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After driving I get a strong burning smell that seems to be coming from the right side of the engine compartment. I can't see any leaking fluids that might be getting on the exhaust. Today I let it idle for about 30 minutes while I was doing some yard work and there was no smell. Any ideas on what I should be checking on in order to find the cause?
 

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Passenger side of engine compartment. Hard to actually describe. First impression was that it smelled like rubber but also smells like it could be chemical, though I can't find any leaks.
 

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Have your serpentine belt or alternator ever been replaced?

Another outlier: Once on a previous vehicle I found a old plastic bag tangled near the wheel.
 

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Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
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Since you couldn’t detect the smell while idling, perhaps the next time you take it for a spin open up the hood when you get back home a take a look. Has any recent work been performed?
 

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Check under you car along the muffler / cat. convertor areas. A couple of times. I've ran over plastic trash in the road and it immediatly sticks to the hot underside and burns. Smells awful for several days. Hard to remove and I just let it melt away.
 

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I get a rubber burning smell once every about 9 months for a minute when I stop at the lights ever since I bought the Pilot. Have not figured out what it is as everything looks fine.
Are you sure it is not engine oil getting onto the Y-pipe?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can't come up with a distinctive category to describe the type of smell. Checked the serpentine belt, it looks fine, not getting hot, and everything it goes around seems to be turning properly. Replaced the power steering high pressure hose earlier this year (taking that off my DIY list if it happens again!). Topped off the PS reservoir so I can see if it's level goes down. I guess the next thing to do is yank the tire off after a trip and look/sniff around it?
 

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On my 2003, the power steering unit had a very slow leak that was so slow I didn't have to refill it very often. However, oil was dripping on to the engine and causing some smell. That might be your issue. Mechanics brought the issue to my attention and they wanted to rebuild it with new seals for $400. I tried the AT-205 sealant and it fixed it. It was only about $10.
 

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After driving I get a strong burning smell that seems to be coming from the right side of the engine compartment. I can't see any leaking fluids that might be getting on the exhaust. Today I let it idle for about 30 minutes while I was doing some yard work and there was no smell. Any ideas on what I should be checking on in order to find the cause?
The passenger side engine mount is fluid filled. When it fails it spills its oil. I admit it's unlikely the oil would get on something hot in order to burn and smell but still worth checking. Check underneath it to see if there's an oil slick. Another more plausible culprit might be an inner CV boot rupture. When this happens the grease from inside the boot gets spit out and flung around possibly getting on a hot surface.
 

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After driving I get a strong burning smell that seems to be coming from the right side of the engine compartment. I can't see any leaking fluids that might be getting on the exhaust. Today I let it idle for about 30 minutes while I was doing some yard work and there was no smell. Any ideas on what I should be checking on in order to find the cause?
Did you ever figure out the cause of the burning smell?
 
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