Q: 2012 jeep liberty has a very strong burning smell. Jeep is not overheating and the check engine light is not on. The smell is like

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My 2012 jeep liberty has a very strong burning smell. It started while I was driving on the highway. I pulled over and saw white smoke coming through the front grill on driver side. Also accelerating was really slow , I pushed the gas pedal hard and it was still very sluggish . Once I parked the car in the garage , it smells like hot tar in my garage even the next morning.

My car has 134000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A leak of engine oil onto a hot engine component such as the exhaust manifold would cause a strong odor. Another possibility is a binding serpentine belt (riding over a seized pulley) and the belt is overheating and smoking. If the problem were a seized belt, in extreme cases, that can cause the engine to bog down because the belt is driven off of the crankshaft. If there is a leak, or another fault such as a seized pulley, that would be the first thing to fix. If you desire, a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, can perform an oil leak diagnostic and then let you know of your repair options and costs.


If the odor is due to burning oil, and the belt is not seized and thus isn’t a possible cause of poor acceleration, the other usual causes of poor acceleration are clogged fuel injectors and/or inadequate fuel pressure/volume. When an injector is clogged it can degrade the performance of the vehicle and the car may accelerate slowly or feel that it does not have enough power. A defective fuel pump will not supply enough fuel to the injectors. This can cause the vehicle to accelerate slowly, or even sputter and stall, especially at high speeds. A clogged fuel filter can also restrict the amount of fuel that reaches the injectors. A dirty mass airflow sensor can cause the wrong data to be be sent to the computer. A slow accelerating car is the result of this incorrect data. It may also trigger the Check Engine Light. Other causes of poor acceleration are vacuum leaks, a defective throttle position sensor, a defective idle air control valve, and a plugged catalytic converter. To get the underlying cause of the problem pinpointed and resolved, if the slow acceleration persists, the mechanic would perform an engine diagnostic for slow acceleration. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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