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Clutch Smell


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Hi all i am a disabled driver and i rarely drive my avensis tourer T180 57 plate 4000 miles on clock wife drives it daily short journeys however i do still drive now and again and today i took it on a run of around 90/100 miles about 15/20 of those miles in heavy traffic " road works ect" slow moving and alot of low gear work for the duration through the road works the temp was showing normal but when we got to our destination there was a strong clutch smell as i opened the door and the bonnet felt very hot to the touch investigated and all seemed well under the bonnet, i can only think that the clutch is bedding in and may even be ready to self adjust "if they do self adjust" can anyone think of anything else it could be ?

As i say 4000 miles surely the clutch should not do this.

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No one ?

Probably the reason no one has replied is that they don't want to risk offending you. Can't swear for certain on your model but most Toyotas use the 'hydrostatic' type of clutch adjustment, i.e. hydraulic cylinder sets itself to the correct position. Clutches smell when the clutch lining gets too hot and that usually means poor driver control - too much slipping of the clutch which will eventually burn the clutch out.

As for the mileage, I have known in the past, a lady driver who regularly burnt out a clutch in 2000 miles purely down to poor clutch useage. It sounded like an automatic every time she set off from standing, taking a good 50 yards to release the clutch fully.

Hope I haven't offended you and maybe you may get some more replies now the ball is rolling.

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No one ?

Are sure it’s a clutch smell? You say the car is normally used for short journeys and only has only done 4000 miles. This probably means that the car never reaches its normally running temperature, or at least only for short periods.

Now you have done a long run it has got up to and stayed at running temperature.

The smell is probably just the preservatives, oil, wax, paint (on the exhaust) etc on the components that is burning off. Also the turbo does get extremely hot especially when it is working hard (which it probably does not do on short trips).

I think all new cars smell for the first few thousand miles. As for the bonnet getting hot this is again normal, of course the question is how hot.

Another possibility could be a brake binding, brakes and clutches do smell the same.

If I were you I would go to the dealer and ask him to have a quick look, but it is probably quite normal,

Hope this helps,


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I am not offended, and i do not ride the clutch at all that is why i am not use to the clutch smell so early in the cars life i have had vehicles "transit vans" in the past that the clutch has gone and the tell tale smell is a very distintive one and it got me worried, it drives perfect and it trys to pull away with handbrake on so i do have drive from the clutch, its due its first service very soon so i think i will ask the garage to check the hydrostatic clutch adjuster just in case i have a problem with that.

Thanks guys for the comments above, i hope to give it another longer run out soon and hopefully without being in slow moving traffic to see if the problem arises again.

I also normal hit about 12000 a year but due to health probs my milage is down on this motor.

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