2002 burnt rubber smell when heat is on.

Shanman

Active Member
I have a 2002 with 23000 miles on it. Just recently it has a burnt rubber smell when the heat is on. Even had a little smoke coming out of the vents. Completely dissapeared when I turned off the heat and fan. Any ideas?
 
I have a 2002 with 23000 miles on it. Just recently it has a burnt rubber smell when the heat is on. Even had a little smoke coming out of the vents. Completely dissapeared when I turned off the heat and fan. Any ideas?
My 2002 has done this ----------mechanic said probably valved cover gaskets. Did not replace --------------do not notice it two years late r. no oil on floor ...
 

Shanman

Active Member
So I noticed this about a week ago on the way back from the store. Today was the first time I've driven it again and the smell was stronger and the smoke was coming out of the vents. Not much smoke but wispy. I really don't think it was water vapor or steam. Tomstoy asked if it did it with the A.C. so I tried it and it didn't do it. Then I put the heat back on and it did not do it. So maybe something fell or crawled in the system and burned up??? I feel like I cried wolf but am glad it stopped. Thanks for the feedback and if it arises again I will update.
 
Acquired an 02 bird that had been in storage for many years. I had the same symptoms for several trips, maybe 100 miles total, before it went away. No oil or other fluids on the garage floor. Engine looked dry at valve cover gaskets so it did not seem to be from leaking valve cover gaskets. Haven't figured it out and probably won't unless it occurs again. The other thought I had was brakes because smell seemed more noticeable when braking, but didn't see anything there either
 

Shanman

Active Member
I thought brakes at first as well but never smelled it outside the car. The smoke coming out of the vents was a bit unnerving but it's not doing it now.
 
I have the same issue, but haven't been able to isolate. Seems like when I have the heater on it is worse, and not so much in the vents, but the smell is strong on the outside of the car (drivers side). Popped the hood and can't identify anything other than the smell is certainly on the drivers side up toward the firewall. I had my local Ford dealer spend as much time on it as he could before charging me and found nothing. I have no leaks visible on engine or floor but something somewhere is definitely emitting the odor of burning/melting. Next week I need to try and get some safe engine cleaner and try to remove the oil/road dust residue from the engine and then see if that fixes it at all. I have a neighbor that recommended a spray on, wash off solution so as to not harm all the wires, however if anyone has suggestions I'll take them.
 
It may be an oil leak from the valve cover on to the exhaust manifold. My cleaner of choice is Purple Power. I regularly use it to clean grease, oil and dirt from engine compartments and more. Napa here sells it. Also at Home Depot and Walmart.
Thanks. I don't have the 2002 paper service manuals yet (I have a MacBook not a PC) but is this something I can address, or do you recommended for a shop to handle? I recall reading something in this forum (so much information) that fixing this is a challenge as the last bolt is tough to tighten...just don't know if this is an issue on all years/models as mine is 2002. I am having oil changed on Monday at Ford, and will also ask them to look at it, but figured I would ask here for the true expert opinion.
 
is this something I can address, or do you recommended for a shop to handle?

Cleaning is straight forward, spray it on and hose it off. I use a power washer, but I'm sure some may object. Ask the Ford dealer about the smell then confirm it yourself before making any decision. If you are referring to if you can do the repairs, that all depends on your skill level and confidence in exploring new challenges. The Tbirds are not easy to repair simply because of the limited room for access to most everything. If your unsure, then the service manual is a must to review first. And you will need the necessary tools.
 
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