Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

What to Do When Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

You’re sitting behind the wheel just like any other day when a particular smell comes on. Its scent is like burning rubber. Instantly, you become concerned. How could you not? 

Still, even with this concern, you might not be sure what your next steps should be. This is not unusual for most drivers. If your car smells like burning rubber, read on. We’ll walk you through what you need to know.

Causes of a Rubber Smell

There can be a lot of possible reasons why your car smells like rubber. After all, much of your vehicle is either made of rubber or is at the very least wrapped in it. You’ll need to do a bit of investigating to determine what the source of this troubling smell is.

There are a few common causes and solutions that you should be aware of. 

One of the most common reasons is that your vehicle has a loose rubber hose. There are many rubber hoses in the engine of your car. They might be burning against the heat of something in that area of your vehicle.

The smell could be arising from burnt motor oil that has leaked into your exhaust pipe. This happens to many vehicles over a certain age. The smell is not pleasant.

It might also be an indication that your brakes are on their last legs. Your brakes might have hit the end of their lifespan and are burning away due to the friction caused by braking. 

This can be a dangerous sign and often means you should see a mechanic as soon as possible.

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Actions to Take

What should you do if you’re driving and your car smells like burning rubber? The safe and smart thing to do would be to pull off of the road as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so. 

Once you’re pulled over (away from traffic!) you can start to figure out where the problem is originating from. Checking the common causes above can be a good place to start.

The best thing you can do is follow your nose. Often, you’ll be able to follow the smell itself to the source. Sniff the tires and open the engine if the smell seems to be coming from there.

Opening your engine up should allow things to cool down. Once you find the source of the problem, see if it’s an easy solution to fix. A tube that’s come undone might just need to be put back in place.

However, if you’re uncertain of what needs to be done, or if the situation seems complicated, you’ll probably want to take your car straight to the shop.

When Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

When your car smells like burning rubber it’s a justifiable cause for alarm. The above advice can help you locate the cause of the problem and determine what to do next.

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