Worry over possible redline

subaru
manual-transmissions
legacy

#1

2005 Subaru Legacy/Outback with a manual transmission. Was on a long trip and let someone else drive for a little while and he was not that good with the stick shift. At one point he jumped out into traffic and took the car almost up to and maybe over the red line on the tachometer in first gear before shifting. Smell of burning rubber ensues for a while and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the tires. I checked under the hood later and was able to smell the burnt rubber odor a little bit in the area behind the radiator.



The questions are:



1) What damage might have been done?

2) What should I be looking for to detect such damage?

3) If it was a belt that got too hot should I have it replaced?

4) Can I expect my ‘check engine’ light to come on if there is damage that is not obvious from looking at it or from problems with the way it drives?




#2

With a one time deal, likely no damage has been done at all.
My feeling is that the smell is probably due to some clutch slippage. Depending on the vehicle mileage and any potential clutch slippage/glazing don’t be surprised if a clutch job appears in the future.

Don’t let this person behind the wheel of your car again because thrashing it like this is ill-advised to put it politely. Not so politely, it would be called stupid.


#3

As far as I know, all modern cars have their engine’s RPMs electronically limited, meaning that if you try to exceed the pre-programmed rev limit, the fuel supply or the spark will be momentarily cut off to prevent you from over-revving it.

My theory at this point is that your friend may have burned the clutch.
For your sake, I hope that I am wrong!


#4

You’re car has rev limited built into the ECU. It won’t allow the engine to rev beyond a certain speed (usually the redline or 100-200 RPM above.) Your friend didn’t hurt anything.


#5

While spinning tires is usually accompanied by screehing noise, perhaps the tires did spin out. You may have smelled that burned rubber smell some of which caught caught in the engine compartment.

This car has AWD and traction control I believe. It is possible you were smelling the brakes which traction control applied to reduce wheel spin.

If everything is operating normally, likely no major harm done.


#6

As others said, you probably were smelling the clutch, which your friend was slipping too much to get started from a stop. Not related to the redline incident. If he only drove it a short while it shouldn’t have reduced the clutch life significantly.


#7

The smell is simply the clutch slipped. It is near impossible to slip the tires with AWD enough to smell them especially in the non-turbo version of this car.

If you have the Outback XT or Legacy GT(my car) which are the turbo versions in this year the clutch is extra sensitive to even slightest slippage and will make a terrible burning smell that lingers for a day or so.

I would not worry much about what happened. Just be more careful about letting someone driving your manual shift vehicle.


#8

You can red-line a modern car??

The last 2 manual vehicles I’ve owned…could NOT red-line. When approaching red-line the computer would cut off fuel to the engine.