Steam and Bad smell question
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This is a discussion on Steam and Bad smell question within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I traded my Acura last year and picked up an '03 wrx sedan. It's at 97k right now. Did ...

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    Steam and Bad smell question

    So I traded my Acura last year and picked up an '03 wrx sedan. It's at 97k right now. Did a full timing belt and bearing job about a month ago. Also replaced upper and lower radiator hoses with new Gates hoses. Found a clog in my coolant return line as well which explained my overheating issue. Its been about 2 months since all that. Noticing when I pull into my garage, after a few minutes, a ****ty smell I cant pinpoint. DID DO SOME SEARCHING but found nothing useful. Looked all over engine bay from top and bottom and cant find where the damn smell is coming from.

    Sometimes when I pull into my driveway, I have a big curb, I'll see stream come out of the hood scoop... Guessing some fluid is getting tossed about and burning up against something hot?

    11 year driver, just new to Subaru and trying to figure all the new little issues out. Thanks for any advice or helpful links to a Subi Newbi

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    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    I can't help about the steam.. maybe an exhaust leak is to blame? Also, have you looked at your passenger side inner CV boot? This is a flexible polymer part near the downpipe. They tend to loosen up and fling grease onto the downpipe, getting hot and stinky, and maybe even leading to a CV failure over time. If there is a lot of wet grease on a very hot downpipe, maybe it is starting to burn and causing the smoke too?
    David - '05 WRX

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll check that out when the crappy weather clears.

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    Check the hoses to the overflow reservoir. If you can't find any coolant leak then pressure test the system to see if it reveals a leak. If the pressure test doesn't reveal a leak, then change the radiator cap(s).
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    I'd recommend to carefully check all the coolant lines leading to and from the radiator (make sure they are tight). Just because the line may not leak at idle doesn't mean it will not leak at speed where the coolant pressure is higher. If this is the stock radiator, there is a likelihood that the radiator has developed a crack -- this is common in WRXs. My radiator cracked at 105k miles.

    Can you describe the smell? Coolant tends to smell somewhat sweet. Is it also possible that a critter crawled up there and died?
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    Thanks for all the tips. Its not a sweet smell like coolant.. Not a fuel smell either. Almost like burning rubber / maybe oil. Checked all the belts since the timing job was done a few months ago and the belts all look brand new. Also have not been losing any coolant, been checking the levels frequently with no change.

    This is starting to drive me crazy.

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