8 Reasons of Burning Rubber Smell in Car (Update 2019)

If you sense some strange odor coming from under the hood, and it kind of smell like a burning rubber, you should definitely read out this short text about burning rubber smell in car. First of all, there are several reasons why does this odor appeal, and none of those reasons are pleasant.

Now, these symptoms you may notice after driving for a long time, or just after your machine becomes hot. Anyhow, this can be the start of a bigger problem and solve it on the beginning might save you from some unnecessary expenses and repairs.

Moreover, there are few reasons for burning rubber odor. Let’s see.

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Why Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

1. Loose Hose

loose hose

Now, there might be a problem with a hose. Open your car’s hood and look for loosen rubber hoses. They can easily reach for heated areas of your engine and start melting. The only thing you can do and avoid harming yourself and your car are just removing the remaining hose and try saving it from complete melting.

2. Leaking Oil From Seal or Gasket

Leaking Oil From Seal or Gasket


Furthermore, the reason why car smells like burning rubber might be simply oil leaking from the gasket or seal. Both gasket and seal might get damaged over time and “release” the oil. That very oil might reach and contact exhaust manifold.

Therefore, the solution to this problem and your general “car smells like burning rubber” problem might be just simply replacing both- seal and gasket. There is a temporary solution to this problem as well- you can tighten the coupling surface of the gasket and seal. Keep in mind that this might cause some worse situation and unnecessary expenses.

3. AC Compressor Increased Heat

AC Compressor Increased Heat


Reducing the refrigerant level and less lubrication might cause your compressor to overheat and induce that your car smells like burning rubber. Now, this might worsen the situation if not treated well, it may induce severe damage.

Now, there is a simple solution to this problem. When taking your vehicle for inspection, ask an expert to inspect your AC. He will definitely recognize if the compressor needs some coolant or refrigerant. This should completely solve your problem.

4. Blown Fuse Problem

blown fuse problem

via: https://carfromjapan.com/article/car-maintenance/replace-blown-fuse-in-car/

Sometimes, you might have fuse problems and that can surely result in an odor that smells like burning rubber.

Now, there is a solution to this problem but you need to inspect every single cable link and fuse link for a blown fuse. Once you realize there is a fuse problem, you need to immediately replace it with another similar fuse which has the section number as one mentioned in the owner’s manual.

5. Coolant Leaking

Coolant Leaking

Now, at the heater core, there is a coolant that might simply start leaking and reaching the heating system or air-conditioning system, which causes that car smells like burning rubber.

This may lead to some serious problems and damage to your car, so fixing it as soon as noted might save you from some unnecessary expenses.

In order to check this problem and solve it, if there is one, search for cracks and crevices of your coolant tank. Even the smallest crack might cause severe damage, so be careful with this one.

6. Oil Leak

Oil Leak

Now, one of the most serious problems which cause that car smells like burning rubber is oil leaking around. It may easily get into hot exhaust and burn. Now, this wouldn’t be so dangerous if it couldn’t lead to a car burn, but it really can.

Therefore, in order to safely drive, you need to do few simple things. First of all, turn off your engine and get out of the car. Search out for a leaking area beneath your car.

If you don’t notice this, take it to a mechanics. Anyhow, if you are even assuming that there is a leakage, and keep driving, that might cause some serious damage and provoke a lot of repairing expenses.

Therefore, this problem should be corrected as soon as possible after noticing it.

7. Drive Belt Melting

Drive Belt Melting

Simply speaking, if any of the driving accessories such as water pump, AC compressor, air pump or the alternator gets locked up, rotation of the drive belt onto your frozen and locked part might release a rubber-burning smell. Now, this one is easy to recognize since is accompanied by strange squealing noise.

For the solution of this problem, you might like to contact the expert mechanics. First of all, the damaged belt needs to be changed and secondly, remaining belts need to be checked as well.

Moreover, the best timing to check your drive belts is every 6 months. Since it can lead to severe damage to the motor, it’s better to prevent it with these proper expert inspections.

8. Plastic Bag Stuck On Exhaust Pipe

Plastic Bag Stuck On Exhaust Pipe

via: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/north-el-monte-automotive-el-monte?select=wjYLhLihKxZPaMpzV1MNnA

Now this one is the most unusual problem, but it can cause that car smells like burning rubber. Simply speaking, there might be a plastic bag stuck underneath your car on the exhaust pipe. This leads to its melting and rubber-burning smell.

There is a solution and even prevention to this problem. For a solution, you need to remove the melted plastic bag from your vehicle. In order to prevent this from happening, try avoiding contact with plastic bags that are flying around the traffic. They surely can get beneath your car and cause some serious problems for the machine.

You can also check this video for more details:

Final Verdict

Taking into consideration everything that we previously said, we pointed out some of the main reasons why there is an unpleasant odor of a burning rubber. Furthermore, we tried to provide the solutions and help you get rid of that unpleasant and sometimes alarming car smell.

Now keep in mind that some of these problems you may fix all by yourself. On the other hand, there are few that demand a look of an expert. Try making a difference between these two, and better don’t touch anything if you are not sure what you are doing.

All in all, we hope that this review might provide some info on how to fix your problem.

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