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Burning smell/smoke from engine compartment

24400 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bcinoc
Hello Friends,

I need your help in figuring out what caused smoke/burning from engine compartment. I was driving home last night, and could smell something burning, like rubber. Then I could see smoke coming out of the left side of the hood. Luckily, I was only a couple blocks from my house. Initially, I thought it was the tire, but they looked fine.

I went out this morning to see what may have cause this. The only think I could notice was the base of the radiator was black and wet, but it was not greasy, it connects with a hose, which got dirty as well.

I took a couple of pictures of the area where the smell came from. Not sure what I am looking at. These were taken from the driver side, under the hood near the radiator.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.


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Let me get this right! You saw smoke and an odor from under the hood and you just parked it overnight? Then in the morning you inspected underhood? Glad you still have a car. Most times a burning rubber smell comes from oil burning off a manifold. I would recommend you go to a self service car wash and clean the area in question, then once back home, re inspect that area. Could be a power steering high pressure hose. You might check the steering fluid container for evidence of low fluid level.
Hi Carnut,

Thank you for the reply. Yes, that is correct, I got home around 11pm, and I don't have a garage with lights, so it was difficult for me to inspect, what should I have done? Are you suggesting that it could have caught on fire? it wasn't smoking like a bbq, but a small amount.

I will do as suggested with the car wash...but I don't want to drive around if it can cause something catastrophic...will check the steering fluid and pressure hose first, since I can do that at home...what to look for after car wash?

Looks like you need new oil cooler lines.

Your ac compressor may have seized
Motor mount collapsed and sliced oil cooler line?
IP gasket went south?
Vacuum Pump gasket went south?
Front crank seal?

Hard to say but oil cooler lines are seeping...aka...need new ones...common maintenance item..

Also don't like seeing those ac compressor lines just laying there waiting to sort...
Thanks Jay,

I will add these to my to do list.
One of the Oil Cooler Hoses is leaking and sould be replaced. People have lost Engines because an Oil Cooler Hose that was leaking had the leak suddently get worse and dump the Oil on the ground.
Thank you!

The belt seems to be rubbing against the oil cooler line too. Inspect the engine mounts and replace as necessary. Collapsed mounts have led to oil cooler line ruptures due to said belt proximity.

Did you hear anything (screeching, any unusual noise) when the smoke was seen?
Hey Pat,

Thank you for the reply. Will get the mounts inspected, and check the oil cooler line.

I did not hear any screeching or noises. Any new shops you've been too?

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