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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:26:52 AM   #1
martinmartin
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Default What is this burning smell?

Guys,
My M3 ZCP is only 2 weeks old and has 230 miles on it.

Pretty much every time I drive it, I notice a burning smell coming from the car after I park and get out. I figured this was because the engine was new, but after a little reading on the forum, I'm wondering if it's the clutch...

Am I doing something wrong or is this smell normal for the first few hundred miles?

Thanks...

BTW, I'm following the break-in instructions and allowing the car to warm up before changing gears over 2,500.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:29:49 AM   #2
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normal. That smell is the brakes and clutch.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:30:13 AM   #3
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Probably a bit of cosmoline dripping onto the cats.

A burning clutch has a pungent smell, similar to an electrical fire (ozone).
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:30:14 AM   #4
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Mine did the same. It is normal, and will go away soon.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:30:22 AM   #5
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Probably cosmoline from under the car. It's normal, or it could be that your exhaust is new. If you are driving a 6spd manual don't rev pass 1k when taking off, you won't burn the clutch.

Follow the break in procedure as they say. Shift under 3k when car is cold and no more then 5500 rpms when warm till car is broken in. Also vary the rpms frequently.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:37:15 AM   #6
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martinmartin,
forget about the people talking about the clutch, etc. The people saying its the cosmoline are right. If you looked under your car during the first couple hundred miles, you'd see a yellowish substance dripping off the underside of your car. Cosmoline is a vaseline-consistency substance that they put on all BMW's on certain areas to protect them during shipping from things like the salt-air, etc. It will burn off. I had the same issue and was worried, so I called my dealer whos been in the biz for 15 years and he knew all about it. I have about 300 miles on mine and its pretty much gone.

Even after its gone you may smell it if you park your car in the same place all the time (i.e. a garage) because that stuff has dripped onto the floor. Hose it down sometime when your car is in a different spot.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:42:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seperator
martinmartin,
forget about the people talking about the clutch, etc. The people saying its the cosmoline are right. If you looked under your car during the first couple hundred miles, you'd see a yellowish substance dripping off the underside of your car. Cosmoline is a vaseline-consistency substance that they put on all BMW's on certain areas to protect them during shipping from things like the salt-air, etc. It will burn off. I had the same issue and was worried, so I called my dealer whos been in the biz for 15 years and he knew all about it. I have about 300 miles on mine and its pretty much gone.

Even after its gone you may smell it if you park your car in the same place all the time (i.e. a garage) because that stuff has dripped onto the floor. Hose it down sometime when your car is in a different spot.
I second this. I remove'it from my 03 M3 but it was hard work.
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Old Tue, May-17-2005, 05:45:48 AM   #8
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Thanks guys,

I figured it was normal, but since I don't know much about engines/etc. and have never owned a manual before, I just wanted to make sure...

I'll take a peek under the car tomorrow to see if I can find the culprit...

Clearbra and waxing on Wednesday...nice...
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Discussing What is this burning smell? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)