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Engine smoking before the engine turns over

SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
edited November 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all,

So I have a 2005 Hyundai Elantra with approx. 76k miles. Recently my car has been having some problems.

When car would first turn over, the engine would make a whirring noise (like a fan) and I would get a faint smell of burning rubber. This would go away after 5-10m of the car being on and getting driven. Also, when the car is in the whirring mode (before it stops), if I turn the car off and remove the key, the belts in the engine still turn and the engine shakes.

Coincidental to the above, I recently replaced the ground wire on my battery as the old one was corroding and had a bad connection. Once I fixed that, when I turn the key as if trying to start the car, it has trouble starting (making a clanking noise) and then from under the engine (cant tell from where exactly as I can't find an engine diagram), white/grey smoke billows out and the burning rubber smell increases 100 fold. This is before the engine starts combusting and starts, so I doubt it is a friction problem.

A little googling believes it may be either a bad starter motor thats burning out or something that a belt turns has seized.

Any ideas?

Spherick on


  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    burning rubber equals belt.

  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    Does that mean a belt is out of whack? What belt turns before combustion even starts? Timing belt? (not sure when that starts to turn the camshaft).

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Spherick wrote:
    Does that mean a belt is out of whack? What belt turns before combustion even starts? Timing belt? (not sure when that starts to turn the camshaft).

    starter turns flywheel, turns crankshaft, turns S-belt.

    The way the engine works is that the sparkplugs fire off, turning the engine. Prior to the plugs having what they need to fire, the starter is making the engine turn artificially. Everything moves the same with or without combustion, assuming everything is working.

    Start with the S-belt. That's the biggest and usually the easiest to diagnose. That's the big long belt.

    If you want to work on your car yourself, your best bet is to acquire a Chilton's or Haynes manual for your car.

    Tox on
  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    Thanks Tox. I'm taking it to a mechanic that my girlfriend has family at, but I wanted to understand the problem also so that maybe I can fix such things in the future. I'll look into those manuals.

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    The best thing you can do is read up on the manuals, and go to wikipedia or car-repair type boards for information first. That way you'll have a semblance of knowledge. After that, if you're actually able to develop a rapport with the family member, you may be able to get some more immediate/practical advice to save you even having to take it in at all, provided you're willing to do the labor yourself.

    If said mechanic works at a dealership, be forewarned, they will absolutely decry the discount auto part stores (AutoZone, Advance Auto, etc). 3rd party repair shops (as in not dealerships) get their parts from one of two places: dealerships, or those discount stores. Can you guess which buy from which? Neither can anybody else.

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