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Old 02-14-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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On our vacation I flat towed my stock 05 jeep wrangler rubicon with auto trans from Indiana to Florida. This is the first time I have towed this vehicle! I followed the instructions and put transfer case in N,put trans in park and put key in first position so wheels would turn. It pulled great the whole trip, but after unhooking and putting all the levers back in place I started the engine up and a smell like rubber burning engulfed the area. I shut off engine and could not locate source of smell. Then the jeep ran like crap and the fuel mileage dropped to around 5 mpg. I unhooked the battery and reset the computer, it runs better but something is wrong. Has anybody had this problem, or did I miss doing something while towing?
Any help would be appreciated,
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Boomer! You will find lots of great and experienced RVers here. We tow a 2008 Saturn Vue and the same happened to us, less the poor mileage and running poorly. After asking around I found it's common for your toad to gather road grime and crud on the exhaust system while being towed. Ours does the same thing and the first time I was very alarmed and thought I burned something up. After a few miles of running your Jeep the smell should go away. I have no answer on your Jeep running poorly after being towed. Best of luck and looking forward to reading your posts.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:41 AM   #3
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Boomer52, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. Mothership has given you good info on the smell scenario. I must ask, do you have a brake assist on the Jeep? Could the battery voltage have dropped from the brake lights coming on? This might cause the poor running until you reset the ECM. I am sure others will know for sure and will post their experiences. Good luck, enjoy the forums and keep us posted.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:20 AM   #4
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Boomer52. Another welcome to IRV2 .

We had same issue with our 2004 and now 2008 Ford Explorer. Burned rubber smell whenever we started the engine after a day of towing behind the motorhome. I checked everything and finally learned, as Mothership explained, that road grime and bits or tire rubber gather on your engine while you tow. Then, when you start up the toad and the exhaust manifold gets hot, it burns that collective stuff. The smell usually goes away after about 30 minutes of running.

I did not have the drop in fuel mileage or any other operational issues you describe so perhaps you have some other issue.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:38 AM   #5
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Glad you found us.

The "burning" smell after towing is pretty common due tot he road grime on the unheated exhaust while towing.

As to the other problem, not a clue. Try disconnecting the battery and let the control module reset. This may help it out.

Otherwise, time to head to a dealer.

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Old 02-15-2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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Then the jeep ran like crap and the fuel mileage dropped to around 5 mpg.
Hi Boomer, welcome to the forum! As others have noted, it is most likely just road grime that has gotten on to your exhaust.

Regarding a fuel mileage drop to that level, it is almost impossible without a Check Engine Light (CEL). The ECU will maintain a/f ratios right at 14.7:1, and if it cannot achieve this, it would issue a CEL. The only other possibility is that their is an extremely high load on the drivetrain - like a stuck parking brake or similar... but I think you'd really notice that.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Originally posted by RV Wizard:
Boomer52, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. Mothership has given you good info on the smell scenario. I must ask, do you have a brake assist on the Jeep? Could the battery voltage have dropped from the brake lights coming on? This might cause the poor running until you reset the ECM. I am sure others will know for sure and will post their experiences. Good luck, enjoy the forums and keep us posted.
Thanks everyone for your replies, I had no idea that road grime would cause that kind of smell.
Its a relief knowing it wasn't a serious problem. As far as a drain on battery, I have the magnetic lights and they were hooked to M/H harness. I checked a jeep forum and it looks like the throttle body and the IAC (idle air control) get gummed up and causes the problem I was having. I cleaned these up and and the jeep is back to normal. From what I read this is a common problem with the jeeps.
Again, thanks everyone for your help!
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