It’s understandable that your car eventually loses its new car smell. But if your car smells like burning plastic, it’s essential to take action immediately. There are several reasons your car could smell like burning plastic, and each of them is either harmful to the car or deadly.
Here are some reasons your car might smell like burning plastic.
A Loose Wire
If your car smells like burning plastic, it could be due to a loose wire. When wires are loose, they can cause a short circuit. A short circuit can cause the wires’ insulation to melt, producing a burning smell.
If you notice this problem, it’s essential to take your car to a mechanic so they can fix the loose wire and prevent any further damage. A mechanic can also check for other potential problems causing the burning smell.
Your Car Could Be Overheating
If your car smells like burning plastic, it could be because your car is overheating. A car can overheat for several reasons, including a coolant leak, a faulty radiator, or a problem with the thermostat.
If your vehicle overheats, immediately pull over and turn off the engine. Once the engine is cool, you can check the coolant level and add more if necessary.
If your coolant reservoir is full, you might be experiencing problems with your thermostat. Your vehicle’s thermostat regulates the engine’s temperature, so your engine could overheat if it’s not working correctly.
A Brake Pad Could Be Wearing Out
Another potential reason your car smells like burning plastic is that your car’s brake pads could be worn out. When the brake pads wear down, they can start to rub against the rotors. This can cause a burning smell and the brakes to feel hot to the touch.
Another sign that your brake pads might wear out is squeaking or grinding noises when you apply the brakes. If your brake pads are fine, you could still have problems with your brakes if you have bad rotors. You’ll have to take your tires off to see if the pads or the rotors are damaged or worn.
You Might Have an Oil Leak
If your car smells like burning plastic, it could be due to an oil leak. Oil leaks onto hot engine parts can produce a burning smell. A small oil leak might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause severe engine damage if left untreated. Additionally, oil leaks can cause environmental damage.
Oil is a non-renewable resource, so it’s gone forever when it leaks into the environment. Oil spills can pollute waterways and kill wildlife, so you must do everything possible to prevent them. If you have an oil leak in your vehicle, fix it as soon as possible to avoid severe consequences.
An Exhaust Leak Could Be the Problem
Finally, an exhaust leak is another potential reason your car smells like burning plastic. An exhaust leak can cause poisonous gasses to enter your car’s cabin, which can be extremely dangerous.
The smell of certain gasses can often be described as burning plastic. Other gasses, such as carbon monoxide, are colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly. If you think you might have an exhaust leak, get it checked out by a mechanic right away.
If your car smells like burning plastic, it’s essential to take action immediately to avoid potential problems. A loose wire, an overheating engine, worn-out brake pads, an oil leak, or an exhaust leak could all be responsible for the burning smell. If you’re unsure of the cause, take your car to a mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem.