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2017 Clubman S Burning Smell from Engine Compartment?

F54 :: Clubman Stock Problems/Issues (2015+) Discussions related to warranty related issues and repairs, or other problems with the OEM parts and software for F54 MINI Cooper and Cooper S MINIs.

2017 Clubman S Burning Smell from Engine Compartment?

  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 10:55 AM
RandomGemini
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2017 Clubman S Burning Smell from Engine Compartment?

Looking for some feedback. My car is still under warranty. The Dealership is a 300 mile drive for me, so if this is major, the car will have to be towed. Last week, I was driving with the heat on full blast and I noticed that the car smelled like burning plastic when I stopped and parked it in my garage. I have looked everywhere for evidence that I drove over a plastic bag.

I had my husband take the car to the local club meet up and see what they thought and no one has any ideas. They did decide it was not a plastic bag, or the fuse box. The smell is strongest after the car is parked. And it comes through the heating vents when the engine is hot.

What I need to know is, is it safe to drive it? Should I take it to a local mechanic for an inspection first, before attempting to drive it 300 miles to the dealership and if so, will that void any chance of getting the issue repaired by MINI to anyone’s knowledge?
 
  #2  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:16 PM
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Did you call the dealer and ask them? If they tell you it is safe to drive and something happens it is on them. Have them email or text that to you for a record. I'd think you would be better off if they picked the car up.

Whatever the "plastic" smell is, probably not a good thing to be inhaling.

You must love your MINI to travel 300 miles for service.
 
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:39 AM
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This is my second MINI and I do love my car. Traveling for service is no big deal to me, I bought the car to drive it and I take it over once a year.

It got to the point where I took my car to the local BMW dealership for them to do an inspection. The smell is not something I have ever smelled on a car before. It could be electrical. When I dropped the car off a bit ago, the BMW technician came out and said “Wow, I can smell it from here. That is not normal.” Of course, now I’m even more worried because he said that.

So, they are gonna look it over but touch nothing. If they find anything, they will call us and we should know more later today. If it is something they can repair without voiding warranty, we’ll have them do it. Otherwise, the next step will be to call MINI and have the car shipped to the dealership.
 
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:11 AM
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That is almost a 'good' comment to hear, meaning that they will be doing some searching to find the source of the smell. I wonder if it is something that came loose and is simply laying on the exhaust somewhere or maybe laying on/dragging on an axle or something like that. If it is an electrical based issue, that could be much, much harder to track down. Good luck and looking forward to hearing what they find.
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:24 PM
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Sorry for the delay in replying. The BMW dealer DID find a plastic bag stuck on my catalytic converter. Right where you would not have been able to see it until you put the car up on a lift. They pulled it, cleaned it and sent me on my way.

I’m RELIEVED that this was all it was and that the BMW dealership was able to take care of this issue without voiding the warranty on my car. Honestly, my first thought was that it had to be a plastic bag, but the smell was so strong that I was having trouble breathing when I drove my car so I just felt like that couldn’t possibly be it. The technician at BMW was surprised at how strong the smell was too and agreed that it could have easily been more than just a plastic bag. The theory is that the smell got so strong, because the catalytic converter gets really hot.
 
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:39 PM
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Good result! Hard to believe that the heat of the Cat didn't incinerate the bag completely in short order. Maybe you have to drive faster.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Minnie.the.Moocher View Post
Good result! Hard to believe that the heat of the Cat didn't incinerate the bag completely in short order. Maybe you have to drive faster.


If I had to guess, I would bet that the reason it didn’t just melt off after a day is because it has been super cold here lately and I have been driving my car for short trips. We only had one day last week where the temps went above freezing.

But now I know! If it smells like a plastic bag, even if you don’t remember driving over a plastic bag, it probably IS a plastic bag.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:42 PM
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Great news, easy fix and on with life! Can't ask for much better for the issue.

With enough 'go pedal' use, you can discolor your muffler, see below. That was after 4 - 20 minute sessions out on the road course, the factory coating was 'cooked' off the center section of the muffler body...that bag wouldn't have had a chance on my car that day

 
  #9  
Old 01-23-2019, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WhatV8 View Post
Great news, easy fix and on with life! Can't ask for much better for the issue.

With enough 'go pedal' use, you can discolor your muffler, see below. That was after 4 - 20 minute sessions out on the road course, the factory coating was 'cooked' off the center section of the muffler body...that bag wouldn't have had a chance on my car that day

Looks like that was a beautiful day too! I am seriously missing sunny weather and dry pavement right now.
 
  #10  
Old 01-23-2019, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RandomGemini View Post
Looks like that was a beautiful day too! I am seriously missing sunny weather and dry pavement right now.
It was, mid-60's and light breezes...perfect Monday to be at the track and not work!! You are not the only one missing the same things, we just got another 2" snow with some rain mixed in...yeah!?!
 
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