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I would guess that this is most probably the transmission. The maples smell is the Transmission Fluid. It has a sweet smell. The grinding could be that the gears are off. When was the last time the timing belt was changed? I'd get it into a tranny shop and have them take alook as well. I don't recommend changing or adding more tranny fluid till then. You make make the situation worse.

AnswerSyrupy smell could also be antifreeze. Bad water pump maybe bearings are grinding. AnswerMaple syrup smell is usually antifreeze. The grating noise points to the water pump (the name "water pump" is a misnomer because it actually cirulates your antifreeze/coolant). Listen near the serpentine belt, if it is louder there, then it is very likely the water pump.
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โˆ™ 2011-09-12 21:00:12
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Q: If a 1998 Cavalier is making a noise almost like a knife being sharped by a sand belt and you smell something like maple syrup at lower speeds could it be your transmission or a converter?
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