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Been having an on an off issue with my wife's 08 Grand Caravan 3.8l we get a nasty burning rubber smell on acceleration while going up a hill, I've tried doing the intake gasket, both valve cover gaskets, radiator cap and a new thermostat I've also checked the exhaust to make sure nothing is stuck under the vehicle anywhere it's only while going up a steep hill on acceleration. Any help would be great!
 

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Somebody spilled transmission fluid, power steering fluid or motor oil on the engine and its getting on the exhaust when going up hill or maybe the PCV valve is leaking oil

Any smoke coming out the back? Motor oil, transmission fluid and power steering levels staying firm?
 

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Welcome.

First, check engine mounts, then we take it from there.

  1. Get a helper.
  2. Ask him (her, more likely) to get inside the vehicke, driver's side.
  3. Open the hood.
  4. Ask the helper to start the engine, step hard on the brake pedal.
  5. While you watching the engine, ask the helper to switch transmission to 1st gear.
  6. Ask helper to carefully rev the engine while still steeping hard on the brake pedal.
  7. Whole engine shouldn't move much, if engine moves up/down noticeably, then one or more of the engine mounts is bad. Replace it.
Let us know your findings so we can continue with diagnosis.
 

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Welcome.

First, check engine mounts, then we take it from there.

  1. Get a helper.
  2. Ask him (her, more likely) to get inside the vehicke, driver's side.
  3. Open the hood.
  4. Ask the helper to start the engine, step hard on the brake pedal.
  5. While you watching the engine, ask the helper to switch transmission to 1st gear.
  6. Ask helper to carefully rev the engine while still steeping hard on the brake pedal.
  7. Whole engine shouldn't move much, if engine moves up/down noticeably, then one or more of the engine mounts is bad. Replace it.
Let us know your findings so we can continue with diagnosis.
I would also like to add: "8. Make sure helper is not angry at you when reving the engine."

In all seriousness, I would set the parking brake as well.

But how would bad engine mounts cause a burning smell?
 

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Oh god. I have this exact issue. it's driving me insane.

I'm certain it's coming fro the belt area but it subsides so fast when I pull over.

Tried new valve cover gaskets, new alternator, new belt, new tensioner and idler pulley.
It got better with new alternator(junkyard alternator after original died) but I still get it uphill.

I've heard suggestions of it being snow tires burning going uphill. Mine are still on. I doubt it though.
 

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Oh god. I have this exact issue. it's driving me insane.

I'm certain it's coming fro the belt area but it subsides so fast when I pull over.

Tried new valve cover gaskets, new alternator, new belt, new tensioner and idler pulley.
It got better with new alternator(junkyard alternator after original died) but I still get it uphill.

I've heard suggestions of it being snow tires burning going uphill. Mine are still on. I doubt it though.

I don't understand why you can't share some insight into why it may be caused by mounts?

Is it sacred text from the Vatican or something?

Have you tried the engine mounts test yet?
 

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Some had this burning rubber smell going uphill problem with their 4th Generations per:

It wasn't resolved.

Tires? Yes, tires can smell from heat and traction.

Exhaust system rubber hangers? Yes, possibly, because of excessive heat.

Motor mounts? They are rubber, yes, possibly because of excessive heat.

Hoses? They are rubber, yes, possibly because of excessive heat.

Rubber mounts at bottom of radiator? They are rubber, yes, possibly because of excessive heat.

Maybe all of the above contribute.

I'm picking tires. :)
 

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Have you tried the engine mounts test yet?
Ok Levy. I definitely have pronounced engine movement while following your steps. No mounts cracked but def. aged.

This van is at 200k in severe 4 season weather so not unexpected.

What next(yes I'll replace when time permits)?
 

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Vehicle acts more like an air dam going uphill, hence the tire odors penetrate the cabin. :) It's a long, low vehicle.
 

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Ok Levy. I definitely have pronounced engine movement while following your steps. No mounts cracked but def. aged.

This van is at 200k in severe 4 season weather so not unexpected.

What next(yes I'll replace when time permits)?
If engine is moving up/down, then at least one mount is broken. Even old mounts should not allow the engine to move up/down if not broken.

If everything in the engine compartment is stock, then a broken engine mount shouldn't be your problem.

But, if engine moves during acceleration, make sure the serpentine belt is not touching anything during that period of time.

Check everything close to the belt, including vacuum or hydraulic hoses.

Also check underneath, make sure axles are not touching anything when the engine is moving up/down.

Good luck.
 

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You just need to have your "nasty burning rubber smell" properly and specifically identified by an actual experienced mechanic... We're all chasing an alleged simple 'rubber' smell without having smelled it ourselves over the internet, or seen what kind of mess may reside under your particular hood.
 

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Tires emit odors, do the sniffer test. :)
 

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You just need to have your "nasty burning rubber smell" properly and specifically identified by an actual experienced mechanic... We're all chasing an alleged simple 'rubber' smell without having smelled it ourselves over the internet, or seen what kind of mess may reside under your particular hood.
I did. They found nothing.
 

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There's your problem... Get those winter tires off ASAP!
haha. They are cheap chinese tires I bought for $100. I plan to keep them on all summer then get some good ones next winter.

Also, they suck in the snow but they are pretty good in the mud. And thats what I'll be dealing with for the next 2 months here.

I will replace the motor mounts when they arrive then leave it at that. I hope it is just the tires in the end.

I have no past reference because when I bought the van I put these tires on immediately.
 
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