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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:01 PM
nanners nanners is offline
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Mein Auto: bmw z3
hot/burning rubber smell 1999 z3

Just bought my first BMW 13 days ago..a BEE-YOU-TI-FULL red and black Z-3 with 70,000 miles. When I test drove it two months ago, there was no odor. However, NOW there's a MYSTERY hot/burning rubber smell that transfers to my clothing in no time flat. It's gotten to the point where I dread getting inside this gorgeous car.

Okay... the symptoms. (The dealership identified a small leak in the valve cover gasket, but they didn't want to fix that unless we were certain of it's being the cause of our problems.) Indeed, now there's a new clue. Last night I was wiping down all interior surfaces and sniffing like a bloodhound. And THERE on the underside of the passenger's floormat--specifically the far end of the floormat--close to the engine and under the glove compartment was THEE most pungent hot rubber smell.

There's nothing actually ON the carpet/floormat. Rather the smell seems to be coming from the other side of the firewall (is that the right term?). I turned on the engine, and the exact same smell is blowing through the a/c vents.

The odor has been so strong that I can already detect it upon entering the stairway that leads to my garage. Open the car door, and you get a bigger whiff--even though the car has been sitting idle for hours. Start up the engine and there it is, coming from the vents, too.

Any ideas are most welcome!
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:33 PM
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Mpire Mpire is offline
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Mein Auto: S54 M Coupe x2, M52 Z3
Stop doing burnouts and the smell will go away.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:55 PM
nanners nanners is offline
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I'm sorry.... "burnouts"? I don't know what that is.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:45 PM
Skyhawk Skyhawk is offline
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If you just turn the key without starting the engine, turn the fan on is the smell still there? If that is the case then I think your fan is burned up? Check that out...
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:07 PM
Monolith Monolith is offline
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I vote secondary air pump bearings are shot. Part #1 below. It's located with the engine computer directly on the other side of the passenger firewall. It runs for about 3 minutes upon a cold start. Turning the key to position #2 (without starting the engine) will turn the pump on. Try unplugging it and see if the smell is reduced. Unplugging it will throw a check engine light.






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Last edited by Monolith; 08-11-2010 at 02:50 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2011, 05:40 AM
cgamach cgamach is offline
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Concur with Secondary Air Injection Pump. I have burned rubber almost petroleum like smell inside the car. The SAI pump area under hood has the same odor. What was the FIX - rpl the pump? CG 2001 Z3
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2011, 08:35 AM
Mikey48 Mikey48 is offline
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My Z4 did this and it was the valve cover gasket. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:22 AM
DaveBZ3 DaveBZ3 is offline
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Air Pump Hose

I'm getting a hot smell, which is strongest around the front passenger wheel. I've noticed that the secondary air pump hose, which runds to the valve, is really deteriated. Do you know if any generic hose and hose clamps would work?
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2012, 10:25 AM
DaveBZ3 DaveBZ3 is offline
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Smell Follow-up

I just drove the car, stopped it, opened the hood and smelled around. I'm almost certain my smell is coming from the front couple of inches of the hose, which is in really bad shape. I'll need to replace it but would like to jsut use a generic hose if possible. I can't even figure out how to work the clamps.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2012, 12:12 PM
Mikey48 Mikey48 is offline
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:34 PM
DaveBZ3 DaveBZ3 is offline
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Hose Removal

Thanks Mikey48, that worked on the pump side. I'll need to remove the windshield washer container to get my hand on the other. I used my calipers on the fitting and measured around 1.1 inches. I may just try a hose and two clamps if I can find anything close in size.

I saw another post where someone pulled the valve off the engine and cleaned it out with carberator cleaner. I should probably do this (128K miles) but then again it's good practice to not fix it if it ain't broke!
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:23 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is online now
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The valve is almost certainly broken and is the main cause of Secondary Air Pump (SAP) failures. You should plan on replacing it. SAPs are 4-5 times more expensive to replace. I replaced my valve with a steel plate and my SAP with a SAP simulator, but that approach is not for everyone.
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