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Infiniti FX35 Burning Smell

mcwenzelmcwenzel Posts: 37
edited September 2014 in INFINITI
Just picked up a 2004 FX 35 from a good friend. I have noticed a smell of burning rubber or plastic after driving it for a few minutes. I have the 2WD version. My friend told me she never had that issue.

I checked the oil level and it is fine, and the car has been regularly serviced by Infiniti. Anyone else have this problem? Any thoughts on what this might be?

A search revealed a few other posters with a similar problem, but those all appeared to be related to use of AWD.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, it's possible you picked up a shopping bag on the exhaust system on the drive home, so you may as well try to rule that sort of thing out first. And check to make sure the ebrake/hand brake isn't engaged.

    That's my .02 for the easy stuff to check. :D
  • Funny you mention that. On the way home (I drove the car from Los Angeles to San Francisco), there was a clear plastic tarp on the road that blew into the front bumper. I pulled over and it had slid under the car. I pulled it out, and thought I got all of it, but maybe something burned on.

    The brake is definitely not engaged. What do you mean by hand brake? I only saw a foot emergency brake. Thanks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The emergency brake definition varies - it's a hand brake on my wagon and a foot brake on my van. It'll smell if you leave them engaged (ask me how I know, LOL).

    But I bet some of the tarp burned into the exhaust system or some other part that gets hot underneath.

    If it doesn't burn off or get better in a couple of days, you may want to see if any codes have been thrown by the car's computer system just to rule out a mechanical problem. Many auto parts stores will pull the codes for free.

    I suppose the burning plastic could be an electrical smell from wiring insulation burning off. That could be bad.

    Anyone else have any suggestions for things to check?
  • l2jael2jae Posts: 4
    I realize that this thread is old, but I actually noticed a burning smell during my test drive yesterday also. But mine seemed like it was coming from the heater. I thought maybe because the car is new, but that doesn't seem right. Anyone have any ideas or know if FX has had any known issues with this??? Thanks in advance!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I had the burning smell when my Nissan was new (but not specifically from the heater). Often it's just the protective coating burning off the exhaust system on new cars and goes away in a few days or a week or two.

    The smell on mine wasn't noticeable inside the car though.
  • l2jael2jae Posts: 4
    Yeah, the smell was really noticeable inside the vehicle for me. And when I turned the heater off, it seemed to go away. Anyways, I hope that doesn't happen to the one I buy. Thanks for your input!
  • mrsricksmrsricks Posts: 7
    It is your condenser the Infinity's have a design flaw and the condenser does not get rid of water and therefore it causes bacteria that is dangerous. Infinity is aware of this flaw and told me to just turn off the air 5 minutes before my destination. I had the air quality checked and myt car has Legionella and Cladosporium that causes health issues! Get your car tested and let the dealer know you know there is a problem. We are in process of getting out of our lease as it is a Lemon :sick:
  • mrsricksmrsricks Posts: 7
    If you own an Infinify any model and you have a funny rotten odor especially when you have heat or A/C on it is a serious Health issue. Infinity does not want you to know there is a design flaw with the condenser systems on Infinity and it does not have a place for the water to drain so it causes bacteria and the odor. I had my Infinity FX 35 tested last week and I have Legionella (legionnaries) and Cladosporium. Get to your dealer. There is no way to fix this issue and it is a danger
  • jbmccoy205jbmccoy205 Posts: 2
    How do you go about having this tested? Mine Has this problem for sure!!!03' :mad:
  • mrsricksmrsricks Posts: 7
    Funny you ask, we had an independent air quality company test. The do things such as testing homes for Radon and mold and such. Depending on what state you live in you can find in yellow pages. Nissan (Infiniti maker) only offered to put in a new condenser system they had my car for about 2 days and when I got it back it was no better. I do not even know if they actually did anything. We now have another call back into Nissan to find out what they are going to do. The smell is so bad now I have to drive with my windows open and not use the Air. Get it tested and I would call the Infiniti Consumer line we are dealing with Eric 1-800-662-6200 choose #7 to get consumer affairs, I cannot guarantee results.
  • dafreeriderdafreerider Posts: 12
    Our 2005 FX35 occasionally on cold days has sulfur (rotten eggs) smell. The small is pronounced when we back into our garage and usually is coming from the exhaust pipes. Sometimes it can be felt inside when driving. The smell is NOT always present and every time I complained to the dealer they were unable to detect it. They suggested several possible reasons:
    1) Catalytic converter is breaking in. I already have 25K miles. How much longer can it break in?
    2) Use different brand of gas. We tried, but since the problem is occasional it's hard to make a conclusion.
    3) Catalytic converter is cold on short drives needs time to warm up.

    If anyone was able to fix this problem or determine with certainty the reason, please post. Otherwise - LOVE MY FX!!!
  • mrsricksmrsricks Posts: 7
    In case you did not see my earlier posts. I have had the same issue on the same car and we complained all the way up to Nissan who is the Manufacturer. They had to completely replace my condenser as it was emitting dangerous molds. There is an admitted design flaw as I was told by my Service Tech in many of the Infiniti models. The Condenser does not drain therefore it sits and causes mold and the Odor. We did get our car back and it still smells and we are dealing with the Manufacturer again! I would call the Infiniti Consumer affairs and complain. We have been dealing with an Eric. Good luck, but even replacement does not seem to help. I would check the Lemon Law in your state, you may be able to get your money back. That is our next step and we are only leasing the vehicle. I did post our original issue that can give you more detail, just look at all my postings. :lemon:
  • rajhrajh Posts: 1

    My leased FX45 has the same mold odor problem. Did you find a resolution to your problem?
  • hi can any body tell me how the pipes on the condenser come apart once the clips are removed.
  • FX 35 with 105,000 miles, regularly dealer maintained. When coming to a stop I get a hot, burning smell in the cabin. This happens with outside or inside air selected. Driveline fluids checked out good, no leaks from motor, belts just replaced. Has anybody out there experienced this? If so, please advise.
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