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Concerns about possible heated rubber smell coming from drive belts

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by prerunnerSD, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Jan 5, 2017 at 3:28 PM
    #1
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    Drive belt, power steering and alternator belts changed at Firestone complete autocare about 6-8 months ago. They were changed because they were initially frayed and tearing.

    Ever since the belts were changed I notice a slight heated rubber/almost burning smell coming from the front grill area even after driving for a short distance of a few miles.

    I brought it in again a couple days after they changed the belts and they claimed they tightened the belts a little and they also said they didn't think the pulleys were seizing but I STILLhave my doubts because of this smell...


    Every few weeks I open the hood to check on the belts and they still look newish, I don't notice any major wear but then again I have driven the trunk less than 3,000 miles in the last year.

    I am concerned that the pulleys are not rotating as smooth as they should and therefore causing the belts to heat up more than normal. I remember as a kid we had an old Kirby vacuum and the belts would sometimes overheat and break.. Its kind of like that smell just not as strong/bad or intense.


    Its possible there is just some oil burning but it does have a distinct rubber smell.

    The truck has 201,000 miles on it and its likely the pulleys are original to the vehicle.

    Has anyone else had this issue? Firestone wants me to take it in again. Is there a more exacting way to detect if the pulleys are turning as smooth as required?

    I just don't want this problem to lead to a messed up engine and more costly repairs. I understand Firestone is not an expert on Tacoma's so I figured I'd run this buy Tacomaworld for any input.

    Photos here:

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    sv130x_9d2ffba548ec8c56e468577783991723f2b6c6b5.jpg

    314qau8_577ccda107fce05071d2fc08b74b18115608bbaf.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  2. Jan 5, 2017 at 5:23 PM
    #2
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    Grill guard Front and rear Bilstein 5100's Front Coilovers Rear AAL "I Brake for Tailgaters" Firestone Destination A/T (P265/75/R16)
    Is there a way to lubricate the pulleys with silicone spray?
     
  3. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:20 PM
    #3
    wamego

    wamego Well-Known Member

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    You might check the idler pulley. Loosen up the a/c belt and grab the pulley with your hand, it shouldn't wiggle. Now spin it, no sudden free or tightening when turning it, just a smooth roll with a little drag to it. They usually will make a little noise when bad while driving. This is a fast and easy elimination of 1 pulley. You might make sure the a/c is off, don't drive with the defrost on, just a suggestion.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:21 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    If the belts were heating up to the point of smelling, you'd notice obvious signs of wear on the belts after several weeks/months of driving, which it doesn't sound like there is.

    I would loosen all the belts and mostly remove them, then check the pulleys for slop or grinding. It might be the ps pump, alternator or a/c, too, check that those rotate freely.

    Silcon spray might work, I don't think that adversity affects the rubber on the belts, but not 100% sure. but thats just a bandaid fix for warn out pulleys. Replace them.

    It might be something completely unrelated, too. Hot rubber smell could be anything under there. Go over the engine bay real close and look for wire shorts (melty wires) or other signs of excess heat like black charring.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:34 PM
    #5
    10MGM

    10MGM Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a cam belt inspection is required?
     
  6. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:38 PM
    #6
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    Thanks this is so helpful.. its a new smell that developed after new belts were installed. Keeping in mind installed the belts because there was failure on the old.

    There is definitely something happening here.. My truck is so nice and i try to take care of it but the moving parts can seize I just want to isolate this issue and have good intelligence if I have to present it to a mechanic because they won't know the nuances of our model.
     
  7. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:49 PM
    #7
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    Possibly, but I'd imagine if your timing belt is heating up to the point of smoking and smelling, you'd probably notice some serious performance issues, too

    It doesnt hurt to check though. There are 4 or 5 bolts holding the plastic timing cover on. You might end up removing a bunch of other brackets, tubes, etc... to get to them all, but it's not too bad. Look up how to change a timing belt and just look for the part where you remove that cover.

    It's worth a look...
     
  8. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:50 PM
    #8
    Nicklovin

    Nicklovin Braaaaptorliner 4 the win

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    I'm having the same issue :anonymous:
    The noise you're talking about. Does it sound similar to having the air on, that's what I'm hearing even when I have the air off :anonymous:
     
  9. Jan 5, 2017 at 7:55 PM
    #9
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    Hey thanks for response but we are going off into a new directions here right?.. timing belt? i have heard of this but I only paid to have my drive belt, power steering and alternator belt changed. How is this timing belt directly related to these belts that were changed??

    Could they have messed my timing belt up in the process of changing these before mentioned items or is the timing belt another name for these mentioned items. Please describe..
     
  10. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:00 PM
    #10
    mlcc

    mlcc Well-Known Member

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    Check all around the valve covers for oil leaks
     
  11. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:04 PM
    #11
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    thank you but it literally smells like over heated rubber.. its an unmistakable smell. ... theres got to be something wrong with the pulleys i just dont know how to confirm this and im not sure if the mechanics here know better to give me the news.. im willing to get up under there with them just please let me know how should the pulleys feel as they are turned with out the belts on them.....
     
  12. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:05 PM
    #12
    wamego

    wamego Well-Known Member

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    The noise could be like a rattle to a screech. The rattle would be it's vibrating really bad, the screech is the belt. A rumble noise is usually the clutch bearing. With the a/c it's easy to find out. Take the belt off. Drive around for awhile, couple days. If the noise comes back, then it's not the a/c or the idler.
     
  13. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:05 PM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    No, they aren't related. The mechanics would have to have pulled a bone head move (that not even I am capable of) to screw up the timing belt while changing the drive belts. The timing belt is essentially inside the engine.

    But I'm wondering if it is something unrelated to the work you had done. You wouldn't be the first person to have a shop work on something, but then an unrelated issue crops up completely by coincidence.

    So, try to think about it from a perspective of "what can possibly cause this problem?" not "well this just happened, so it must be related."
     
  14. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:08 PM
    #14
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    They should be smooth with no slop
     
  15. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:08 PM
    #15
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    not referring to any noise for clarification.. referring to rubber smell only .. its subtle but im listening to my gut and so a concern
     
  16. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:10 PM
    #16
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    ok cool thanks ill go with this for now.... its new england honestly i love it hear but most car mechanic ppl here are not very bright, they mean well but ... cars here are function its not about performance and perfection... just an ends to a means, taken for granted... i want my truck and the engine tuned for perfection to prevent larger mistakes, this rubber smell concerns me and it seems unmistakable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  17. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:10 PM
    #17
    wamego

    wamego Well-Known Member

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    This is a good idea also.
     
  18. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:35 PM
    #18
    wamego

    wamego Well-Known Member

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    Check around the altenator, maybe something to close to the exhaust. Burning plastic!!!
     
  19. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:44 PM
    #19
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    You might look in the regional forums. There's a lot of members here, and I'm sure ONE of them has found a good shop in your area...:)

    Good luck!
     
  20. Jan 6, 2017 at 6:30 AM
    #20
    prerunnerSD

    prerunnerSD [OP] "I Brake for Tailgaters"

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    Thanks.. can you lubricate the pulley themselves with a little bit of silicone spray or is this not advisable?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

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