Subaru Outback:

Car smells bad when driving uphill

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# 1  8/3/2010 6:22 PM

New member
Registered: 8/3/2010
Posts: 1

Car smells bad when driving uphill

Hey, I've got an '05 Subaru Outback.  It runs great and I haven't had any problems with it other than it's started to smell bad when I've been driving uphill for a few minutes.  It is not overheating, and I can't see anything problematic when I look under the hood.  It also does not lose any power when it starts smelling bad.  It's been doing this for a few months now - never when I'm driving around town, but rather when I'm climbing hills on longer distance trips.  Any ideas on what to check first?  Thanks for your time.



# 2  8/3/2010 9:55 PM

Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1301

Re: Car smells bad when driving uphill

There seems to be a Recall on this type of problem depending where you live, if you have a car that was built with California Emissions System or non California Emission System.

It also matters if you have a four cylinder engine with a Turbo or with out and also if you have a V6 Engine.

The Recall number is WVI-18 for California Specs or WVI-19 for non California Specs.The dealer will have these on record and they can discuss them with you to see if your car qualifies.

The Recall states under certain unique driving patterns, such as repeated acceleration and deceleration and/or continuous uphill driving at higher speeds (about 75 mph), the catalytic converters of affected vehicles may develop high internal temperatures that exceed design parameters. If left uncorrected this condition may eventually degrade the efficiency of the catalytic converters. (The "CHECK ENGINE" light will illuminate to alert the driver if catalytic converter efficiency has degraded beyond an acceptable level and the vehicle may be releasing air pollutants which may exceed California standards.) To prevent this condition, a modification to the
Engine Control Module software logic has been developed that will improve management of temperatures within the catalytic converters.
This condition is a software issue and has no impact on vehicle drivability.

Taking the car to the dealer and having them check the records by VIN number to see if your car qualifies for this reprogramming procedure.

This does not indicate anything is wrong with your car but the dealer will put a scanner on the vehicle to see if there are any trouble codes stored in the memory of the Engine Computer.
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