Why Does My Car Smell Like Burning Rubber While Driving?

Car Smell Like Burning Rubber

Do you smell a burning rubber coming from under the hood of your vehicle? Such symptoms are noticeable just after your engine becomes hot or has just operated for a long time. When your vehicle smells like burning rubber, it could also be a sign of future bigger problems in your truck.

Similar to the burning rubber smell, there are also different other smells, each indicating various issues on the vehicle. Whenever you get an odor pf burning oil, sweet syrup, burning carpet, burnt toast, or rotten egg, raise your antennas.

There are various causes that may get your car smelling like a burning rubber such as Lose Hose, Oil Leak from Gasket or Seal, Heating of AC Compressor, Electrical Problem, Leakage of Coolant, Accidental Plastic Bag, Motor Oil Leak, and Melting of Drive Belt.

1. Lose Hose

the rubber hoses beneath the hood becomes loose

In case one of the rubber hoses beneath the hood becomes loose and gets in contact with the hot area of the engine, chances of getting a burning rubber smell in your car are high.

In the case of that smell, check the hose and if you find that is the reason for the bad smell, rescue the hose before melting completely.

2. Oil Leak From Gasket Or Seal

Oil Leak From Gasket

Oil leak from the seal or gasket can result in a rubber smell when it gets into contact with your exhaust manifold.


It is highly recommended you replace the seal and gasket. As a temporary remedy, you can as well tighten the coupling surface of the seal and gasket. However, this method might also worsen the situation, since the leak continues if the gasket is very saturated with oil.

3. Heating Of AC Compressor

Heating Of AC Compressor

When the car’s refrigerant levels reduce, and there is less lubrication, your AC compressor ends up overheated and releases a burning rubber smell.


When you take your car for inspection, have an expert mechanic inspect the AC. The expert will recognize if your AC compressor is charged as well as add refrigerant and coolant to the AC compressor accordingly.

4. Electrical Problem

the blowing of a fuse

A short circuit or the blowing of a fuse could result in a burning rubber smell from your truck to seep in via the AC duct.


Inspect all the fuse links and the cable links for a blown fuse. Immediately you recognize the problem, replace the fuse with a similar piece with the same section number as mentioned in the vehicle owner’s manual.

5. Leakage Of Coolant

Leakage Of Coolant

The coolant at the heater core might start leaking into the heating system or the air-conditioning system, resulting in a burning rubber smell. This leads to great coolant loss as well as severe damage to your vehicle.


Inspect if your coolant tank contains any cracks in it. The cracks could be small in size, but the danger and the repairing price would be much.

6. Accidental Plastic Bag

plastic bag gets stuck on the exhaust pipe

When a plastic bag gets stuck on the exhaust pipe underneath your vehicle by mistakes and gradually burns away or melts, it leads to a burning rubber smell.


Carefully remove the plastic bag from your vehicle. While driving, always avoid contact with the plastic bags seen flying in the wind or lying on the road. There are high chances for those kinds of plastic bags to get caught beneath the vehicle and cause a severe problem for your truck.

7. Motor Oil Leak

The motor oil may leak on the hot exhaust and start to burn, leading to a burnt rubber smell. This is a bad problem since it can lead to a vehicle fire.


Halt the engine and get out of your vehicle. Get down under your car and spot the oil leakage area. Otherwise, take it to an expert mechanic. If you assume the oil leakage and continue driving, you are sure to have more damage and utilize a lot of cash for repairing your truck. Hence, any oil leakage should be corrected as soon as possible when spotted.

8. Melting Of Drive Belt

Melting Of Drive Belt

If one of your driving accessories like the AC compressor, water pump, air pump or the alternator is locked up, the drive belt will rotate on your frozen pulley and release a burnt rubber smell. This process is accompanied by the squealing noise.


The damaged drive belt should be replaced, as well as the remaining drive belts to be well inspected. It is advisable to properly inspect the drive belts for efficient functionality after every six months.

Precautions And Tips

Fix Car

As a thumb rule, do not forget to keep in mind the following action items and precautions when you notice any strange smell from your vehicle.

  • Conduct a careful check under the hood to spot any leakage
  • Always be cautious while working on the rotating or hot engine area.
  • Do your inspection only when your engine has cooled down completely.
  • Avoid smoking while inspecting for a fuel check or just any inspection on your car.
  • In case you smell gasoline smell even without filling your tank, get it inspected as soon as possible.

Fixing Burning Smells On Your Car, watch video


If you notice that your vehicle smells just like a burning rubber, it is important that you take the appropriate action immediately to get rid of any great problems in future.

Have your car checked by an expert mechanic as soon as you notice the rubber burning smell coming out of your car. This article helps you identify the various reasons that may cause a burning rubber smell from your truck.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: