Dust from vents and burning smell - Toyota Prius Forum : Toyota Prius Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-25-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dust from vents and burning smell

Hello everyone!

I just noticed this problem in my 2004 Prius:

There was a lot of dust in my car on my dash. I noticed this week because I usually keep my car pretty clean, inside and outside.

Two days ago, my friend noticed an odd smell and asked me if it was normal. I attributed the smell to the IKEA furniture in my car - it smelled faintly like the store.

Today, I was driving around running errands when I noticed a very distinct BURNING smell coming from my vents. I stopped my car, pulled over and popped my head under the hood. I am not sure what i was looking for, but I tried to see if it, too, had the same smell as my cabin. No luck.

I continued driving without the AC on and the smell got so bad, I began to panic and count how many seconds it would take me to pull out the fire extinguisher from my trunk. I pulled over and turned my car off again because I thought something had definitely caught on fire under my hood, or an electrical piece was smoking.

Nothing.

I started my car to get to a local store, and noticed a dusty/smokey substance coming out of my vents when the car started. The burning smell followed shortly after.

I shopped for about an hour, then got back on the road. The whole way, I rolled all the windows down and had the air off, but I still smelled something burning, especially when I stopped at a light or sign.

What is happening??? I've worried so much today that I've become unreasonably worried.Is my car going to blow up or go up in flames?

Am I going to have to stop driving my car right now?

Help!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-25-2015, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by oOsoapybubbleOo View Post
What is happening??? I've worried so much today that I've become unreasonably worried.Is my car going to blow up or go up in flames?

Am I going to have to stop driving my car right now?
Is this a serious post......really ??

Anytime you smell smoke it can be something serious.
You should NOT drive it and call a shop to come tow it in.

It probably is just the fan motor that has failed.....but it could be a LOT of things, some of which might be dangerous.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-25-2015, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, this is a serious post.

I was looking online for answers in other places each time I pulled over to look for an answer, but I didn't see anything that made me think I should get my car towed home.

I have had it parked and I plan to not drive it to work tomorrow. I was going to call my mechanic tomorrow (as today is a holiday), but I was wondering if anyone had answers or insight to the source of the problem before I went in.

Besides the fan motor, would you happen to have any idea what might be causing this?
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-26-2015, 09:45 AM
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Besides the fan motor, would you happen to have any idea what might be causing this?
Your car has a high voltage battery and motor system that is the hybrid part.

A LOT of the components associated with that could fail and overheat, even the battery itself.

Smoke or a hot smell is an early warning sigh that should NOT be dismissed because something that has just started to overheat might break into flames a minute later if you keep using it.

And I think that questions like: "I smell smoke (or a strong gas odor); should I keep driving the car." are questions that you really should not have to ask.......because the answer is an obvious NO.

Last edited by Easy Rider; 05-26-2015 at 09:48 AM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-26-2015, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. I was definitely hoping against hope that it was something that was associated with the AC ducts or intake. It was silly to assume, I know - but it was a holiday and my mechanic was closed and I was kind of far from home.

I am a new owner of this car, and I was not sure what to expect.

Thanks for your suggestions. I'll be sure to talk to my mechanic about it.
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