I took it to a garage this morning. It was performing normally again when the mechanic took it for a spin. He popped the hood, took a look around and determined that the compressor belt was rattling all over the place - a suspected seized bearing, which would make sense because the A/C hasn't worked for months. He said it was interfering with the drive belt due to its close proximity, which accounts for the burning rubber smell, the rattling and the loss of acceleration (it pretty much felt like a hard gear shift) He also said if the compressor belt goes, it's going to take the drive belt with it. He said to drive it over the weekend and bring it back on Monday where he'll remove the compressor belt to disable it, because, I really won't need the A/C in the winter. He said that should correct the issue. I'm hopeful that it will.
He also said if it was an engine or tranny problem, the sound would be prevalent all the time now and it isn't and I have no check engine lights on. The transmission fluid and oil all checked out normal with no leaks or discoloration.. even the oil was still a decent color and I'm overdue for a change. The only abnormality I've noticed is gas consumption seems to be increasing, but, I've also been driving it mostly short distances only in the cold weather, which could account for that. On the way to the garage, it sounded and handled fine, so, I hope that this is nothing major - I just got this car back in March, I'd hate for it be ruined already.
I asked him about the timing belt and he said with the 3.2s, it should be in decent shape until about 120K. So, it's definitely on my radar to get replaced soon, likely after Christmas.
Last edited by Bridger; 12-12-2014 at 02:31 PM.