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Burning smell from HVAC

PEAR0119

Well-Known Member
Joined
January 29, 2010
Messages
249
Reaction score
1
City, State
Ottawa, Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer XLT 4.0 4x4
Hey guys this morning on my way to work I got this burning smell through the HVAC vents while sitting at a stop light. Right when it happened I heard a couple of clicks from the dash somewhere then I got the burning smell. The battery was pretty low this morning as we had a deep freeze last night (-25C). I started the car and everything was fine, I let it warm up for 5 minutes then took off. 5 minutes down the road is when this happened, so I turned all fans off (front and rear) then turned them both back on and the smell went away and never returned.

Has this happened to anyone else? Since everything ran perfectly fine afterwards should I be concerned?

Thanks for your help!
 



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Also, when this happened I was running rear defrost with mirror defrost, seat warmer and front and rear heat.

When the car idles all lights inside the car dim and the radio display flickers. Is this a sign of a bad alternator?
 






The smell goes away when the fan is shut off? sounds like its fan related! see if it spins freely
 






Yeah the smell went away after I turned everything off and then a minute later I turned everything back on, never smelt it again since.

On my way home from work the fan still works on all speeds and seems to be working properly.
 






Touching on your battery here... If you still have the factory original consider yourself lucky. Mine went Christmas '09 and there has been a lot of talk on the boards lately of bad battery questions. Do a load test on the battery and see if it needs to be replaced then you will know if you need to dig deeper into the charging system.
 






I do believe that I still have the factory original. It has been giving me trouble off and on. I will run a load test and see how it does, I am almost positive that the battery is shot. I guess I kinda overloaded the system having all that running and a battery that was pretty much dead. So idling there wasn't enough power to go around.
 






Oh yeah and pull the fan resistor board and look for overheated parts its next to the blower , has 2 screws and an electric plug holding it to the side of the duct. burnt smells should be found!
 






It better not be the resistor board, I just replaced it about a month ago. Actually now that you mention it the old resistor had a burnt trace on it causing fan speeds 1 and 2 not to work. I will take a look even though all speeds still work.
 






Looks like I am going to need a new battery. I am now getting the airbag light on cold startups, and if I let it warm up then restart the car the light goes away. I did some searching on here and it seems that this is caused by a low voltage on startup. Time to finally replace the stock battery. Argh.

This morning I also noticed that there is some clicking going on behind the glovebox while driving with the fan speed on high. Now, I have no idea what this could be but everything seems to be working properly.
 






re: burning smell

I have an 02 xlt and occasionally smell something like burning electric wires or maybe it is something else but it is making me crazy so I too would like more info. Have you found out anything yet?
 






I have an 02 xlt and occasionally smell something like burning electric wires or maybe it is something else but it is making me crazy so I too would like more info. Have you found out anything yet?

this issue has never happened again since that day. The only thing I have changed was the battery, which seems to be what caused the issue. The fan still runs and works perfectly fine.

I wish I could be more help.
 






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