Strange "electrical" smell from 24" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by The ArchAngel, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. The ArchAngel macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2008
    Hi folks,

    Looking for some guidance on a strange issue I am running into with my iMac, which I believe is a late-2008 model if memory serves me. In roughly the last month, I've noticed a very strange, albeit strong, smell of hot/burning electronics and plastic. I've owned this machine for 2 1/2 years and have no recollection of any such smells in the past, so this is getting somewhat concerning. To my knowledge, the machine has always been well-ventilated and is relatively free of dust and debris. In all the time I've owned it, I recall only one kernel panic.

    Clearly, I'm intending to take this to the Apple Store this week and discontinuing use of the machine until I can get this sorted, but I have some concerns that this will be one of those issues that is difficult for the Genius Bar to diagnose and/or resolve. Has anyone had similar issues with their iMac? If so, what was the resolution?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    As a suggestion, install iSlayer iStats Nano or iStats Pro (which are free widgets) and monitor both internal heat temps and internal FAN RPMs. If one or more fans stopped working, the insides of your iMac will start to over heat. And, start to burn the years of dust that has been sucked inside. Run iStats Nano/Pro and advise us its internal heat and internal fan RPM values.

    If wondering, my 21.5" iMac (which should be similar to your 24" iMac insides) has: iMac system/InternalTemps2010-08-30.png iMac system/FanSpeedJune25-2011.png iMac system/PrintScreen-HeatSettings.png

    Good luck....
  3. The ArchAngel thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2008
    Thanks for the advice, I'll check this out tonight and see if there's anything materially different from the numbers you've suggested as a possible baseline. Regardless, I'm hoping to get it to the Apple Store this weekend, but any other experiences people have had with this type of issue, along with believed root cause, would be appreciated.
  4. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    first thought is DUST if you never took your iMac apart in all those years to clean it inside
    second thought one component soon will fail , its about time just before end of apple care

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