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Burning Rubber/Oil smell and grinding noise

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Yesterday I took my '09 2.5i in for a 90k service with an oil change, ATF flush, differential flush, brake fluid, and spark plugs. I've now noticed two issues:


1. A burning rubber or oil smell (can't remember to differentiate the two) under the hood which migrates to the cabin when the car is idling. The drive back from the dealer is 60 miles and I've driven about 80 miles with no change, so I think I can rule out an oil spill.


2. A nasty grinding noise when accelerating through hard turns that did not occur until after the maintenance. I've read there could be multiple issues that cause this, but since it just started after the maintenance I don't think it would have to do with a CV joint (unless they REALLY screwed something up). I did not have them do anything with the power steering because I had the pump replaced 20k miles ago.


I will be calling them tomorrow but any ideas what could be causing these problems? Is it a bad idea to drive the car? Please note I am not at all mechanically inclined.

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Personally I would still not rule out an oil spill just yet. As shown in the first attached picture, the oil filter is surrounded by exhaust piping. Every time I change my oil filter, I always get some oil on the surrounding exhaust heat shields. I think the smell could linger for some time depending on just how much oil may have spilled on/into the heat shields.


I'm not familiar with checking the front differential fluid on an AT, but I know on my MT it's easy for a few drops of gear oil to fall off the dipstick, and straight down onto the catalytic converter heat shield. The same is true when filling the front differential, depending on how it's done, a little bit of gear oil could drip onto the catalytic heat shield then too.


My last idea could be something with the cv boot/cv joint as you suspect. The passenger side cv joint/boot sits right above catalytic converter as shown in the second attached picture. When the boot is torn, or when grease seeps out, it can spray onto the catalytic heat shield and cause odors when idling. The grinding when turning makes part of me think cv joint, but as you mentioned I don't see how that could've happened after what you had done. But it sure sounds like the cv boot could have torn causing the smell, and the cv joint could be unhappy now, causing the noise?


If the cv joint/boot lost its grease you shouldn't drive the car, but other than that I see no reason not to drive it. Keep us posted



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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry I never replied, almost forgot about the thread. Anyway, for the grinding noise they said it was something they had seen before in the cold weather but there were no actual problems. So it continued in cold weather only, but I noticed more problems. First, very stiff steering at idle speeds in cold weather, and now this, where the steering wheel is turned all the way and held.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkZkR2-7Rgw&]Legacy Steering Noise - YouTube[/ame]


It sounded like it may have been coming from the PS belt, but I'm not 100% sure. Here is the grinding noise for reference.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eGzoqPCJ24]Legacy Grinding Noise - YouTube[/ame]

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yeh that ps noise sounds like a chirping belt, weather differences can make this happen. just tighten and see if that helps. i couldnt make out any noise in the other video, is it really a grinding noise or more of a high speed clicking sound? it sounds from your descriptions to be the axle.


them putting the car on the lift and hanging the suspension out at its fullest droop could have aided in a slightly loose boot popping off just enough to allow the grease to get out, in turn flinging it all over your exhaust and cooking it for long periods of time (like days!!) and having no grease will quickly lead to clicking noises.


dont place the blame solely on the mechanic as it very well could have been a stupid coincidence that more problems show their ugly face whilst in their company. especially when its areas they most likely didnt touch at all.


good luck with it all either way.

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Yea, I' think CV boot, totally random, not there fault.


The power steering, My 05 was turning hard when cold. I did a few figure 8's at very low speed going lock to lock on the steering, Hasn't happened since.


About the CV. See if they can just replace the OEM boot with a OEM boot. I'm not sure the aftermarket axle's are that good, my left front only lasted about 4 years, my right front is still OEM never touched.


If they won't do that, tell them you want to keep the OEM axle, then find someone to rebuild it and keep it till you need it... I thru way my OEM one years a go.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

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Just for another idea, Check the crank pulley... I just had to replace mine because it failed, outer belt carrier separated fully from inner pulley. BUT for about a month before the big fail I was getting all kind of noises from the car and most were 1 when cold and 2 when turning, the PS pump was working and that put load on the belt and that made the outer pulley grind as it slowed and inner pulley kept spinning full speed because they were separated but not apart yet (there is rubber between the 2 parts of the pulley).... I change belts, checked all the pulleys except main one that was broke of course. I had belt squeal and full scream, grinding, burning rubber smell and some other weird noises i cant describe... just worth a look at but might be hard to tell if they broke because they are still 1 piece and both spin fast just different speeds... have someone turn wheel back and forth (get most feedback bouncing off lock) while u got your eyes and ears focused on that bottom pulley, just don't wear a tie or hood strings while checking ;)
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