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Old 02-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
sliek0722
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Default Burning smell when I turn on the heat

Ok it's getting that bad now. Everytime I turn on the heat I get a horrible burning smell. The engine doesn't overheat but just now I was afraid the car was on fire. What is causing this and how do I fix it?
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
Subotai_95
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

I couldn't really say for sure without being to tell what kind of burning smell it is.. Does it smell like burning electrical insulation? Only thing I could think of would be to check out the heating element to make sure it's not bad, or that maybe there isn't a short in the lead to the heater.. Don't know if that helps any..
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

does it happen w/ the AC on, or is it soley just the heat? That would at least rule out it being your fan motor, or any wiring dealing with the fan motor/AC side of the eletrical system

that would pin point it to at least a specific area


The heaters use the coolant from the engine to heat the car right? Its not an eletrical "heater"?
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

Quote:
ORIGINAL: swooshonln

does it happen w/ the AC on, or is it soley just the heat? That would at least rule out it being your fan motor, or any wiring dealing with the fan motor/AC side of the eletrical system

that would pin point it to at least a specific area


The heaters use the coolant from the engine to heat the car right? Its not an eletrical "heater"?
I don't know how you'd use anti-freeze to heat the car, convection heating like that would be WICKED inefficient.. I don't know, you could be right, but I'm thinking the coolant wouldn't keep the heat long enough to be of any use to a heater, that's why they use ethylene glycol in it.. Very low specific gravity which enables it to give off heat quickly, hence stay cooler to cool the engine down.. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure most heaters have some kind of heating element..

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Old 02-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
sliek0722
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

I'm really afraid to try it now because if it's an electrical problem, I'm afraid the car will catch on fire. That coudl be disasterous if it hits the fuel line and then the car explodes. It's way past warranty lol. And I can't afford taking a total loss and needing a new car.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

LOL, I wouldn't go THAT far.. I don't think the car's going to blow up, but I'd definitely have somebody you trust look at the heater to make sure it's not shorting anywhere as soon as you get the chance.. Because you're going to get SOME of that hot-type smell from a heater, that's just normal, but it shouldn't smell like something's burning when you turn it on.. If indeed it IS shorting somewhere, that could damage the electrical system, and that isn't exactly cheep to fix unless you're an electrician.. lol
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #7
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

subotai, our cars do use coolant to heat the cabin. coolant flows to the heater core which is basically a radiator and air flows through that and heats the cabin.
it is probably just the plastic ducting giving off that smell. its most likely if the plastic is getting too hot its probably near the heater core that its happening.
and i assure you your not in danger of the car burning. if you want to resolve the problem you'd have to take apart the heat vents and diagnose the problem. and im sure its a pain in the *** so that means labor would be alot of $$, like $300+ expensive for labor alone.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #8
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

Blower motor resistor, check it and see if its burnt up or the motor itself, very easy to spot
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:42 AM   #9
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Subotai_95

Quote:
ORIGINAL: swooshonln

does it happen w/ the AC on, or is it soley just the heat? That would at least rule out it being your fan motor, or any wiring dealing with the fan motor/AC side of the eletrical system

that would pin point it to at least a specific area


The heaters use the coolant from the engine to heat the car right? Its not an eletrical "heater"?
I don't know how you'd use anti-freeze to heat the car, convection heating like that would be WICKED inefficient.. I don't know, you could be right, but I'm thinking the coolant wouldn't keep the heat long enough to be of any use to a heater, that's why they use ethylene glycol in it.. Very low specific gravity which enables it to give off heat quickly, hence stay cooler to cool the engine down.. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure most heaters have some kind of heating element..

have you ever touched anything that coolent runs through? it stays hot... for hours.

look under your hood, passenger side fire wall, youll see two black hoses. They are right over the last spark plug on the passenger side. Thats where the coolant goes into the heater core... which is what heats the heater. there isnt an eletric "heater", just a fan that blows over a radiator type thing.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:59 AM   #10
Mark99GT
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Default RE: Burning smell when I turn on the heat

Yeah, theres no heating element, just hot coolant.

Take swooshonin's advice and turn the ac on. If you've got that burning smell still its probably a fan motor or something electrical.

Maybeyou've got some kind of **** on the heater core that's burning off. Not really sure how that would happen as its tucked away, but I guess its possible.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:59 AM
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