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Burning smell from car climbing the mountain

The car that was on the show 2/19, was accumulating snow on its wheel wells and burning up its tires. This happened to my son’s Subura in Colorado. Because they use other road treatments other than NaCl (such as CaCl2, MgCl or KCl) the snow turns to slush and refreezes on the wheel wells and builds up until it burns up the tires. We tried to tell our son to kick the slush out of the wheel wells every time he stopped but you know kids, they don’t listen. We do not see this problem in New England because most towns still use NaCl to treat the roads so the cars do not build up the slush like out west. Let the guys know this because they have had this question several times.

I agree, although he mentioned having this problem in the summer time also (if I recall porperly). It could be a combination of soft springs (subaru has somewhat soft springs) with a gradient making the car squat down a bit on the hills, making the tires rub on the arches (could also be hitting a few holes/low spots which would the car squat down more easily), it doesn’t take much to get that rubber smell going.

I don’t think it is oil related. The owner mentioned specifically a rubber smell, plus he went through 8 tires.

This post belongs in The Show forum, not here. There are some posts there all ready.

Here is another explanation for the smell, something that is quite common on the Subarus. The oil separator cover behind the flywheel leaks. On this model it is a plastic cover prone to cracking/leaking. Subaru changed the cover to aluminum in '99 or '00 and then to steel in '04 I think. All replacements are made of steel now. The leaking oil drips onto the exhaust system where it burns, hence the smell. It starts as a very slight leak and becomes progressively worse. In this case the oil level at the back of the crank case probably rises enough to leak out due to incline going uphill.

I agree with car guy. Synthetic oil is often used in Subarus, and it stinks. We often get a little synthetic oil somewhere on a flat hot surface and it stinks - more noticeable outside than in.