Why does my car smell when i accelerate?

You must not ignore the problem if your car emits a burning smell when you accelerate. To avoid serious problems with your car, you must take this burning smell seriously. This burning smell doesn’t come from your kid’s hockey equipment, it can come from different parts of the car and is usually due to it being too hot.

In this article CarMats will clarify the different reasons why cars burn when accelerating in addition to giving simple fixes. At the end of the article, we will also answer a few questions on this topic.

A burning odor coming from the car as it accelerates! What is happening?

There are numerous causes of the burning smell coming from an accelerating car. It’s important to know about all of these reasons so you can find the real culprit.

Before deciding to keep driving your car, you can make an informed decision once the list of potential causes has been reduced.

There are four common types of car burning smells, and each type has its own causes and remedies:

The odor of burning rubber

There are numerous rubber parts in your car that are prone to burning if there is any heat source nearby. If you started to smell burning rubber in your car, the clutch, drive belt, oil leak, and coolant leak are typically to blame.

Burning rubber odor caused by clutch issues

If you operate a manual transmission car, you might be so excited that you slam on the clutch hard.

However, if you apply too much force to the clutch, it will press very hard and create a lot of friction with the other parts of your car. With this much friction inside the car, there may be enough heat to cause the rubber parts around the clutch to burn or melt.

As a result, the clutch may begin to emit the smell of burning rubber.

The best recommendation for you, if that’s the issue, is to speak with a professional driver who has experience operating manual transmission cars and trucks. They can help you keep the right amount of pressure on this clutch so that nothing goes wrong.

Odor of burning rubber from the melted drive belt

On the other hand, a melted drive belt around your engine could be the source of the burning rubber odor. If you didn’t know, certain types of belts connect the engine to other parts. The other components are kept moving by this belt, which transfers motion to them.

It is very common for the belt to continue touching a hot engine and cause it to melt if any of these parts become stuck or jammed. You’ll detect this burning odor coming from your car as a result.

If your problem is caused by a drive belt that is melting, you will need to get your car checked out and fixed as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic.

Burning rubber odor caused by coolant or oil leaks 

Last but not least, there is a good chance that you will smell burning rubber if hot coolant or hot oil leaks into rubber components around the engine or radiator parts.

If you have a blown gasket, oil could leak easily. The engine cylinders are sealed by the gasket, which also stops hot oil from leaking onto nearby rubber parts.

Similar to how coolant can leak into the rubber parts of the radiator from any cracks nearby.

No matter what caused the leak or where it came from, you must have a qualified mechanic fix these cracks to keep your engine or radiator from getting worse.

The odor of burning plastic

There are other types of smells, such as the burning plastic smell, that is comparable to the smell of burning rubber.

Your culprits may differ if your car smells more like burning plastic than burning fuel.

The following are the various causes of the burning plastic odor:

Heaters’ burning plastic odor issues

If you have figured out that none of the other reasons for a rubber-burning smell are bad, your problem may be caused by a broken heater.

It could be something stuck inside the heating system that caught fire if you’ve been driving your car for a while and you’ve started to smell burning plastic.

If you don’t have the necessary technical or mechanical experience, a professional mechanic can help you clean up the heaters and flush them out.

A plastic burning plastic odor comes from electrical system issues.

The electrical system may be the source of a burning plastic odor, which is another very frequent cause. You would begin to smell burning plastic if any of your electrical cords or connections suffered burns.

In this situation, the best thing to do is to talk to a qualified mechanic. They can help you find the burned wire or connection and replace it if necessary.

The odor of burning oil

If the burning smell you are experiencing is more like burning oil, you should rule out the previously mentioned causes.

The following are some typical reasons why your car might smell like it’s burning oil:

Burning oil odor due to problems with the oil change

Every vehicle needs to have an oil change at the right time and frequency, according to the manufacturer.

Your car would be running on contaminated or dirty oil if you neglected to replace the oil in it on schedule. As a result, it’s highly likely that you’ll start smelling burning oil coming from your car.

You need to go ahead and perform an emergency oil change right away to fix this problem.

A burning oil odor coming from faulty oil filters

Oil filters that are loose are a secondary issue that may cause a burning oil odor.

There is a good chance that this oil will leak into other parts of your car if the oil filter is loose.

There is a very good chance that hot oil will burn nearby things and make them smell bad.

You need to check the oil filter and make sure it is sufficiently tight to prevent any oil leaks in order to fix the problem.

It’s crucial to note that you shouldn’t try to maintain the oil filter until your car has cooled off and you are risk- and safety-free.

Burning oil odor caused by a faulty oil plug

Like a loose oil filter, a broken oil plug makes it much more likely that hot oil will leak out of the system and start to burn outside of it, giving off a very strong smell of burning oil.

In that case, you must change the damaged oil plug with a fresh one and ensure that no additional oil is leaking.

Burning oil odor caused by a blown gasket

As with the burning rubber smell, the burning oil smell will start to bother you if the gasket failed or blew up.

The gasket, as we previously mentioned, is in charge of sealing the cylinders and ensuring that no hot oil leaks outside of the engine system.

Once this gasket fails, it will be simple for the oil to leak outside, which will cause you to smell burning oil.

Unfortunately, fixing a blown head gasket is one of the most expensive things you can do to your car.

The odor of the burning carpet

The burning carpet smell is the final burning smell you might be experiencing.

This sort of odor typically appears when your brakes aren’t working properly.

Most likely, the problem happens when you’re driving up a steep hill and putting a lot of pressure on the brakes.

Unfortunately, the brake issue also necessitates a visit from a professional mechanic so that you can determine whether your brakes are still in good shape or whether you already damaged them by applying excessive force. If that’s the case, you must completely replace the brake system before you can use this car again.


As a general rule, you should take any strange odor seriously if you notice it while driving your car.

One of the most serious problems you shouldn’t ignore is smelling burning when your car accelerates.

When a car accelerates, there are four different kinds of burning smells that can be detected: burning rubber, burning plastic, burning oil, and burning carpet.

Before you try to drive a long distance in your car, you should always talk to a qualified mechanic about the problem and tell him everything he needs to know.

While the issue may occasionally be resolved quickly and easily, there are other times when you may need to make significant repairs. If you choose to ignore the issue, the costs you will have to pay may even increase.

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