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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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