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White smoke and burnt rubber smell from my car?

Yesterday afternoon, all of a sudden white smoke started coming out from the right side of the front of my car. I immediately pulled over and when I did, I could smell nothing but burnt or burning rubber! My car was overheating for some reason too, so I let it cool down for about an hour before inspecting anything. I drove into a residential neighborhood: in the process, my car was jerking forward, as if the engine was forcing itself to stay on, but not having the power. When I finally was able to look under the hood, I saw that the hose that sucked coolent/anti-freeze out of the reserve to the side had melted off somehow, and my radiator wasn’t able to pull anti-freeze out of the reserve. So I noted that I needed to replace that hose immediately. By this time, everything was closed in town, so I’m able to drive it home and let it sit overnight, to completely cool down. I added some coolent directly into the radiator this morning, in hopes that it would make it a little better. I started my car shortly after, and it did. But it has the same jerky motion when driving, as if it’s about to cut off on me again.

Any suggestions? It’s still pretty early here and everything is closed.

what kind of car is it???

Regardless of the make, there is a really good chance your head gasket blew, especially since it is overheating.
Don’t drive it and get it taken care of, before a lot of damage is done.

It’s a 96 Honda Accord Ex. I turned on my car and just let it run for a while (Now that’s there’s anti-freeze in it) and it didn’t overheat this time.

Be very careful. White smoke that lasts a couple of minutes on a colder day in the morning happens and is perfectly normal.
White smoke associated with overheating very often indicates a breached head gasket and that’s a very expensive repair because it tends to warp the head.

You may have been lucky. Perhaps you developed an air bubble in the system, causing it to overheat.
Keep an eye on the temperature. The second you see that needle go up beyond normal, stop the car.

Well, even though the engine didn’t overheat, it’s still jerky and bucking as if about to cut off on me.

Is the check engine light on?
If so, many car parts places (pepboys, autozone, etc) will check the code your car throws for free. They’ll try to sell you service but refuse that.
Get the codes and post them here.

Edit: actually, before you do that check the oil. Is the oil of normal consistency? Does it look like it has a weird curdled milk consistency? Weird color?
If so, there’s a good chance that coolant mixed with oil. If the oil does not look like oil, definitely do not drive it.
Once the car has cooled off, take the radiator cap off and dip your finger in the coolant. See if it is normal color. It usually is very slightly oily but it shouldn’t have an oil slick on top. That’s another indication of a blown head gasket.

I can’t stress this enough: be careful driving that car anywhere, even if you don’t think it is overheating now.
You may want to flat bed it to a mechanic, unless he’s right around your corner.

I’ll try to, but I don’t think I’d make it that far to the Autozone without my car breaking down on me, or making it back home for that matter.

Don’t try then. Get it towed to a trusted mechanic.
Hate to say it but that overheating the other day may have done damage.

From afar, everything that we say is mere speculation, but I feel fairly secure in stating the following:

The “smoke” was almost surely steam from the overheating incident.

The burning rubber smell may have been from a badly slipping serpentine belt.

Since the serpentine belt on this car drives the water pump, the cause of the overheating may have been a water pump that was not turning fast enough, or not turning at all. However, on a 16 year old car, a partially clogged radiator or an inoperative fan relay could also be part of the root cause of the overheating.

The symptoms that the car is displaying could well be the symptoms of an engine that was badly damaged by overheating. The OP makes no mention of having checked the temperature gauge in the minutes prior to the overheating incident, but there is a very strong chance that the engine was running very hot/overheating before the dramatic appearance of the smoke/steam. The longer that an engine is overheating before it is shut down, the greater the chance of expensive internal damage such as scored cylinder walls and bearings and a warped cylinder head.

I agree with Remco that this car needs to be towed to a competent (independent) mechanic–NOT to a chain operation like Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, or AAMCO. Request that a compresson test be done on all cylinders, and ask for a complete assessment of possible damage from overheating.

If the engine has sustained as much damage as I suspect that it has, then the OP has to decide whether it is worthwhile to sink any large amounts of money into this car. If he decides to repair it, rather than to dump it, I would suggest that he think in terms of replacing the engine with a rebuilt one or one from a junkyard, rather than actually disassembling and repairing the current engine.

Please post back with the mechanic’s findings.
Sincere good luck with the outcome!

On a Honda, the waterpump runs off the timing belt - not the serpentine belt.
I assumed the rubber smell was related to the engine compartment being as hot as a two dollar pistol. There are a bunch of hoses attached to it, after all. But it could be that the waterpump isn’t turning well and resists movement, I guess.
Regardless, don’t drive it.

Did I mention that already? Don’t drive it.

A definite brain fart on my part.
Sorry for the confusion!

My mechanic told me that the burning rubber smell came from the hose goes into the reserve tank. The actual cap to the reserve tank melted/broke off. He’s still looking at it at the moment, so I’d have to get to you guys with the details.

I added some anti-freeze to the car and it’s working better! But when I turned on my A/C, it stuck off on me again!