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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.

4 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.

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#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.

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#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.

  1. Stanley Mafoa says

    how about if a car is automatic but sometime gear is slow or take time to shift.?

    1. Mutuma says

      Sometimes it’s due to old transmission oil, which may need changing immediately

  2. Chris Munyole says

    This is good info, keep it up.

    1. amin says

      Thank you for your appreciation

  3. Letty says

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  4. […] Burning Smell From Car […]

  5. […] Burning Smell From Car […]

  6. […] through a vacuum hose, which leads to the color white from the smoke. The exhaust will also have a heated oil smell. If the white smoke is coolant, your car is having a break in the cylinder head or a cracked head […]

  7. Ilyas says

    Please advise me about my vitz 1.0 model 2015
    When acceleration is increased car ac vents emit burning smell at 110 km/hr
    It always happens on hard acceleration

    1. Rijesh says

      Same problem is with my Kwid 2016, it starts to emit burning smell from A/C Vent while hard acceleration.

  8. Darren Green says

    Nissan Juke 64 reg 24000 miles on took back to dealer 5 times now (main dealer available cars .com)getting a sulphur smell on occasions whilst driving it my wife work mate daughter and son in law have all noticed it every time I take the car in it has test runs even the manager has took the car home twice and nobody has smelt the problem .they say they have done emissions and diagnostic test even changed the pollen filter I think the only other thing it could be is the cat but they never seem to want to change this could this be the problem as they tell me when I get the smell to bring it to them but sometimes I’m miles away then it goes even they are getting fed up with it but I guarantee the smell is there any advice would be fantastic

  9. Gary Bond says

    This advice is all well and good about “taking your car to a mechanic” but I’ve taken my car to 3 different mechanics yet not one of them could find out the reason why the fumes were getting inside the cabin of my car or even smell it! If mechanics are so incapable whats the point of taking your car to them in the first place!

  10. Jasmine says

    Hi, I am having a burning metal smell. I only receive the smell sometimes in idle and when driving a lot. Many people have assumed it because the car is diesel. I have received no engine lights. Should I be worried about my family’s safety while driving? Do you have any idea what the problem could be? thanks

    1. Dora says

      Same problem for me. A very strange smell coming from the heater. Even if the heater is off, still it smells.

  11. Lynne McAdamsi says

    Hello. I have been noticing a burning smell when my mom returns from doing errands and what not. I have noticed as has she that there is a rattle or other sound coming from her car when she’s driving. Wondering if it’s an exhaust issue. Her car is 10 years old. Not sure of the mileage.
    Thank you

  12. Jim says

    Can I ask a question ,are any of these cars you are all describing diesel cars .If so it could be caused by a heater plug (glow plug not working properly ,usually you will get this symptom when enitially first starting the vehicle .what is actually happening here is some of the diesel in the compression chamber with the faulty glow plug is not igniting at the exact time it should be there for in return you will experience a smell like a smokey diesel kind of smell , on the other hand it could be the glowplug heater relay that is at fault ,it may not be working properly and sending the wrong electrical current to the glow plugs .another problem could be a blocked dpf filter (diesel particulate filter) which causes bad smells in nm and around your car too.this usually happens if you only travel short distances ,the dpf filter doesn’t regenerate as you need to travel at least roughly 10 miles at speeds over 50 mph continuous to clear this soot build up in the dpf which is causing this .

  13. Adam says

    What about a really weird burnt smell and now my shifter is stuck in park and smell is horrid???

  14. says

    Nice post

  15. […] Burning Smell From Car […]

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