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Without checking the vehicle, I cannot say if it is safe. However, I do recommend first locating where the smell is coming from. Since you hear a strange noise when turning the steering wheel, I suspect the serpentine belt may be loose or the pump may be binding can causing the belt to get hot and melt. Thus, you get the smell.
When you notice the smell, open the hood and see if that is where it is coming from. Here are the directions for belt inspection from alldata which are specific to your vehicle. The attached pictures correlate with these directions. Also, confirm that the power steering fluid is full.
INSPECT DRIVE BELT
a. Visually check the belt for excessive wear, frayed cords, etc.
If any defect has been found, replace the drive belt.
HINT: Cracks on the rib side of a drive belt are considered acceptable. If the missing chunks from the ribs are found on the drive belt, it should be replaced.
B. Using a belt tension gauge, measure the belt tension.
Belt tension gauge: DENSO BTG-20 (95506-00020)
Borroughs No. BT-33-73F
Drive belt tension:
New belt: 150 - 185 lbs.
Used belt: 95 - 135 lbs.
If the belt tension is not as specified, adjust it.
- "New belt" refers to a belt which has been used less than 5 minutes on a running engine.
- "Used belt" refers to a belt which has been used on a running engine for 5 minutes or more.
- After installing a belt, check that it fits properly in the ribbed grooves.
- Check with your hand to confirm that the belt has not slipped out of the groove on the bottom of the pulley.
- After installing a new belt, run the engine for about 5 minutes and recheck the belt tension.
Let me know what you find.
Images (Click to enlarge)
Thursday, September 13th, 2018 AT 8:38 PM