4 Different Types of Burning Smell From Car Main Causes and Solutions

There could be several reasons behind burning smell from car that we might not know yet. In fact, this is the kind of smell produced by a few technical problems in the car. These stinky odors often create an unpleasant sensation for the driver, and above all this is a dangerous warning directly to the person who control the car.

In some situations, you can fix this by your own. In others, you must stop the car immediately and bring it to the nearest garage while the burning smell coming from car happens. But how can you distinguish each case? Here’s what could have possibly happened to your car if your car smells like burning.

04 Common Types of Burning Smell from Car

Before discussing the causes of burning smell from car, let’s take a look at some of the typical burning smells. These abnormal smells are often uncomfortable, and above all, they can cause catastrophic hazards. So, let’s take a look and learn thoroughly to avoid the unfortunate “burning smell in car” situation that may occur.

Burning Rubber Smell From Car

Do you often smell the burning rubber under your hood? This is a remarkable sign that your car engine is running for a long time. When the burning rubber smell appears in your car, it also means that you need to find out more about future problems with your car. These causes below will show the specific reason why your car have burning rubber smell.

1. Clutch problem

Many times, burning smell from car may come from the clutch problem. It happens whenever you shift gears and the smell is usually similar to that of a burning newspaper or the burning rubber smell from car. So, you can recognize this quite easy.

In this case, the clutch’s face burns off when it slips. It smells rubbery because the surface of the clutch is a type of paper mesh. For avoid this, it’s important to learn using the clutch properly. As a thumb rule, don’t ride the clutch; doing this often leads to replacing the clutch entirely.

Solution: You need to replace a worn clutch. Consequently, whenever shifting gears, it would be smooth.

2. Drive belt melting problem

This usually happens when one of the accessories of the drive such as generator, air pump, water pump or AC compressor is locked. When this happens, the belt will rotate on a frozen pulley and cause a burning sensation like a burning rubber smell. This phenomenon will cause your car to operate with a few strange sounds.

Solution: In this case, you need to replace the faulty belt and check the remaining belts. It is best to check your belt every 6 months.

3. Oil Leaking Problem

This is one of the most common causes of burning smell from car. You may have an oil leak. This often causes the oil to enter the exhaust pipe. The pipe is hot while the car is running and you may get a strong smell, sometimes white smoke from exhaust pipe.

It’s a common phenomenon while driving uphill when you have to rev the engine more. Of course, the smoke is often visible when you step out of the car and check the exhaust pipe, so it is much easy to notice car smells like burning oil after driving. There could be fumes as well because of the burning oil.

Solution: You need to stop the engine and jack the car up. Then, observe under the car to find out where the leaks are, or take them to the nearest garage for repairs. If you continue to drive when the oil is leaking, your car will likely suffer more damage and the amount of repairs you make will increase day by day. So, if you discover oil leakage in the car, you need to fix it right away.

4. Coolant Leaking Problem

A heater core may leak the coolant into the heating or air conditioning system of the vehicle. And this phenomenon can cause a burning smell like burning rubber in your car. This car mark will cost you a substantial amount to restore your car.

Solution: You need to check that your cooler has any cracks in it. Cracks are small, but can leave huge dangers and repair costs

Burning Plastic Smell in Car

For the smell of plastic burning, it usually occurs after starting the heater or fan in the car. This burning smell coming from car phenomenon is related to some parts such as fans, resistors or some other high-temperature electronic devices.

1. Smell from The Heater

If all the above parts are working perfectly, check the heater if you smell something burning. There could be dust accumulation in the system if you haven’t used the heater since long. But if the burning smell from car still presents even after you use the heater regularly, then you may have particles or some debris clogging the vent.

People often find plastic bags and other objects stuck in the engine, causing the frustrating issue that car smells like burning plastic. However, maybe the heater itself is broken and the antifreeze is leaking into the vents. This could also cause the smell. Worse still, some part of the heater could be broken or have melted to cause the smell. It usually happens with the heater’s motor. If the smell gets stronger and you find no debris stuck to the vent, immediately take your car to the mechanic. Get the heater checked along with other suspected parts.

Solution: Air filters cleaned or replaced if any. Using the anti-bacteria products for the vents and checking the heater, fuel lines for any leakages.

2. Electrical Short problem

A major cause of burning smell from car is the electrical short circuit in the engine. The plastic coating on wires, fuses, or other connections may produce the smell. So the smell would be similarly with the burning plastic smell in car.

Solution: All you need to do is to fix the electrical system to avoid major problems running the car. Also, you need to connect your car to the computer system that would help you to identify the problem of electrical. In this case, a technician would be perfect for you.

Burning Oil Smell in Car

This is probably a common burning smell in car type that you have heard before. When the oil in the exhaust leaks out, it will make the car smell of oil or we usually call – burning oil smell.

The smell of oil in the car is a thing nobody wants when driving. It’s not only uncomfortable but it can also endanger the person sitting in the car. If you smell the oil on the car, stop the car and check to see where the oil is coming from so that you can pinpoint the correct way to fix it. Let’s take a look to some causes below.

1. Done Oil Changing Problem

Changing oil when not properly done may result in excess oil dripping into the exhaust system or other parts. When the engine warms up the oil will burn to create a pungent smell in the car. If the leakage is corrected, the oil will burn completely and the oil in the car will disappear after a period of time.

2. Oil Filter Loosing Problem

An oil filter if operated under pressure and if not properly installed, loosely driven by rugged road bumps can lead to oil spills around the engine. When the oil is burned, the oil will fill the car. Other symptoms in the case of this liquid oil filter may be an oil puddle under the car. This problem should be resolved immediately so that the engine can be discharged.

3. Oil Plug Damage Problem

Oil pan has a plug in it and if in case it gets damaged then liquid may leak. In case of oil leakage into the exhaust system will create the smell of burning oil in the car. This will also create a puddle when the car stops, parked at any point. This situation should be corrected immediately to prevent the oil out of the engine.

4. Failing Gaskets Problem

In the event of oil leakage occurring too many times, this may have resulted from malfunctioning or broken engine cushions. In addition, the engine oil seals with oil seals or poor connections are no exception. This situation will gradually come to your car will be filled with the smell of oil burned. These pads are usually scattered throughout the engine. Valve pads and oil pads are two higher risk of damage.

Solution: In cases where car smells like burning oil appears in the vehicle above, we need to direct the car to the warranty center or repair so that experts can give the best advice.

Burning Carpet Smell in Car

Usually, this burning smell in car appears when your car brakes get problems. Your brakes can also emit a car burning smell. It usually happens if you ride the brakes hard. While going down a steep hill with the brakes slammed hard, the friction may burn the brakes leading to the emission of smoke, lead to the burning smell from car. So if this phenomenon happens, let’s answer the my car smells like something is burning by checking your brakes.

It’s not a problem if it happens rarely. However, based on our maintenance tips, you should take it seriously if the smell is more regular. A caliper piston could have seized, causing the brakes to drag. With this kind of cause, it smells similar like the burning carpet.

Solution: Make sure the piston caliper position for correctly working and also do not have to use the hand brake while driving.

Final Words

But most of all, if you have trouble with this burning smell from car, you should bring your car to the garage immediately. This problem can cause your car some hazards that you may not know about, especially it can affect directly to your health in breathing and lungs. In other cases, if the smell come from the outside of the car, you will have some choices to reduce this phenomenon. For example, the deodorizer system or the ozone generator could be perfect for your car, except for their expensive prices. If you don’t mind this, these tools would probably a good choice, and the quantity of car smells like burning rubber after driving will be decreased.

It would be easier if you take a look in this video about fixing burning smell coming from car beside all the solutions we have mentioned. Probably you will get some methods to deal this situation for yourself.

So, we are about to over-talked the burning smell from car problems through this article. Hope it would help you to have a safe driving with fresh air. In the smell case, just remind about any information above, you will have a suitable solution. If you are interested in our article, just click follow and ready to discover our daily updated articles with many special topics that you may want to know.


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One Comment

  1. i have a 2008 dodge Avenger SXT 4 cylinder
    there is a burning smell coming from the back side of the motor any suggestions?

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