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Old 12-17-2011, 12:38 PM
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Question Rubber Smell When Descending Mountains

We returned yesterday from a long trip throughout the High Plains, Gulf States and East Coast. Our Overland performed like a champ, although to keep the marriage intact I resisted offroading in an abandoned family quarry.

Yet, when descending long, steep mountain stretches in the Appalachians with the cruise control acting to keep speed in check, the cabin smelled of burnt rubber. It wasn't strong, but definitely noticeable and didn't smell like what I'm used to overheated brakes smelling like in years past.

I opened the hood and checked tires and undercarriage, yet couldn't pinpoint the origin, and there was no smoke.

No harm done, but I can only guess that the WK2's hot brake pads smell like rubber and this was the cause. But that's only a guess.

Anyone else encountering this?
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:24 PM
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Re: Rubber Smell When Descending Mountains

I've been in the Adirondacks several times but haven't experienced a burning smell while using the cruise. If the hill is that steep I would de-activate the cruise and use the tranny to help slow the vehicle, rather than let it burn through the brakes.

Since that is probably unusual driving terrain for you I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens again.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:17 PM
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Re: Rubber Smell When Descending Mountains

When decending a long hill, why not give your brakes a break and down shift? Just click the shift handle to the left and select a lower gear to allow engine braking. That's what it's there for. Otherwise the overdrive trans will allow increased speeds decending a grade.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:29 AM
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Re: Rubber Smell When Descending Mountains

Thanks, and agree with both of you about using cylinder compression rather than the brake pedal, especially as many of my vehicles have had stick shifts. But with the cruise control having been the Perfect Genie otherwise, I thought I'd give it a chance on those downhill slopes.

Thing is, I've never noticed hot brakes on other vehicles smelling like rubber -- smell, yes, but not like that. The question, then, is whether anybody has had to ram the WK2 brakes hard and often enough to cause them to smell, and if so what the smell was like. If overheated WK2 pads smell like rubber, then clearly that's what we encountered on the downhills. If not, something else was overheating or slipping.

BTW, love the Adirondacks. As a young man my former wife's father blazed the trails found even now on Noonmark Mountain and some others for the WPA during the Great Depression.
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