‘17 Si smells awful after driving hard

ty04orange

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New 17 Si. Has 1900 miles on it as if this writing. Got KTuner in the mail today and set up on the 19.5/23.5 dual map. Took the car out and ran it the hardest it’s been run since new. When I say hard, I was shifting at 4-4.5k, not redline, for 5-10 minutes. When I got out of the car it smells like something was burning. Checked oil, it’s fine. Don’t see any oil anywhere in engine bay. Don’t see a busted coolant hose anywhere. Any ideas?

 
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ty04orange

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Ktuner has turned your engine into a beast. Unfortunately not one the stock clutch is necessarily up for.
Well, Vit is supposed to be emailing me an even more aggressive “stage 1” tune, so I guess the clutch will just get abused more.
 

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Wonder why such a weak sauce clutch in these cars? They go through the trouble of giving the SI LSD, better brakes, adaptive suspension, and more horsepower, why not a stronger clutch to go along with a sportier vehicle? Especially when Honda is supposedly all about reliability and they can't have a little headroom in the strength of the clutch to not even handle a tune? Not to mention I read (maybe it was VitViper) where the clutch was slipping on the dyno completely stock and un-tuned? Bad Honda, bad! I can 100% guarantee you that you can lightly mod a Mustang GT, Challenger, or Camaro SS and those stock clutches aren't going to be slipping like a childs play toy!
 


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Well, Vit is supposed to be emailing me an even more aggressive “stage 1” tune, so I guess the clutch will just get abused more.
You may want to take a look at the Clutchmasters FX350. :thumbsup:
 

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Overheated clutches have a rather unique smell. Since the car is so new, what you smelled may have also been exhaust parts simply getting especially hot for the first time, and maybe brakes getting hot too, depending on how you were driving. If your clutch releases were quick and smooth, there's no need to jump to the conclusion that the smell came from the clutch. On the other hand, if you were practicing hard launches over and over, then the likelihood of it being the clutch is much higher. I can't tell from your original post what sort of driving you were doing.
 
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ty04orange

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Not launching. Shifting was quick and smooth. Was driving on curvy, cresting back roads so was a fair amount of braking and downshifting also. It was definitely the hardest I’ve pushed the car, so the exhaust getting hot for the first time kinda makes sense. It didn’t smell like what I know as a “clutch smell”.
 

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Wonder why such a weak sauce clutch in these cars? They go through the trouble of giving the SI LSD, better brakes, adaptive suspension, and more horsepower, why not a stronger clutch to go along with a sportier vehicle? Especially when Honda is supposedly all about reliability and they can't have a little headroom in the strength of the clutch to not even handle a tune? Not to mention I read (maybe it was VitViper) where the clutch was slipping on the dyno completely stock and un-tuned? Bad Honda, bad! I can 100% guarantee you that you can lightly mod a Mustang GT, Challenger, or Camaro SS and those stock clutches aren't going to be slipping like a childs play toy!
I'm guessing because they don't expect people to drive a Civic like a race car (except Type R) and also don't put in the extra holding power for a retune for the same reason.
 

totopo

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Could be brake smell if you aren't use to it. Less likely tire smell, most people know what that is like. If it's clutch you should notice the slipping.
 


RallyeeRedAZ

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It can't be the clutch because i have a CVT and i have the same thing happening to mine
 

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If you were really hard on the brakes that certainly could be the source of the smell.
 
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ty04orange

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New problem now. I uploaded the dual stage tune and have been driving it kinda hard, here and there and I’ve noticed that occasionally when I’m driving, get to 3-3500 rpm and am maybe 3/4 throttle, the car will rev up to 3500 and then quickly drop to 3k, then rev up and be fine. It’s a strange feeling and not sure what’s causing it. If it was going from 3k and quickly revving to 3500 I’d think the clutch was slipping. Any ideas on this?

I can make a video and post to show what the RPMs are doing if it might help. It’ll be tonight before I can do that though.
 
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natethegreat

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17 si here as well, I know what smell your talking about it’s not really a burning smell. More a carbon smell. Happens to me when I push my car more than I usually do. I’m not entirely sure what the smell is because it happens even after a fresh oil change and it’s not the brakes. Curious if this happens to the type R’s as well.

 

 
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