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2005 Pilot EX-L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
From some initial searches, it sounds like this exact issue has been experienced by others, but a conclusion has not been pursued.

burning smell Ended with a fight with a banned member

Burning smell while driving up steep hill considered "new car smell"

burning brakes smell after going UP steep hill Odyssey says "maybe trans fluid"

Issue:
Im from flatlands, out west on vacay. Going up steep hills (the Black Hills) driving around results in a consistent strong burning smell.

Not coming from one obvious location, general engine area, noticed from vehicle cab.

Not engine oil smell. Wheel hubs not hot, so ruling out brakes.

Just smells "hot". more like a rubber smell than anything - but it's NOT like rubber ON FIRE/melting

Trans fluid is relatively new and has a trans cooler that I installed 6 months ago.
Coolant is 50K miles old (last changed with water pump/timing belt at 100k)

Does anybody know what this is?
 

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Possibly one of the belt driven accessories has seized up and the belt is sliding over the drive pulley.
 

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Rubber smell coming from under the hood, a smell similar to spinning your tires on pavement is likely your serpentine belt slipping.
 

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Yes, as @xGS has stated, a pulley may be freezing up. But also want to make sure there is not a fluid of some kind, getting on the belt causing the slipping. If there's nothing leaking, I'd remove belt and check all the pulleys and tensioner. Replace parts as needed with a new belt. Again, if it's a burning rubber smell.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Probably serpentine belt, but if not "new car smell" as in one of your reference threads, perhaps "new transmission cooler smell"? What kit did you use?
 

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2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L
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How many miles on the car?

If I drive a car real hard especially in the mountains sometimes it'll smell "hot".

The only solution I can think of is monitor the condition and level of all the fluids.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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2007 Honda Pilot EX 4WD (J35A9)
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I don't know, but here are my thoughts:

1. The hill part makes me think its the transmission. Maybe pull the dipstick and check fluid condition/ level.

2. The only stank I've ever stunk was a bad catalytic converter. It was really hot and gave off an odd burning smell.
 

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2005 Pilot EX-L
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all. @Mike_Honcho_Actual Mountain man, what say you?

@Jack Vogt it's sitting at 150k miles

Exhaust:
It's not coming from the tailpipe (checked that in fear of burning coolant) We can safely rule out roadkill special haha.

I suppose it could maybe be a lil oil or grease from the CV on the exhaust? I could put some directly on the pipe and see if the smell is the same?

Belts/pulleys:
@xGS @Nail Grease The serpentine belt is only 16k miles old. Replaced the idler pulleys at the same time, so a problem there is doubtful?

Trans:
@plplplpl could be the kit. I used the Hayden 679 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C3BBKS. Seems to be a pretty solid heavy-duty brand & kit.

ALSO, I've been mixing Amsoil ATF in along with the Honda DW-1 in about a 1-3 ratio. Last time I did a drain/fill of the ATF, I overfilled it by about a quart like a jackass. It shows on the dipstick. Not sure this would cause the burning smell tho ??? could that cause a problem?

Some of these hills I've gone up and down locked in "1" or "2" with the VTM-4 locked due to snow.

My "gut" is saying something here with the trans.... or maybe just heat in the cooling system.

Thinking flush coolant (last done 50k ago) put in new hoses. Drain that extra quart from the trans, &/or have a local stealership do a full trans flush.

Thoughts?
 

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Banned from wife’s 2005 Pilot LX
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Any tranny fluid dripping under the Pilot? I think if the fluid overheats that there is a port it leaks out of, unless I’ve got the Pilot confused with another vehicle.

If you’re a quart high, why not drain it out to see if the behavior/smell changes when it’s at the correct level?
 

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Hi All,
From some initial searches, it sounds like this exact issue has been experienced by others, but a conclusion has not been pursued.

burning smell Ended with a fight with a banned member

Burning smell while driving up steep hill considered "new car smell"

burning brakes smell after going UP steep hill Odyssey says "maybe trans fluid"

Issue:
Im from flatlands, out west on vacay. Going up steep hills (the Black Hills) driving around results in a consistent strong burning smell.

Not coming from one obvious location, general engine area, noticed from vehicle cab.

Not engine oil smell. Wheel hubs not hot, so ruling out brakes.

Just smells "hot". more like a rubber smell than anything - but it's NOT like rubber ON FIRE/melting

Trans fluid is relatively new and has a trans cooler that I installed 6 months ago.
Coolant is 50K miles old (last changed with water pump/timing belt at 100k)

Does anybody know what this is?
If I understand correctly, your Pilot has been running just fine, until you took a trip to the Black Hills. Then, after up and down hilly terrain, you noticed a hot smell. You dismiss the possibility of hot brake pads causing the smell. Why?

Were you camping? Towing a trailer? Is that why you just installed a trans cooler? Fully loaded? Then it's probably the brakes getting a work out. Wheel hubs could be relatively cool, and the pads and rotors could be hot. Why are you ruling out the brakes? In hilly terrain, especially if you have a fully loaded Pilot, that's the first place to expect heat. And it could be relatively harmless, as long as you keep an eye on the pads and don't overheat the brakes to the point of boiling the fluid (braking function will disappear). Take it easy on long downhill stretches, and pull over and take a break every so often. Especially if you are towing a trailer without trailer brakes. Then you are making the Pilot do double duty.
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Last time I did a drain/fill of the ATF, I overfilled it by about a quart like a jackass. It shows on the dipstick. Not sure this would cause the burning smell tho ??? could that cause a problem?
Last time someone else did my transmission drain and fill (I brought my own 5 liter jug of Valvoline Maxlife ATF) because I was getting other stuff done at the same time, the flunky just poured the whole jug in, overfilling by more than a liter. As soon as I got home I checked the ATF dipstick and slowly drove it back, not far, and they corrected their mistake by draining the excess fluid. I did not wait or drive far enough to catch a smell, but I may have nipped it in the bud.

Have you checked all of the accessories that the serpentine belt drives?
Likewise, the tensioners for the serpentine and timing belts?
Good point. And were the tensioners also changed?

If I understand correctly, your Pilot has been running just fine, until you took a trip to the Black Hills. Then, after up and down hilly terrain, you noticed a hot smell. You dismiss the possibility of hot brake pads causing the smell. Why?

Were you camping? Towing a trailer? Is that why you just installed a trans cooler? Fully loaded? Then it's probably the brakes getting a work out. Wheel hubs could be relatively cool, and the pads and rotors could be hot. Why are you ruling out the brakes? In hilly terrain, especially if you have a fully loaded Pilot, that's the first place to expect heat. And it could be relatively harmless, as long as you keep an eye on the pads and don't overheat the brakes to the point of boiling the fluid (braking function will disappear). Take it easy on long downhill stretches, and pull over and take a break every so often. Especially if you are towing a trailer without trailer brakes. Then you are making the Pilot do double duty.
Another good point. Has it happened again, in the flatlands?
 

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Is this FWD, or 4WD?

Where you going up AND down, or mainly just uphill, or downhill?

When you're going down steeper inclines, do you take it out of overdrive? Allowing the 'engine braking' to do work for your brakes?

These are things inquiring minds want to know LOL
 
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Overfilling transmission is bad. It can cause overheating and pressure build up. It can force fluid out through the seals.
 
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Last time someone else did my transmission drain and fill (I brought my own 5 liter jug of Valvoline Maxlife ATF) because I was getting other stuff done at the same time, the flunky just poured the whole jug in, overfilling by more than a liter.
Ugh,
He's obviously a fugitive from the states and knows MaxLife comes in gallon jugs. Lol
143663
 
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