Lincoln was smoking

jerbear58April 30, 2010

My daughter was driving my 1997 Lincoln Continental on a short trip, about 8 miles. Just before she reached our house, the car started smoking with a burning rubber smell. She was able to pull it into the garage without a problem, but now it will not start. The engine turns over just fine, the oil and coolant levels are both normal. My first thought was that the serpentine belt might have broken, but that seems to be fine as well.

Any ideas about what to check next would be greatly appreciated. Money is tight right now, and I'm really hoping to be able to fix this myself without having to pay for a tow and a mechanic.

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My first suggestion is not to drive a burning car into your garage.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:01PM
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First, you and we need to know where the smoke was coming from. Next, it helps to know the kind of smoke. oil? hot brakes? burning insulation? the acrid smell of diodes or scr? brake fluid? radiator fluid? etc.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Can you read the trouble codes? This could be helpful.

Since the engine cranks ok, we can rule out the battery and starter. This leaves fuel supply and ignition, but those systems include numerous items and failure modes.

Look the car over carefully to find what was burning/smoking. What was it?

From what you have said, the engine was running ok until shut down. It would not start afterward. Is this correct?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:09PM
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Yes, the engine seemed to be running fine beforehand and now will not start. It is always more difficult to figure out if anything was amiss since my 18 year-old daughter was driving. I've looked things over as close as I can without finding an obvious source of the smoke. There is one wiring harness close the engine manifold which looks very cracked and perhaps melted. All of the fuses are still good so there were no obvious shorts.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Did she prechance drive the car until it ran out of gasoline and barely made it into the garage? She would not have been the first teen-ager who has done this.

Check on how much fuel you have.

Another source of smoke is liquid leaking onto the exhaust manifold. A little oil dropping onto the manifold can raise a lot of smoke, and since it gets burned away, the evidence is sometimes hard to see.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:22AM
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