Last post on May 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#2635 of 8644 Burning smell + after market warranty
Feb 05, 2004 (10:30 am)
I signed on today specifically to post an inquiry about a burning smell I notice from time to time. It's good to see I'm not alone.
I have a 2003 Legacy S/W with 29K miles on it.
I have noticed several times a burning smell, more like the smell of burning rubber rather than anti-freeze, on those days when I drive with my heater blower motor on high. I seldom need it on high for long, so the problem has not happened all that often.
Have others had this experience and does it need mechanical attention?
I also have a question for "bicalino." Where did you get your after market warranty? Can you give me a link/email address to check it out. As the end of my warranty approaches in less time than ever before (I love driving my Subaru!), I have been thinking about how best to protect my investment.
I'd appreciate hearing what your experience has been.
Thanks in advance to all who respond. David
#2636 of 8644 Burning smell
Feb 05, 2004 (10:45 am)
We've never had it on the wife's 03 OBW w/14k, but my 03 Forester XS had it once or twice. Seemed to be dependent on road & weather conditions. I took it to a car wash after one episode and really sprayed the crud off the undercarriage. Didn't smell it again for several weeks. I repeated the wash and it went away again. Only smelled in winter, never in summer.
#2637 of 8644 RE : philliesfan2 question
Feb 05, 2004 (11:27 am)
I purchased a subaru extended warranty. this should not be confused with a warranty from an after market or 3rd. party warranty.
I shopped only factory subaru extended warranties for competitive prices. off hand . I recall the name being curry subaru. not the one located in ny. I found them on the web.
since I purchased it elswhere, I didn't mention it to my dealer where I had purchased the car and do my maintenance that I had the extended warranty.
he must have used the vin # and the extended warranty came up.
there is a major debate about wether or not they're worth it.
I look at it simply as piece of mind .
for scheduled service, they have loaner cars available. (if they're available) ext. warranty, you get a rental car , they pay. just less of a hassle .
subaru , within reason, is a fairly reliable car, though w/ the addition of awd, to any car , can get expensive for diagnostics/parts/repairs.
Feb 05, 2004 (12:01 pm)
Don't waste your time with a 3rd party aftermarket warranty. In reality these are break-down insurance policies.
Read the fine print - on one we found an overheat clause that would exclude circumstances such as leaky head gaskets.
The warranty would be useless...
Get a Subaru Gold, or just self-insure, but don't waste money on these insurance policies with big loopholes.
There is a thread here on Edmunds about them, check it out. I've never seen such universal agreement about any automotive related topic, not ever.
#2639 of 8644 Burning Smell II
Feb 05, 2004 (12:25 pm)
I have another update. I JUST heard from the dealership who has my car. They found the source of the burning smell... there is an engine oil leak and there is oil splattered around the engine! I did check the engine block last week but I am not mechanically inclined enough to really "get under" the hood. I drive 120 miles/ day for work so happy they caught it now at least...and then gave me a loaner.
More updates later!
Feb 05, 2004 (1:10 pm)
OK, that's good. Let them take their time, especially since you have that loaner.
I bet it's either the front main seal or the head gasket, we'll find out soon enough.
#2641 of 8644 Engine Smell III- Final
Feb 05, 2004 (8:04 pm)
Well, I have the Outback back with me. I wanted to let you know what they wrote down in the reports:
"Found front crank seal leaking and oil pump o rings leading oil. Removed front cover/timing belt/oil pump/ replaced front crank seal/ oil pump o ring"
Well, I sure hope this works out. Also, my car would always search for gears around 40mph and 'putter' and be hesistant picking up speeds at 40mph or around there. That problem has disappeared..would that have been the timing belt!?
So, happy Outbacker again!
Feb 05, 2004 (10:39 pm)
Unlikely that the timing belt would cause hesitation. However, I'm sure they disconnected the battery to service your car so the computer was cleared and is relearning your driving style.
Glad to hear it's resolved.
#2643 of 8644 Re: Extended warranty
Feb 06, 2004 (8:23 am)
I have to say that I am glad I have the extended warranty (Subaru Gold Plus). Between the extra mileage I have put on the car (3.5 yrs old, 53500 miles) and the few problems I have run into, it has paid for itself already. It also gives peace of mind. While Subaru's are reliable (for the most part), they are not infallible which is why I had purchased it when I bought the car. Besides, if I do upgrade to the 05, it is an additional factor when selling the car. Just shop around for price, but definitely only get the Subaru warranty, not an after market.
#2644 of 8644 Burning smell (pathtomax)
Feb 06, 2004 (4:08 pm)
I had the same exact repair on my 02 OBW just after I bought it and smelled the ubiquitous "burning smell" I still get the smell. I really believe it's related to the differentials as it only happens in rain and snow, i.e., where the power distribution is most active. I now call it "Eau d'Subaru" -- just another one of those Subie quirks.