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Unread 08-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #1
Wiskow
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Burning plastic smell

I bought a 2011 Patriot last year in May, and we're finally on our first real road trip. The Patriot still has under 10,000 miles. Recently, while driving from Parowan to Brian Head, Utah, I noticed a strange burning plastic smell coming from somewhere. The road there is a steep uphill stretch, so the engine was working pretty hard. But there was no overheating, and the Patriot performed like a champ. The only problem was a this strange odor. I checked under the hood, but I didn't notice anything obviously wrong. The only thing I could think of was perhaps the plastic cover over the engine was just getting too hot? Has anyone else noticed this? Is it something I should be concerned with?

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Unread 08-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #2
FujativeOCR
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Mine smells weird if I have the recirc fans on only with no A/C or Heater on.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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It may also just be the fact that its brand new stuff, plastic included, in the engine bay getting hot for a very long time. You said this was your first real road trip. When you kick new floor/ceiling heaters on the first time, they smell like burnt plastic and/or metal for a bit too. It may go away on its own. Keep an eye on it, but don't worry too much. If you have the time, have a $tealership check it over, just in case. It should be under warranty still.
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Unread 08-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Just keep in mind that it may not be you but somebody else that traveled by a while before you. Odors stick around for a while like burn electrical, hot brakes, burnt oil, etc. Those odors can get trapped in the cabin air filter and that doesn't help either.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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Maybe you hit a plastic bag on the road. When they get up on the exhaust pipe the stick and burn and it smells really bad. Bit it will only last maybe 30 mins
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Unread 08-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
FujativeOCR
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^oh true story. I had one melt to the catylitic converter on my grand am once. They can stink for quite awhile.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
Wiskow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
Just keep in mind that it may not be you but somebody else that traveled by a while before you. Odors stick around for a while like burn electrical, hot brakes, burnt oil, etc. Those odors can get trapped in the cabin air filter and that doesn't help either.
This is what occurred to me at first... But I drove the same stretch of road a few days later with the same result. This stretch of road is 12 miles long and the altitude goes from 6000 to 10,000 feet.

I think Jasonwe is right that it's just new plastic getting heated up for the first time causing the odor. I'll be back in San Diego on Wednesday. I'll take it by the dealer to have it checked out to be sure that nothing is wrong. Yes, it's still under warranty.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 09:00 AM   #8
Wiskow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CompRuss View Post
Maybe you hit a plastic bag on the road. When they get up on the exhaust pipe the stick and burn and it smells really bad. Bit it will only last maybe 30 mins
I had this happen before, too, on an '88 Honda Prelude I used to have while I was stationed in Japan. But this definitely isn't what happened here (I checked).
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