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Hot, Burning Rubber Smell....2000 4Runner

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Old 10-02-2009, 05:13 AM   #1
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Exclamation Hot, Burning Rubber Smell....2000 4Runner

So here's the deal. I have had my 2000 4Runner Limited for about 2 years now. I am just under 150,000 miles and have been pretty meticulous with the maintenance. Lately, at times, I have been noticing a hot, burning rubber smell when I get out of the car. I do not smell it all of the time, but it was very noticeable this morning after only a 10 minute drive to work. I had a faulty oil filter about 2 months back that leaked oil all down the back of the engine and at the time, the mechanic told me that it was probably just oil burning off the enigine. That apparently is not the case. The temperature guage stays low, so I don't think its an over heating issue. Has anyone else experienced anything like this or have any idea what could be causing it?? Maybe the brakes?? HELP! Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:08 AM   #2
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I once had a plastic bag blow up and melt onto my cat, that was smelly for a while. Also take a good flash light and look around the exhaust crossover for something touching the hot pipe or something close by getting melted. Sometimes an exhaust leak will let hot gases escape and melt something.

The exhaust gases can get up to 1450* F so that's where I'd focus my efforts, but yeah check the brake rotors for excessive heat after you drive a while.

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Old 10-02-2009, 06:17 AM   #3
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Check your emergency brake first
then, rear drum brake
then, front brake
then, engine serpentine belt....

hope you can identify issue by then....
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:43 AM   #4
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My bet is that you have a leaky rear axle oil seal and oil is getting on the brake shoes.

Look behind your rear wheels, see if there's any oil. Better yet, pull your wheels off and take a look, or take a whiff after a drive.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:47 AM   #5
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I do know that they E-brake is frozen, but it is frozen in the open position. I just had the rear brakes adjusted about 2 months ago and new shocks put on about a month ago. This smell has been present longer than that. The mechanic said that they would have to break the cables to get the E-lock unfrozen, but didn't seem to think it was a serious issue to let it go. The front pads (ceramic) haven't been changed for nearly 50K miles. I had new rotors put on a year ago and the mechanic told me the pads would outlast the new set of rotors. Maybe its time to check them out again. I will check behind the rear wheels for a leak this weekend. Thanks for the suggestions!

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Old 10-02-2009, 07:43 AM   #6
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Also be on the lookout for electrical problems, especially any add-ons that may not be properly fused.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
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I have over-pumped my driveline/u-joints with grease before. The excess flung out, some hit the exhaust and it stunk bad.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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Electrical burning, hot rubber and burning oil are all very distinct smells. How about just popping the hood and smelling where it coming from? Go over things with an infrared thermometer to check if something is hotter than it should be?
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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leaky valve gasket dripping oil on the headers? i had that problem, fixed now.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
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spare tire properly mounted/seated away from exhaust...?

just guessing....
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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I actually got underneath and checked it out this weekend. Nothing stuck to muffler or touching (though it will need replaced) and no leaks in the wheels. I tracked the smell to the left front wheel well? I am assuming it is a brake issue. It has been nearly 55k since new pads. Ig ot an appointment next week and will post when I find out. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgt4r View Post
leaky valve gasket dripping oil on the headers? i had that problem, fixed now.
That gave me the same prob --> drivers side rear
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Got it looked at on Tuesday, needed new brake pads and new rotars. The mechanic is certain thats what the smell was. Thanks for all of the suggestions!!
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1997, 4runner, 97, brakes, burning, burnt, drivers, front, hot, oil, rear, rubber, runner, smell, wheel

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