4 Possible Reasons Why Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

There are several factors that may cause your car to smell like burning rubber listed below are the top four factors you must know.

4 Possible Reasons Why Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

If you get a burning rubber smell from your car, it is not something unusual. The smell of a rubber-burning can be more than an actual rubber burning. Some people might think that it is because of heavy braking. Yet, this smell can signify some other problems in the vehicle. 

As soon as you detect a smell in your car, make sure to stop at a safe spot. Scrutinize the car. Tyres have more probability of giving out this smell. In case tyres are not the culprit, there are other reasons why the car smells. Ensure that you check under the hood of the vehicle. Give the engine of the car some time to cool done. Touching any hot element of the car can cause a burn.

Mentioned below are some possible areas one can inspect for the smell. 

Short circuit

If you happen to smell some burning rubber inside the car, inspect the electric system. There are chances that the electrical system of the vehicle can undergo a short circuit. When this happens, you tend to smell burning rubber. Moreover, in the confined space of a car, this smell gets worse. If the windows of the vehicle are open and air condition is working, the smell tends to get stronger. 

If there is a short circuit in the car, do not drive the vehicle further. Make sure you call someone from the closest service place. A mechanic can fix this problem better. Do not ignore this kind of a short circuit. If not set, it can lead to more severe problems. 

Motor oil

When the motor oil leaks on hot exhaust, it can cause a burning smell. This smell is more prominent once you get out of the car. The exhaust pipe gets even hotter if one drives the car on first or second gear. Once motor oil drops on the hot exhaust, it burns and smells like burning rubber. 

If you move out of the car and smell something fishy, make sure you call the mechanic. This smell can be worse when it comes from the bottom part of the car. You must let a mechanic look for the source of leaking motor oil. 


You might need to switch on the heater of your car if it gets chilly outside. If the heater smells like burning rubber, there is something that requires a check. Most people think that this smell comes from a plastic bag or any other thing stuck in the vent. But, the reason can be different. This smell can also come from a melted part of the heater. If any object gets blocks the vent of the radiator, it causes a part of the heater to melt. That can cause the burning smell to come out of the heater. So, calling a mechanic to check the vent is necessary. Make sure you do not wait for the smell to get unbearable. 

Burnt brakes

The friction caused between a rotor and brake pads can produce some amount of smoke. This smoke may smell like burning rubber in the car. That happens when you drive the car on a steep road. You have to use brakes more often and also in a harsh manner. Heavy braking causes friction, and hence one can smell burning rubber in the car. If you ever get such smell from your car, call a mechanic to inspect the brakes (visit here: if you looking to buy high quality used Brakes like new). A burning clutch might also give out a similar smell. Make sure that you know when to use a grip.


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