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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I just finished a 20 mile commute to the office, got off the highway, and came to a red light. I then noticed my vents (on EC mode as it was cold out) were spitting out a burning smell. Not a coolant-sweet smell as most people describe. Then I noticed a bunch of white smoke coming out of the driver's side hood, between fender and hood, up next to the windshield.

The smoke stopped after about 7 seconds and both it and the smell went away (I was still stopped at the light).

On the ride home, it did not happen.

I opened up the hood when I pulled into the office (it was a block away) and looked where it was coming from. I couldn't tell if there was any leaking.

Things in that general area are my power steering reservoir, some O2 sensors.

I'm pretty sure it's a fluid leak that came out and hit the hot something-rather below and burned off, but my concern is what fluid and where it's coming from.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't coolant, as it was a very distinct burnt smell. So it could be engine oil, power steering fluid?

Any ideas? Should I take it to my mechanic?
 

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Hope you determine what caused the issue... Fluid leaks typically will leave a "witness" trail and you may want to look things over more closely. Are you sure you didn't get some road splash that may have caused the smell & smoke??? Good Luck!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Im at my mechanic now getting an oil change and asked him to look for a cause. I havent been able to duplicate it since that day. Hopefully its nothing serious.
 

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There must be some indication on the engine where whatever fluid leaked out and burned up. Should be an easy find, I would think. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've determined that it was excess washer fluid that I sprayed moments before that dripped down and hit the exhaust parts that created the smoke.
 

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When you see smoke or smell something.

A sage bit of advice for all drivers. When you see smoke or smell something pull over immediately rather than continuing to drive to
work, home or whatever destination.

If you burn up or ruin an engine most drivers have no idea of the terrific amount of $$$$$$ it is going to take to repair or replace it.

Engines like BMW, Benz etc. are unbelievably expensive to replace. Every
day people ruin engines by continuing to drive them rather than stopping
at the first sign of something potentially bad happening.

Ruin a $20,000 or more motor and I assure you it will be one of the most unpleasant financial disasters you can experience.:mad:

dlomshek
Southeast, Kansas
 

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My 2005 SLK 350 eats a little oil, especially when driven above 100 mph for an extended period of time. Not a lot just enough to make it beep at me and tell me to check the oil. On a long road trip I always carry a bit to keep it happy. Well it was my friends turn to drive and it beeped so at the next stop I added 1/2 a quart. Two miles later someone in another car pointed out we were throwing out some smoke. I told him to pull over and a thick white smoke rolled out from under the hood. Yup, I didn't get the cap on right and it pushed some oil out and down onto the exhaust. No major damage but embarassing. Glad we stopped right away. I think I lost maybe 1/2 a quart. Topped it off, put the cap on correctly, and drove to the nearest town. By then it had burned off what it could. I bought some more oil, and a fire extinguisher. Had the engine steam cleaned the next day. Ok so I will admit this is all my fault, it was raining lightly and I was in a hurry..Flame on.
 

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Mine does that after it has been sitting for a few days, the valve covers seep oil, it smokes for a few seconds after it heats up and drips down on the headers. it lasts a few seconds and then goes away.
 
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