Follow Your Nose (Part 2): Burning Odors

July 7, 2015


Did you burn the toast? Probably not, especially if you smell it in your car. It could be an electrical short circuit or the wire insulation.


Burning odors can indicate a variety of problems: your car may be overheating, or there is an oil leak, or a temperature gauge may be broken.


The smell of oil burning may mean you have a leak in the engine block or exhaust manifold.


The smell of burning newspaper could be a sign of a problem with the clutch.


The smell of rubber burning could mean a loose hose or a belt that’s about to break.


Smells like burnt carpet from the brakes are telling you that you may be riding the brakes or are braking too hard or you may have left the hand-brake on.


A burning smell from the heater could mean you may have dust or debris in the vent. This may happen especially if you have not used the heater in a while. It could also be that the heater is broken and you are smelling the antifreeze leaking into the heater vents.


As always, when you suspect something is wrong, check with your favorite mechanic or service station. Or contact the friendly folks at T.P. Brake & Muffler.


The following websites provide information on all sorts of odors that can alert you to car problems:




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