Smell Issue
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This is a discussion on Smell Issue within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I asked this question in a thread I created in the Car Purchasing forum, but since I'm still experiencing this ...

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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    Smell Issue

    I asked this question in a thread I created in the Car Purchasing forum, but since I'm still experiencing this issue, I thought I'd post it here. I'm new to all things WRX and most things cars-in-general, so I figured this would be the appropriate sub-forum for this thread. If not, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    My first concern is that when I pulled it into my garage and popped the hood, I noticed a faint odor. My 1994 Toyota Corolla burns oil, and it didn't really smell like that, but there was definitely an odor coming from under the hood. Then I noticed what appeared to be steam (didn't seem thick enough to be smoke, and it dissipated quickly) coming from the area highlighted in the attached picture...
    Here's the picture:


    About the smell:
    Like I said, it's doesn't really smell like burning oil to me. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's what it is. The closest comparison I can think of would be the smell of burning rubber. I've read that abusing the clutch can produce a distinct smell that one never forgets, but this smell doesn't seem all that shocking or memorable.

    Since I'm relatively new to driving a standard, the clutch seems like the likely candidate, but the thing is, I can't really seem to correlate the times when I get the smell to times when I've been driving harder than normal or times when I've abused the transmission by making rookie mistakes.

    The car seems to be running fine, but since I'm likely to attribute any abnormalities to my inexperience, I may not be the best judge of that.

    My question is whether or not this is anything to be concerned about, and if it is, what I could check out in order to isolate the problem.

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    DUB
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    The area highlighted is a coolant reservoir. There may be coolant leaking out of one of the hose fittings or the cap. It would boil on the hot reservoir producing steam and smell.

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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    Fml

    Quote Originally Posted by DUB View Post
    The area highlighted is a coolant reservoir. There may be coolant leaking out of one of the hose fittings or the cap. It would boil on the hot reservoir producing steam and smell.
    I was going to say, "Ok, I'll see if I can find anything that looks leaky or not quite right around the coolant reservoir. Any tips on getting at all the things I would need to check out in that area?"

    But then, on the way to church this morning, the check engine light came on.

    I am not pleased.

    I've only had this car since 7/18/2009, and I'm already getting CELs?!

    I've already got a call into CarMax, since I'm still in their 30-day warranty period. Is there anything else I can look at/fiddle around with to keep myself busy until tomorrow morning...if not, I may go crazy sitting around waiting.

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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    I drove my car into AutoZone to have them see what was causing the CEL. Their scanner came back with P0302, misfire on cylinder 2. I asked the AutoZone guy if he had any idea what would cause that, and he said he'd start by checking the spark plug.

    Earlier today, when the CEL first came on, I had just shifted from 2nd to 3rd.

    When I first started the car to drive it to AutoZone, it felt like the car might stall...it didn't stall, but it definitely wasn't as smooth as usual. When I started the car in the AutoZone parking lot, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary...no roughness or about-to-stall behaviour.

    Other than the aforementioned roughness when idling and the CEL, I haven't noticed any problems. No stalling or hesitation of any sort on city streets or on the highway.

    Like I said, I'll be getting my car to CarMax as soon as I can. In the mean time, though, should I be driving this car around?

    PS: This is just a WAG, but would using gas containing ethanol cause a misfire? I've been buying premium gas for it (which is 91 around here), but I haven't been too careful about finding gas stations selling non-ethanol gas.

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    DUB
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMidriff View Post
    I've already got a call into CarMax, since I'm still in their 30-day warranty period
    Nice. I would definitely pursue that avenue.

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    Flirty User That's Younger Than the Chunks of Corn in Brian's Crap

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    I had the same issue, it smelled weird and it was smoking. I was leaking coolant and it turns out I have a hole in my radiator. I'm gonna hope you don't have that as well.
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    Registered User Pavia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMidriff View Post
    PS: This is just a WAG, but would using gas containing ethanol cause a misfire? I've been buying premium gas for it (which is 91 around here), but I haven't been too careful about finding gas stations selling non-ethanol gas.
    No, won't hurt it.
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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    Well I got a call from CarMax today, and they said they're going to replace an ignition coil. If I understand correctly what an ignition coil does, it seems reasonable to me that a faulty one could cause a CEL about a misfiring cylinder. What about you all? Does this pass your BS test?

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    Registered User midntbluewrxc3's Avatar
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    I'm having the same issues as you! I just bought my 2003 wagon at the first of July. I put in new plugs last weekend and everything was great until today i had a CEL.... misfire on cylinder 1 & 3. I'm begining to wonder if mine is the same issue. Strange enough I'm going to be in OKC tomorrow...lol. Youth day at White Water. Hope you get your issue resolved, as I do mine. If I get mine figured out I will let you know.
    2003 WRX Wagon pure stock....for now

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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midntbluewrxc3 View Post
    I'm having the same issues as you! I just bought my 2003 wagon at the first of July. I put in new plugs last weekend and everything was great until today i had a CEL.... misfire on cylinder 1 & 3. I'm begining to wonder if mine is the same issue.
    It sucks, don't it? Did you notice any weirdness going on with your car, or has it, like mine, been running mostly fine except for that blaring CEL staring you in the face while you drive, taunting you, calling your car-purchasing ability into question?

    Quote Originally Posted by midntbluewrxc3 View Post
    Strange enough I'm going to be in OKC tomorrow...lol. Youth day at White Water. Hope you get your issue resolved, as I do mine. If I get mine figured out I will let you know.
    What?! Two WRXs in OKC at the same time?! I'm not sure that's allowed. Seriously, I don't see very many of them around these parts. I thought maybe I'd notice more of them once I bought one, but I just keep seeing the same 2 or 3.

    Anyway, good luck with your car, and have fun at White Water. I haven't been there in ages, though when I was a teenager, me and my friends would buy season passes and go every other day.

    Oh, and as an Oklahoman talking to a Texan, I am duty-bound to say the following: Our sports teams are awesome and yours all suck, which means we're better than you.

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    Registered User midntbluewrxc3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMidriff View Post
    It sucks, don't it? Did you notice any weirdness going on with your car, or has it, like mine, been running mostly fine except for that blaring CEL staring you in the face while you drive, taunting you, calling your car-purchasing ability into question?



    What?! Two WRXs in OKC at the same time?! I'm not sure that's allowed. Seriously, I don't see very many of them around these parts. I thought maybe I'd notice more of them once I bought one, but I just keep seeing the same 2 or 3.

    Anyway, good luck with your car, and have fun at White Water. I haven't been there in ages, though when I was a teenager, me and my friends would buy season passes and go every other day.

    Oh, and as an Oklahoman talking to a Texan, I am duty-bound to say the following: Our sports teams are awesome and yours all suck, which means we're better than you.

    HAHAHAHA! Actually I will agree! I'm a true OU fan had some family that went to school there and OSU...I'm going to Texas Tech this fall...Don't hold it against me. I think the WRX washes that out any way.


    But ya I haven't noticed anything abnormal. Just normal acceleration and BAM! A CEL pops up. So I just went to Autozone and had them clear it. Let me know if its the ignition coil.

    So far I have done a tune up, alignment, and new plugs...Hopefully when the semester starts all will smooth over.

    I'm really loving the turbo though. Plus the MPG's and room to haul my crap. After the little bit of troubles i have had I can't complain.
    2003 WRX Wagon pure stock....for now

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    OKC wait a minute haha thats where i am well midwest city(Tinker AFB)

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    Registered User UncleMidriff's Avatar
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    My Baby's Back!

    CarMax called this morning to let me know my WRX was ready! I picked it up during lunch, and the CEL is gone. Hopefully it stays that way.

    They said they couldn't figure out what was causing the odd smell. The mechanic checked the coolant reservoir and the hoses attached to it and didn't find any leaks. They mentioned that it appeared maybe something had been spilled in that area though, so they cleaned it up. When I pulled into my garage this evening, I could still detect the smell, but it wasn't as strong as before. Hopefully it will continue to dissipate.

    I'm not sure how to explain it, but the car feels different to me now. It doesn't feel any better or worse necessarily, just different. Maybe it's just the fact that I've been driving around in a Chevy Cobalt loaner car for the last couple days.

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    DUB
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    Maybe before you bought the car they topped of the coolant reservoir and spilled some in the engine compartment. You could just be smelling it burning off.

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    Registered User midntbluewrxc3's Avatar
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    So did they replace the ignition coil? Mine threw a CEL yesterday and I cleared it again.
    2003 WRX Wagon pure stock....for now

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