned up.

Any suggestions?

This idea seemd to be weird. I don't feel that the exhaust system will get dirty in 20k kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drivingme.crazy View Post
Only thing that remains to be checked is to put the car on a hydraulic jack (as iSpoke too suggested) and inspect the bottom. Plan to do it with my next car wash.
You may not need to check because it might have burnt during your 1k trip ;-).

Last edited by Jaggu : 1st March 2014 at 22:28.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 04:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivingme.crazy View Post
Was talking to a near by mechanic about this. He mentioned the smell comes from exhaust system and it's common in single muffler (or resonator??) systems. He added it's not exactly a burnt smell but something very similar and happens when the exhaust system is dirty. He suggested the smell will go away if the exhaust system is cleaned up.

Any suggestions?
If the smell was coming from a single exhaust system, all cars and bikes should keep smelling the same way!

Either there is something stuck in the length of exhaust piping.

Can you check if all wheels are rotating freely or no. Check this manually and not by driving. May the brakes are holding up some wheel so pads/shoes could be getting hot.

Jacking up the car fully keeping all 4 wheels free should get you your answer.

Anurag.
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