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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just recently I noticed a slight burning smell coming through my vents (smells like burning rubber mixed with hint of gasoline, very noticable from the outside but I havnt been able to pin point the source). When this happens I also notice at red lights the RPM's dip a little and the car shakes a bit, constantly going from 800RPM down to about almost 600RPM then back up to 800 and back down. I have an automatic so this is happening when im on the brake. When the light turns green, 1st gear seems hesitant, kind of sluggish (seems like I need to get on the gas a bit more to get her moving) but once shifted in 2nd the car drives ok until the next stop light.

It feels like the car is misfiring a bit but only when stopped but no CEL light. I was thinking spark plugs, but that won’t explain the burning smell? It's been cold here lately, the first time I noticed this was when it was -24C out (-11F) after driving about 10km or so. The next day it was gone, and the day after that it came back again and it smelled pretty bad in the cabin.
I also checked the belts, just to make sure one of them wasn’t seized up and the belt was rubbing the pulley, but every thing looks like its rotating correctly.
The only work I've done recently to the car was change the fuel filter and install a Neuspeed rear sway bar (btw Awesome mod!).
I already purchased some copper plugs but havnt installed them yet. Also this is the first winter that I am using German Castrol 0W-30 if that would make any difference.


Any Ideas? This really bothers me because it's so intermittent
Thanks and happy new year : )

Forgot to mention: car is a '99 AEB 1.8T
 

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Just recently I noticed a slight burning smell coming through my vents (smells like burning rubber mixed with hint of gasoline, very noticable from the outside but I havnt been able to pin point the source). When this happens I also notice at red lights the RPM's dip a little and the car shakes a bit, constantly going from 800RPM down to about almost 600RPM then back up to 800 and back down. I have an automatic so this is happening when im on the brake. When the light turns green, 1st gear seems hesitant, kind of sluggish (seems like I need to get on the gas a bit more to get her moving) but once shifted in 2nd the car drives ok until the next stop light.

It feels like the car is misfiring a bit but only when stopped but no CEL light. I was thinking spark plugs, but that won’t explain the burning smell? It's been cold here lately, the first time I noticed this was when it was -24C out (-11F) after driving about 10km or so. The next day it was gone, and the day after that it came back again and it smelled pretty bad in the cabin.
I also checked the belts, just to make sure one of them wasn’t seized up and the belt was rubbing the pulley, but every thing looks like its rotating correctly.
The only work I've done recently to the car was change the fuel filter and install a Neuspeed rear sway bar (btw Awesome mod!).
I already purchased some copper plugs but havnt installed them yet. Also this is the first winter that I am using German Castrol 0W-30 if that would make any difference.


Any Ideas? This really bothers me because it's so intermittent
Thanks and happy new year : )

Forgot to mention: car is a '99 AEB 1.8T
From the collective wisdom aquired from this forum:
The burning smell (exhaust/oil burning?) may be a fouled up PCV system.

The rough idle may be a dirty throttle body.
Here is an excellent DIY throttle body cleanup tutorial
http://www.taligentx.com/passat/maintenance/throttlebody/

OR

(From the vwvortex 1.8T Troubleshooting Guide: )

Symptom: Items to Check
Rough Running At Idle: MAF, Ignition Coil, Spark Plug, VAC Leak, O2 Sensor, TB, CTS
 

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I'd also check for the dirty throttle body. I actually need to clean mine this weekend. It doesn't explain the burning smell, but could def explain the irregular idle. Also could be bad MAF. It also could be related to whatever is causing the burning smell.

Burning Smells=Not Good
Go get it checked out
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies guys.
I actually cleaned the throttle and replaced the gasket not too long ago at 101,847KM I'm curently at about 118,000KM now. Also my old MAF died at 89,275KM and was replaced then. I hope it didn't go bad again, I removed the K&N filter and replaced it with a stock one at the time i changed the MAF.

I'll do the PCV valve once it gets a little warmer here : )
 

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Mine has the smell thing to but i dont notius the RPM's dropping. So is the PCV valve change able? If so where is it at i have not done much under the hood of this thing yet because i have not had to. The only thig i have done is HID's and oil changs, plugs, and a air filter.
 

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burning smell; no associated idle dip

I, too, have recently experienced the burning smell coming through the vents, but before I could spend much time wondering about the origin, the oil spots started appearing on the ground (two days ago). Today I noticed some smoke coming from under the hood, too.
Anyway, remember there is a large cover under the engine, so it's possible to be leaking enough oil to smell but not see it on the ground.
Is the valve cover gasket possibly to blame? I plan on getting under the hood in the next day or two, and I have little idea what to expect.
Matt
99 V6 Auto 132k miles
 

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The burning could be the PCV system and the valve cover gasket. It may also be the cam chain tensioner seal/gasket.
 

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Have the same problem and posted about it recently.

I can see oil on the passenger side of my valve cover, a fair amount of oil.

Saw oil on the sparkplugs and in the spark plug holes a few days ago.

Getting a new valve cover gasket tonight and am installing tomorrow.

Due to the oil on the spark plugs, I think the spark plug boots have been cooking in there and one (or more) may have small perforations that cause the spark to arc out against the block (missing).

Thats why I posted the thread about a place to buy spark plug boots.
The dealer want $22 a piece.
 

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Lisa Simpson
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Oil smell is something related to pressure in the valve cover. Could be any of the various seals.

RPM drops are due to a foulup in the manifold pressure system. What is your cold idle and your early (not warmed up fully) cold idle? Is there any outside temp variation with this problem?
 
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