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Old 10-05-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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Tiptronic Burning Smell in Manual Mode

I get a faint burning smell inside my 2004 Boxster with 38K, almost smells like an electrical burn to me, my son describes as a burning clutch odor. I have only noticed it when aggressively driving in the mountains when repeatedly using the manual thumb-shifters on the steering wheel. I've searched, but have not seen any previous comments about this. As soon as I quit using the manual thumb shifters the odor dissipates and all is well, either way it shifts and drives just fine, but that smell, which I cannot pinpoint inside the car concerns me. Anyone have any ideas before I take it in.

Last edited by MichaelT; 10-05-2009 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've burned some of the bands - an automatic's equivalent of clutches.

You may be low on fluid, or just pushing it really hard. Either way, it's almost time for a fluid/filter change anyway, and with severe use, I'd up the schedule.

Porsche claims it's a lifetime fluid... but the manufacturer of the box (ZF Getrieb) recommends a fluid/filter swap every 45k mi. Audi, BMW and Jaguar all used the same box - ZF 5HP and all used to claim a lifetime fluid. All have now changed to the 45k mi. service interval. Be sure to use only ESSO LT 71141 fluid. While some fluids claim compatibility, ZF says thay've had issues with boxes using other than the ESSO fluid, and they're pretty emphatic about only using LT 71141.

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Old 10-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Any chance the aggressive mountain driving coincides with heavy braking, and the odor you're smelling is cooking brakes?
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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I have an '04 S with a Tip and have driven it hard and have never smelt anything but the sweet smell of my wife when getting on it. You might want to check your girlfriends dipstick.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxonalden
I have an '04 S with a Tip and have driven it hard and have never smelt anything but the sweet smell of my wife when getting on it. You might want to check your girlfriends dipstick.
The girlfriend is a 'smoking hot' Doctor from Brazil, no dipstick problems!
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_boxster
Any chance the aggressive mountain driving coincides with heavy braking, and the odor you're smelling is cooking brakes?
I thought about that, but used less brakes when downshifting with thumb-shifter than in automatic mode.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard
Sounds like you've burned some of the bands - an automatic's equivalent of clutches.

You may be low on fluid, or just pushing it really hard. Either way, it's almost time for a fluid/filter change anyway, and with severe use, I'd up the schedule.

Porsche claims it's a lifetime fluid... but the manufacturer of the box (ZF Getrieb) recommends a fluid/filter swap every 45k mi. Audi, BMW and Jaguar all used the same box - ZF 5HP and all used to claim a lifetime fluid. All have now changed to the 45k mi. service interval. Be sure to use only ESSO LT 71141 fluid. While some fluids claim compatibility, ZF says thay've had issues with boxes using other than the ESSO fluid, and they're pretty emphatic about only using LT 71141.

I think you might be correct about the fluid level and having it changed, that will be my next step. As far as pushing it too hard, I don't think that's the case, I think that I was more aggressive than abusive.

Now your comment about 'burning some bands' has me concerned, shifts fine and the few times I've tried downshifting into turns everything seems to function correctly. Maybe because these were on level ground and not the climbs or down hills during mountain driving. Thanks for the advice.
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