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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My wife has an 01 T&C. When she turns on the hvac system there is a smell of smoke. It goes away when we turn the system off. The smell of smoke is there whether the system is in cool or heat mode. Someone suggested that there could be something stuck in the squirrel cage that is causing the smoke. What are your thoughts? How do I best access the squirrel cage?
 

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Is there any noise? It could be that the compressor is seizing up, and the belt is slipping and smoking underhood.

If it does this in Heat mode (not just Defrost), then perhaps the blower resistor pack is burning out.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
Is there any noise? It could be that the compressor is seizing up, and the belt is slipping and smoking underhood.

If it does this in Heat mode (not just Defrost), then perhaps the blower resistor pack is burning out.
It does it whenever the fan is on regardless of whether it is just the fan, the a/c, or the heater.

We have had issues with the blower motor resistor going out, but it doesn't smell electrical. This smell is different. I don't "see" any smoke, I just smell it.

Do you think it would be a bad idea to try to just run the blower and see if it goes away? I guess it COULD be the resistor still "breaking in", right?
 

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Nope, that's not normal. Resistors don't 'break in', they burn up when they fail. I wouldn't run it, I'd go under the dash and find the problem. For most vehicles, the fan is in the airbox behind the dash, usually on the passenger side. Can't help you with specifics for this vehicle, but generally you remove the glovebox to get at the housing for the fan.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
Nope, that's not normal. Resistors don't 'break in', they burn up when they fail. I wouldn't run it, I'd go under the dash and find the problem. For most vehicles, the fan is in the airbox behind the dash, usually on the passenger side. Can't help you with specifics for this vehicle, but generally you remove the glovebox to get at the housing for the fan.
Thanks for the help. I guess I'll just have to try and tear it apart tomorrow and hope to find the culprit. :working:
 

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Looking in my Haynes manual, that's a fairly labor intensive job. If you don't have an FSM or at least a Haynes manual, I'd suggest you purchase one. When you start messing around with the blend doors and levers, you need to make sure you're careful with them and remember how they come apart.
 

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Perhaps you can start by just removing the glove box door and inspecting behind it. You may be able to see the resistor and perhaps do a more comprehensive sniff test.

As a side note, I thought I had a smoke behind my 2009 RAV4 dashboard because I smelled smoke (same as you did). After further examination, I found that the cell phone plug in the accessory outlet had a short in it and was extremely hot and causing the smell. The fumes were being sucked in through the recirc system and coming out the dash vents. A burning smell is not a good thing to experience when you are driving on the Interstate. :scared: .
I thought I would mention that just in case (although unlikely) that is your problem too.
 

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John Wood said:
Perhaps you can start by just removing the glove box door and inspecting behind it. You may be able to see the resistor and perhaps do a more comprehensive sniff test.

As a side note, I thought I had a smoke behind my 2009 RAV4 dashboard because I smelled smoke (same as you did). After further examination, I found that the cell phone plug in the accessory outlet had a short in it and was extremely hot and causing the smell. The fumes were being sucked in through the recirc system and coming out the dash vents. A burning smell is not a good thing to experience when you are driving on the Interstate. :scared: .
I thought I would mention that just in case (although unlikely) that is your problem too.
My dad always told me to try the easiest and cheapest fixes first. Maybe I'll look into that. My wife did say that there wasn't any smell of smoke the other day when she tried it, and she said the heater was hotter than usual. However, the smell came back the next day.

:facepalm:
 
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