Sometimes you smell an unpleasant odor from your car that feels like something is burning. This situation is very concerning one for the driver and it should be taken care of as soon as possible. Burning smell from the car can be of:

  1. Rubber
  2. Oil
  3. Plastic
  4. Carpet

There are a lot of reasons for these burning smells of each type. Each indicating a specific problem of the car. You can fix some of these problems yourself. But it’s better to get an experienced hand to diagnose and solve the problem.

#1 Burning Rubber Smell

Burning rubber smell coming from the car can be caused by:

  • Problem with Clutch:

You may smell burning rubber if your clutch is not working properly. When you shift gears, you can smell it. It happens due to the burning off of the clutch’s face. You need to replace your worn-out clutch and learn to use the clutch properly to avoid this problem.

  • Drive Belt Melting Problem:

The drive belt can burn and melt and cause a burning rubber smell when any of the air pump, water pump, generator, or compressor gets locked up. This causes the belt to rotate on a stuck pulley and cause a burning sensation due to friction. You may note some strange sounds in addition to the smell. You will need to replace the faulty belt and check all the belts for wearing signs.

  • Coolant Leakage

A coolant leakage from the heating core into the air conditioning system can cause a burning smell in the car. You need to check and repair any cracks in the cooler. The cracks are small but are very dangerous and costly to repair.

#2 Burning Oil Smell

Burning oil smell coming from the car can be caused by:

  • Improper Oil Changing:

If the oil changing process isn’t proper, excess oil can go in different parts of the car like the exhaust system. When the engine heats up, this oil will burn and give a smell. This oil will burn completely after some time and the smell will vanish.

  • Oil Filter Getting Loose:

If the oil filter is not properly installed and is operated under pressure. It can get loose and lead to oil spillage around the engine. The oil will fill different parts of the car and create a burning smell when the engine gets hot. You may also notice a puddle under the car. You should immediately get professional help to rectify this problem.

  • Oil Plug Damage:

There is a pan in the oil plug and the oil may leak if there is damage to the oil plug. The oil can get leaked to the exhaust system and cause a burning oil smell when the car warms. It can also make a puddle of oil under the car when the car is parked somewhere. You should get the help of a mechanic to fix the damage and prevent the oil flow out of the engine.

#3 Burning Plastic Smell

Burning rubber smell coming from the car can be caused by:

  • The Smell from the Heater:

You should check the heater if you smell something that resembles plastic. There can be dust accumulated in the heater if it is not used for a long time. You may still smell the burning odor if the heater is in use due to stuck debris in the vent. If the heater antifreeze is leaking, it can also cause a similar smell. Even a small part of the heater can be broken, melted due to the heat of the engine and causing the smell.

If there is debris present, clear it to remove the smell. If there is not and the smell is getting stronger, immediately take your vehicle to the mechanic and get it checked.

  • Electrical Short Problem:

An electrical short circuit can cause a burning plastic smell as well. The insulation coating on wires and fuses is of plastic that can melt and cause the smell. 

Take the car to a mechanic or technician to get the electrical issue diagnosed and rectified.

#4 Burning Carpet Smell

The burning carpet smell coming from the car can be caused by the brakes when they are pressed hard. When you apply the brakes hard, the friction can cause smoke from the burning of brakes and cause the burning smell.

Stay tuned to Cars Enthusiasts Pakistan for all automotive related blogs. Is your car making grinding noise when braking? Here are the causes and solutions.

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