burning smell from under hood - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 11-21-2012, 07:33 AM
01XterraPhilly
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burning smell from under hood

Hey guys, I have been driving a lot lately for my new job but what I have been noticing is that there is a burning smell coming from the engine compartment. I dont know if i should be concerned or not but it does smell like something is burning. I recently got an oil change so I ruled that out. but maybe its just something that happens because I do a lot of stop and go around philly. any ideas?



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#2 Old 11-21-2012, 07:37 AM
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possibly your valve covers are leaking. mine dribbled enough oil to smell for about 2 years before it started leaving noticable leaks.

could also be power steering fluid. those clamps tend to come loose and leak a little bit. never really noticed a smell from mine, but i definitely blew all over the passenger side cat.

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#3 Old 11-21-2012, 09:26 AM
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X2 on the valve covers. Could also be Power steering as that is a common leak in the X's. I would look at valve covers first though.

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#4 Old 11-21-2012, 11:17 AM
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I agree with e guys before. I just replaced mine this past week. Not a terrible job but you will need a good 6 or 7 mm hex socket for the plentinum. Other than that pretty staright forward, make diagram and label ALL wiring connectors. Your 02 sensors if you reverse them will throw codes and cause issues. Mine didn't leak hardly anything..but anything that touches the exhaust will cause a smell.
The power steering lines..does have a tendency to leak. But the oil has a higher flash point and will burn a create a smell even for a small amount.
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#5 Old 11-21-2012, 12:09 PM
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burning power steering fluid almost smells like antifreeze to me. my wife says it doesnt smell like that to her, so maybe its just my nose. I hate the smell of power steering fluid. The smell of that and transmission oil both make me gag. And god forbid I get transmission oil on my skin because I swear it takes weeks for the smell to go away.

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#6 Old 11-22-2012, 08:42 PM
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Your welcome to bring it by on saturday morning. Ill be doing a lift on another Xterra.
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#7 Old 12-02-2012, 09:11 PM
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what part of philly do you live in mike?? my area for my job is from fishtown to like penny pack park so a good chunk of the north east



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#8 Old 12-02-2012, 10:40 PM
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x4? lol My guess is you are dripping oil from the valve covers onto something hot and thats what you are smelling.

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#9 Old 12-24-2012, 03:40 PM
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I have an '02 with 116k and I noticed a "burning smell" after about 15mins of driving, sitting idle, this smell comes thru the vents while the heater is blowing. It's not pleasant either. I don't know if it's burning coolant, if the head gasket is now leaking.

I have noticed that I am losing gas mileage. I'm losing about 10 miles on the tank. I normally can drive 240 miles on a full tank. It's now around 230.

Any thoughts?

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#10 Old 12-24-2012, 04:48 PM
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I dealt with that for a few years until I saw the smoke and had an, "OH SHIT" moment. Check your oil level, if it's overfilled then it could be a "forced leak."

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