What’s causing my car’s burning smell?




John Paul, AAA Northeast’s Car Medical doctor, solutions a query from a reader involved about a burning odor.

AP Picture/Bob Edme, File

Q. I have a 2013 Fiat and I dwell on top rated of a steep mountain. Considering that I moved up there in November, I detect a burning odor when I get out of the motor vehicle. I don’t odor it when I drive to other areas. When I test to drive quite slowly and gradually up the mountain there is a lot less burning smell. The auto gauge never ever displays that it overheats. I experienced the vehicle checked out and they couldn’t uncover nearly anything incorrect. Do you have any solutions? 

A. There are two popular spots that bring about a burning odor – brakes and fluid leaks. I would get started with an inspection of the brakes, searching for uneven don that could show a sticking brake caliper. The second risk is oil leaking on the very hot exhaust. Have a technician add dye to the numerous fluids, travel up and down your mountain street, and then return to the mend store for an inspection. The dye will support pinpoint any leaks. 

Q. I have a 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT that I bought new. After an oil modify at the dealership. the drain plug dislodged and the motor was destroyed at 12,500 miles. The dealership changed it. At 124,000 miles, it commenced creating the very same noise and I instantly turned it off.  The oil gentle never came on, and there was oil on the bottom of both doorways. The substitution engine is now blown. I had the oil transformed just more than 4,000 miles prior, and I checked the oil myself a week ahead of. It’s not under guarantee and as well high priced to fix. The dealership informed me that some vehicles just use much more oil than other individuals and just can’t inform me how this transpired or how oil received on the doors. Aside from a lacking drain plug, what else could bring about these a rapid decline of oil? 

A. The oil sender unit could induce a extremely quick oil leak and could have been the induce of the failure, despite the fact that typically the oil mild will illuminate. The other common problem is a bearing failure and a feasible cracked motor block. I would speak to the corporate workplaces of Hyundai and ask about warranty coverage. A lot of Hyundai styles, because of to a class motion lawsuit, are protected by a limited life span guarantee. The one caveat is that the auto gained common maintenance. The past possibility is having Hyundai to courtroom below implied guarantee of merchantability (attorneys weigh in). This guarantee tends to make the assumption that a great or product will work for its meant objective. At 4 many years outdated and 124,000 miles, with proper servicing, your vehicle must have substantially additional daily life still left in it. 

Q. My 2011 Lexus hybrid has been draining the car or truck battery about a six-to-8-hour period of time. The seller cannot locate or fix this trouble. The automobile runs perfectly and has 170,000 miles on it. Any strategies?  

A. For the battery to come to be totally discharged in eight hours there is a sizeable electrical attract. At this issue, the seller or other restore store wants to do a check of parasitic draw. Applying the suitable applications, the technician will be ready to monitor the electrical procedure and measure the electrical latest use. Normal/ordinary parasitic drain is 50-80 milliamperes. Some feasible circuits that are not shutting down are the gasoline pump (4-8 amps), seat heaters (3 amps), cooling fan (5-7 amps) and even brake lights or a faulty alternator. 

Q. For the 1st time in decades we now have autos with automatic transmissions. We have a pretty great mechanic, but he is cautious of replacing the computerized transmission fluid and filter. He claims the process can dislodge crud and lead to challenges. Suitable now, the fluid in each vehicles is at a steady level and the proper color. Any opinions?

A. If the fluid is whole, the color appears superior, and the fluid has no odd odor, I would not alter it unless of course there is a servicing necessity in the automobile owner’s handbook. I would differ from this advice if you are towing a trailer, applying your vehicle for shipping and delivery or Uber/Lyft, or if it were being stuck in the snow causing you to above rev the transmission. These predicaments can be challenging on the transmission. 

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Motor vehicle Health practitioner. He has in excess of 40 a long time of expertise in the automotive business enterprise and is an ASE-accredited grasp technician. E-mail your vehicle problem to [email protected] Hear to Motor vehicle Health practitioner on the radio at 10 a.m. every Saturday on 104.9 FM or on-line at northshore1049.com.


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