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that clutch/brake smell when going uphill 

 

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 Post subject: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Hello everyone, a bit of paranoia here....
Have been driving the car for only a few minutes each day lately, just carting some work gear around, but finally hit the open road on a 30 minute drive today.
On a short but steep uphill section, not gunning the motor, just driving normally, I started to smell that clutch/brake smell.
It was quite strong. The handbrake was off, engine temp was fine, as was everything else, just the smell.
It dissipated once over the hill, but later, driving back up the steep section of the Gt Western Highway up to Mt Victoria (again, not pushing the motor), it started doing it again, just not as strong at the very top. Once again, it vanished within seconds of reaching the top.
Any issue here?

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:37 pm 
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paul w wrote:
Hello everyone, a bit of paranoia here....
Have been driving the car for only a few minutes each day lately, just carting some work gear around, but finally hit the open road on a 30 minute drive today.
On a short but steep uphill section, not gunning the motor, just driving normally, I started to smell that clutch/brake smell.
It was quite strong. The handbrake was off, engine temp was fine, as was everything else, just the smell.
It dissipated once over the hill, but later, driving back up the steep section of the Gt Western Highway up to Mt Victoria (again, not pushing the motor), it started doing it again, just not as strong at the very top. Once again, it vanished within seconds of reaching the top.
Any issue here?

auto or manual?

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:58 am 
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Gaaah, missed the most important bit!
Auto.

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:03 am 
Getting Side Ways
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If it's auto, that rules the trans out from making the smell, so it has to be brakes. It would seem like the brakes are dragging for a short period of time. Time to put the car on stands, and inspect the brakes, if they have been dragging there should be signs on the rotors.

Also inspect the calipers, make sure they are releasing as they should be, if slides or the piston(s) are not releasing just as quickly as they move, there's trouble....

Cheers

ToranaGuy

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:37 am 
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If the smell's that bad, pull over, and carefully feel the rims near the wheel studs, if they're warm, that's normal, but if they are fairly hot to touch, you have brake drag on that wheel.

ToranaGuy wrote:
If it's auto, that rules the trans out from making the smell, so it has to be brakes.
Think so ???
If it slips, it'll still overheat and smell I would think, particularly if you're putting load on it like going up hills.
I tend to think it's the auto - when was it last serviced ??

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Many thanks for the replies.
The first time it happened was at the very top of the hill, and while I thought for a moment about pulling over (after checking the handbrake was not on), it vanished.
The second time it was just a whiff.
You are right about checking the hubs....obvious now you mention it.
The auto service....good point. It didn't feel like it was slipping, but then it may be just starting to.
In the year I've owned the car, I've changed the fluid, but that's all, although my (fading) memory is hinting that the bands were also checked, but I'm taking that thought with a pinch of salt.
The car's in for the rego check this Tue, so will get the brakes and auto looked at then.
Cheers

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:46 pm 
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As the car was checked for rego, I told the mechanic about the smell so he checked all the brakes as well, and found nothing wrong.
He and another mechanic also took it for a test drive, and said the gearbox was fine.
I have to go to Lithgow this week, so will take the same route and see what happens.

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:31 am 
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NSW, Australia

In Cooma atm. Drove down Sat for a few days of fishing, and no more clutch/brake smell, but 45km out of town, the engine started to occasionally miss-fire/run rough.
Never a pleasant experience when one minute it's running fine, then starts to miss-fire. Most of the 45km into town it was oay, but would then start to play up; fingers crossed the last 5km into town.
Had topped up the fuel at the start, so figured it may be dirty fuel.
Filled up in Cooma and noted fuel economy was worse than I expected; usually get 8-8.5lt/100km for the trip, but it was 9.7lt/100km.
Anyway, staying at a mate's place (and borrowing his car to hit the lakes) while the car is in a mechanic's today.
Have driven it a little yesterday and this morning, just a few kays, and it ran fine. Hopefully, whatever the problem is, is gone.

 

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 Post subject: Re: that clutch/brake smell when going uphill
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:53 pm 
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Location: blue mountains
NSW, Australia

Update on the clutch/brake smell:

On the way back from Cooma, went via Black Springs/Oberon road, which included a very steep uphill section.
Just a whiff to begin with, then nothing. Nothing up Mt Vic pass, either.
As I said, have not driven the car much for more than 5 mins per day for a couple of months, and I remember my old EB Holden wagon (when I was 18) used to do likewise when I hadn't driven it much.
Does an auto use the same clutch/brake material on the bands? If so, I think they can get 'glazed' if not used for a while.
The EB had exactly the same smell. Took me back to being 18!

 

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