This afternoon, on my way home from work, I started the car and let it warm up for a minute as I usually do. However, today was a rather wet, rainy day and when I started the car there was a very odd whistling/whirring noise coming from the alternator area. After about 10 seconds the noise lessened and then, eventually, went away. At first I was really concerned but I explained it away, to myself, as the alternator being wet and just drying out (whether that's the reason or not has yet to be determined). I started driving and as the car warmed up I turned the heat on and there was nothing unusual, yet. As I stopped at a light, I noticed a strong burning rubber-type odor building up in the car. There seemed to be nothing unusual (other than the odor) and but I pulled into a parking lot, shut the car off and opened the hood. I couldn't smell anything under the hood so I thought that the smell might have originated from a car around me. I continued home with the heat on and every time I stopped the car it would fill the stench of burning rubber. If I turned the heat off there are no offensive odors in the car.
This leads me to believe that the smell is something like the alternator burning. Since I only notice the smell when the car is stopped I have to think that it's being caused by something near the air intake for the HVAC system. When the car is moving fresh air is being blown into the intake so the smell never gets into the car. When I stop there is no moving air so the smell makes it's way into the cabin.
Has anyone ever experienced this and if so what did it end up being?
Here are the particulars on my car:
Mods: Not much (yet). Just white side markers, OBX STS for now. There are tons more waiting in the attic for spring.