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I'm not a mechanic so any thing helps. So i started my car this morning and i got this really bad burning rubber smell coming from under the hood and in through the vents. I didn't really have a lot time to look at it since it was so cold out and i had to go to work. I am wondering if it could be the belts? Any Ideas?
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Sounds like the belts. When the pulleys are cold it may make the belts slip which will give you that burning smell. Check the belts to see if they're still in good condition. Newer belts will help to provent that, since the rubber on the belt will be softer and will make better contact with the pulleys during colder weather.
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I would think if the belt were slipping he would hear a squeal. Still could be one of the belts but also check for a oil leak underneath or the axles boots like mentioned above. For an oil leak it could be the valve cover gaskets, front crank seal, camshaft oil seals or the oil pump oring. All are kinda common on higher mileage Subaru engines. Oh yeah almost forgot the biggest headache oil leak, the oil separator plate on the back of the engine. They are plastic and over time they crack or become loose and leak right down on the exhaust header. To replace this plate Subaru has an updated metal plate with new bolts but the downside is you have to remove either the engine or trans to get at this plate. PIA for sure. GL.

Earlier this year my plate cracked pretty good and oil was flowing from there while I was 25 miles from home. I had to buy 6 qts of oil just to make it home. Plus cleaning uo the underside of my car wasn't fun with probably over 7 qts all over the place. Hey at least it's all coated and will stop rust. Haha.

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if it is a belt there will likely be a lot of black dust around one of your pulleys.


but it is probably axle / cv grease, or just an oil leaking on the exhaust.

although oil on the exhaust would take some time for the exhaust to heat up.

the CV grease could have been stinking the last time you drove the car,

you just did not notice it when you came home and parked.


check the passenger side inner boot for cuts or tears.

and black grease on the near by exhaust.


if it was the power steering belt not turning,

you would not have any steering.

that you would notice.


it could be something as simple as a plastic grocery bag on the hot exhaust.

i did that once.

it took a long time to completely burn off.

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