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Old 14-07-2008   #1
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Unhappy Burning smell

Hello,

I just drove to work in my Punto 1.2 (5 million model, 2003, one of the last before they changed to the new style) and started smelling a hot, burning smell. I found this forum and it looks great, so wondered if anyone can help me..?

I first noticed the smell when I had been driving about 20 minutes, when I slowed down/stopped at junctions. When I got to work about 10 minutes later I had a look and a sniff and there was nothing untoward under the car or anything. But under the bonnet I could smell the smell. It is like something is getting far too hot and sort-of burning. I don't think it's a plastic or oil burning smell and can't work out exactly what could be causing it.

The smell is coming from the area above the oil filler, to the side of what I think is the air filter. I have checked the oil and it is low but still within the markers although I will top it up anyway. The water level looks fine. There is a little oil leaking out around the engine from a seal somewhere below the air filter bit but it doesn't smell down there.

Can anyone help? I am a bit worried about what might happen when I drive home this evening...

Many thanks,
Rosemary
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Last edited by rosemarydawn; 14-07-2008 at 10:59. Reason: Forgot to mention what car I have!
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Old 14-07-2008   #2
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Re: Burning smell

It is possible that oil is leaking over something hot, and causing the smell. I had the similar symptoms when my rocker-cover gasket was leaking. From what you describe though, it does not sound like the rocker-cover gasket, but perhaps an oil leak elsewhere.
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Old 14-07-2008   #3
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Question Re: Burning smell

Thanks for your help Mike,
Sorry to sound clueless, but what/where is the rocker-cover gasket?
If it is an oil leak, do you think it would be safe to drive if I keep an eye on it or should I take it straight to a garage?
Cheers,
Rosemary

p.s. I'll get around to introducing myself in the Newbie bit sometime soon!!
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Old 14-07-2008   #4
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Re: Burning smell

Rocker Cover Gasket is the seal between the cover on the very top of the engine and the top of the cylinder head. The rocker cover is what covers the camshaft and rockers, hence its name. From what you describe, it sounds like the rocker cover gasket is too high up the engine to be the fault, so it is probably not this.

If it is just oil, you should be alright as long as you keep it topped up. The flash-point of oil is much higher than the temperatures of the engine block, so oil fires should not be a problem. As with any burning smell though, get it checked out, just in case it is not the oil.
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Old 14-07-2008   #5
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Re: Burning smell

Cheers!
Can anyone recommend a good garage near Houghton Regis/Luton, Bedfordshire? There was a really good one that I used to go to but they've recently been taken over :-(
Thanks,
Rosemary
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Old 14-07-2008   #6
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Re: Burning smell

I do not know the Luton area, but check out the good garage scheme rating...

http://www.goodgaragescheme.co.uk/

Typically though, those on the scheme do tend to be a little more pricey.
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Old 14-07-2008   #7
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Re: Burning smell

In your area Rosemary I'd recomend

Autocraft
Unit 9,
Houghton Regis Trading Centre,
Cemetery Rd,
Houghton Regis,
Dunstable,
Bedfordshire
LU5 5QH

Tel: 01582 866688

Or We can help (Souls in Milton Keynes) if needed!
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Last edited by Chris@souls; 14-07-2008 at 13:24.
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Old 19-07-2008   #8
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Re: Burning smell

Could be the breather pipe- it is a rubber pipe connected to the underneath of the air filter.

They are known to perish, and let fumes out. Or the pipe might just be un-plugged as it is only a push fit to the air filter box.

If it is this, the smell will get worse with the ventilation fan on.

Hope it's this because it's a dead simple, 5 minute job to replace, and the couple of inches of rubber pipe can hardly be expensive to buy.

If the pipe is perished, you'll see oil on it. You can see this pipe by removing the air filter box (two screws and a spring clip).

John
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Old 19-07-2008   #9
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Re: Burning smell

Check exhaust pipe as it's possible that you run over plastic bag and it glued itself to hot exhaust. This often happens and it smells like you described.
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