Hi. Long time reader, first time poster.
I have a 2004 VW Passat B 5.5 AWM 4cyl with 177k miles. Car runs very well, very smooth idle, slight power loss going uphill, typically in the winter. I recently had brake pads + rotors replaced (fall of 2018) and more recently had a set of 4 tires put on (winter 2018) and they were balanced etc. Car has run completely fine for months. I had the CV joints replaced ~4 years ago.
I’ve had an issue occur exactly 2 times over the course of the last 3 weeks. Once 3 weeks ago, once today; both on highway.
I get a vibration, seemingly coming from the front driver’s side wheel. Both times I’ve gotten the issue, I was going ~60MPH, however the vibration persisted even when I brought the car down to 40 MPH (and even lower). The vibration persists until I stop the car completely (or perhaps at a very low speed such as 10MPH). After I accelerate/ start driving again, the vibration completely disappears.
The vibration is not a heavy vibration (I’ve had a bad coil/ constant misfire in the past and that was terrible, so I know a bad vibration); instead, it is a persistent vibration that does not seem to be affected by engine RPM. Today, when I got the issue, I down shifted the engine when I was going ~50MPH, the vibration stayed exactly the same, despite running at a higher RPM. I even accelerated, going uphill, and caused the turbo to kick in and the vibration was not any better or worse. I’d estimate that I drove with this vibration at ~50MPH for roughly 1-1.5 miles until coming to a stop at a traffic light. Immediately after coming to a stop, the vibration was gone (although I only got the car up to ~45MPH).
When I parked the car, I noticed a burning/chemical smell coming from the front driver’s side wheel well, but the smell was not present at the front passenger side wheel. I would describe the smell as burning rubber; my co-worker who took a look at the car described it as a ‘burning electrical smell’.
Thoughts as to what this could be? Ways I could diagnose?