nils944
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Sweden

Burning clutch smell

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:52 am

I was somewhat surprised of a burning clutch smell from my Phev yesterday. My question is, should I be concerned and take it to a dealer?

(I won't take it in unless it reoccurs, my post is mainly to tap the forum's collective wisdom on why it occurred.)

Conditions:
- I noticed the smell when parking the car at the end of a 9-hour trip to the mountains in the mid-north of Sweden.
- The temperature was about -5 Celsius.
- The last 10km or so was mainly upphill on hard snow.
- The car was in Save mode with an estimated 40% state of charge (including the hidden bottom buffer).
- The Guess-O-Meter showed about 6km range prior to the upphill run, declining to 3km at the top of the hill, all the time being in Save mode.
- I engaged the 4wd lock when parking the car because there was a steep hill covered with hard-packed snow to drive up and reverse around.
- PHEV is a 2014 MY with about 120 000 km on the odometer, last service was in May.
- I have the infamous V-Tech PHEV-box installed loaded with their "alternative" setup where "Normal" mode is EV-mode.
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2014 Outlander PHEV, "Business" package

greendwarf
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Burning clutch smell

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:57 am

No real clutch, so more likely the infamous burning smell from the exhaust burning off road muck etc. :idea:

nils944
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Burning clutch smell

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:27 am

I'm sceptical that the cause is road muck given the roads were covered with snow and ice. Also, if it was road muck I should have noticed the smell earlier during the trip when filling up with petrol. (The car, not me :D )
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2014 Outlander PHEV, "Business" package

jaapv
Posts: 4582
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:18 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Burning clutch smell

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:04 am

There are dozens of threads on this subject dating back to 2014. It is a common complaint and due to the exhaust burning off all kinds of road muck, coating, etc. It will return - and the car has no clutch that can produce a burning smell.
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NightPHEVer
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Forres, Scotland, UK. 2014 GX4h with clear rear light lenses.

Re: Burning clutch smell

Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:51 am

Don't burning brake pads smell a bit like burning clutch plates? The infamous burning rubber smell smells like burning rubber to me, not like a burning clutch would - if there was one to burn. Has your particular vehicle had the rear calipers replaced as result of the infamous handbrake recall? With that sort of mileage a caliper could be sticking on. Simple way to tell is to touch the discs with your fingertip. Do this very quickly and very gently because if one is sticking the disc will be very hot indeed and your fingertip might stick to it, and smell like a burning finger.

nils944
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:56 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Burning clutch smell

Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:48 am

The handbrake/rear brake recall was dealt with on the last service in May, but I'll keep an eye on the rear brakes.

My understanding is that there is a clutch which is engaged when the car goes into parallel mode, so this was my first thought when I noticed the smell. The smell was not like burned rubber. I haven't noticed the smell in past trips to the cottage (or ever before for that matter.)
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2014 Outlander PHEV, "Business" package

greendwarf
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Burning clutch smell

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:12 am

Having burnt out a couple clutches over 50 years of driving :roll: , I've always noticed the smell when driving (presumably leaking into the car from front), whereas the exhaust smell with the PHEV is only noticeable after stopping (behind & underneath driver). It is also very intermittent, as it depends on driving mode and road conditions - I haven't smelt it for a couple years now but wouldn't be surprised if it came back today.

ThudnBlundr
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:18 am
Location: Yorkshire end of M1, UK

Re: Burning clutch smell

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:47 am

You only get a clutch smell when there is slippage. There are various clutches in the front drive system, but they are controlled by computers and you should not really be able to feel them engaging and disengaging, so there should be no slippage.

Much more likely to be the exhaust smell, especially as you say your're in the mountains. Mine only smells after long climbs
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jaapv
Posts: 4582
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:18 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Burning clutch smell

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:57 am

I guess it is time we had this discussion once more :mrgreen:
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