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Old 10-21-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
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Burning Rubber Smell

I'm not sure if this a good place, but I have a question about our tow vehicle. I looked around to see if there was someplace in the forums and and couldn't find one so I thought there were enough mechanically oriented folks here so I'd give a shot.
We have 2009 Chevy Tahoe LTZ. We have had burning rubber smell recently and for the life of me I can't figure it out. I checked the tires, belts and brakes and none seem to be the culprit. It's not always there and doesn't seem to be connected to braking, idling or tires. The smell seems to originate in the rear {outside}. The belts look brand new {they are} the brakes are all disc, the rotors look great and the tires were just replaced 3 months ago.
Nothing new has been done to vehicle and it only smells when driving it.
I took it to NAPA while looking for a few other items and had a more experienced fellow take a look and he was stymied too.
If anyone has a clue I would appreciate it!
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:09 AM   #2
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Have you ever followed the threads on this and other RV forums about the "mysterious burned rubber smell"? It's an often-observed, but never really explained, issue that many of us have had in our "toads" after towing. Some say it's rubber particles from the road (or your coach) that are deposited, like a layer of dust, on the engine (or maybe in the cabin vents) of your toad, that are then noticeable the next time you drive it.

In your case, I wonder if your 3-month old tires are still "wearing in," shedding a little extraneous rubber. In any case, I've never heard of it causing any harm, just consternation.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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i have the same issue with my jeep ,other posts have said the toad picks up tire dust when be ing toad and it collects on the underside when you disconnect and atart the toad it is burning off all the road stuff ,i beleive the hypothsies since that is the only time i smell it
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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I experience that even when I have the toad on a trailer. As soon as I start it up the smell will start. So it is defiantly something to do with dust deposited on the exhaust.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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I have moved your thread into the Tow Vehicle forum and changed the title to match the question.

On edit: Sorry for the confusion. I somehow read this as being a tow vehicle instead of a toad so I've moved it back to here... but left the updated title.

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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It's rubber dust from the hiway that's deposited on the exhaust system while being towed. Nothing to be concerned about, just the smell for a short time.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSkyBob
It's rubber dust from the hiway that's deposited on the exhaust system while being towed. Nothing to be concerned about, just the smell for a short time.
X2. The rubber dust smell on our Jeep after a tow lasts only for a few days.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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X3 just rubber dust from road happens every time I tow jeep
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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When we towed the '97 Jeep GC four down I got it. Towing the Ody on a dolly I never smell it, in fact even towing the Ody four down I never got it either.
Must be a Jeep thing!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 AM   #10
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I toe a 1995 Saturn SL-2 and I have been doing so ever sence 1995 on all four and never got a rubber smell but I have a coolent smell and no one seem to be able to locate it .
I had a compression test, nothing.
Sometimes you have to learn to live with it.
Just a thought.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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I was fore warned of this by a friend so when it happened, it came as no supprise.
After towing for 3-4 hours (which is a full day for us) you will get a burned rubber smell the first time you start the vehicle from the rubber residue that is on the highway. You normally don't notice it because during normal driving, it is burned off as it contacts the exhaust. But, when the engine is not running, the residue accumulates on the exhaust and causes the smell when you first run the vehicle after towing.
I suppose some vehicles are more prone than others but it is not an uncommon occurance. Only takes a few minutes to burn off and the smell is gone.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Walter View Post
I toe a 1995 Saturn SL-2 and I have been doing so ever sence 1995 on all four and never got a rubber smell but I have a coolent smell and no one seem to be able to locate it .
I had a compression test, nothing.
Sometimes you have to learn to live with it.
Just a thought.
My buddy that warned me also tows a Saturn. He has the rubber smell but no coolant smell. Go figure.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #13
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I love these forums. Have had our MOHO for 6 months and noticed the rubber smell on several occasions on 2 different vehicles.
So glad to find this thread which has solved the mystery.
On a related note. We got the dolly because our Dodge Caliber with its CVT transmission could not be flat towed. 2 weeks ago the Caliber was totaled when another driver ran a red light. We were due to take a trip a few days later.
Had we had a 4-down toad, we could not have taken the trip as we would not have been able to get a rental that could be flat-towed.
The dolly enabled us to get a rental for our trip as planned.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:22 PM   #14
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Oh I just posted the same question! So nice to have answers already because of your post. Hubby was wondering earlier if the smell was from junk off the road burning off, we now can rest easy tonight
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