Can You Drive Your Car If It Smells Like Burning?

Can You Drive Your Car If It Smells Like Burning?

Gone are the days when owning a car was only a luxury; today, it has become an essential part of every human existence. In general, one of the importance of driving a car is that it provides people the opportunity for personal control. Owning a car means you’ll have your freedom and will be independent to move freely from one place to another.

However, as a driver, you’ll certainly agree with me that owning a car also has its issues. People often encounter several different issues when driving – an example is when there is a burning smell coming from the vehicle.

Burning smells from cars could be a result of several factors. If you’re currently experiencing this issue, the best thing you can do is to stop driving and call your mechanic to run a check and identify where the issue is coming from. If your home or mechanic’s shop isn’t far, drive the car there for a proper check.

Why does your vehicle smell like burning? Is it possible to drive a car even if it smells like burning? Can you drive your car if it smells like gas? In the rest of this article, you’ll find everything that you need to know regarding the burning questions above.

Why Does Your Car Smell Like Burning?

Can You Drive Your Car If It Smells Like Burning?

As mentioned earlier, the burning smell is one of the many issues that drivers experience when driving. 

Several different factors can make your car smell like burning. One thing you need to keep in mind is that burning often occurs when two surfaces are rubbing on each other.

  • Clutch-related issues

One of the common causes of the burning smell coming from your vehicle is clutch-related. When you’re burning the clutch, you’ll most likely perceive a burning smell as you drive your mechanical transmission car.

In case you don’t know, “burning the clutch” means wearing down the clutch. Generally, this issue often occurs when there’s increased pressure on the clutch plate. Here’s the thing; when you apply too much heat on your clutch plate, heat is generated, which ends up burning the mechanical component and evolving the burning smell.

To avoid this type of issue, you need to learn how to use the gear the right way and avoid riding the clutch

  • Brake-related issues

Another likely cause of the burning smell you’re currently experiencing is brake-related. Interestingly, a couple of factors could cause this issue. For instance, let’s say you just got new parts, such as pads, on your braking system. This will surely introduce a burning smell when you’re driving your car.

It’s pretty simple; new brake pads often come covered in resin. Because of that, it takes a while before the pads settle into the system. As the brake pads try to adjust and blend with the existing system, the resin attached to them starts to burn. In the example above, the burning smell is a good sign that the brake pads are settling pretty well inside the brake system.

Furthermore, “engaging the parking brake” is another factor that causes a burning smell when driving. Here’s the thing; when you engage the parking brake when the car is running, it could cause excessive friction, leading to overheating.

Overheating is another common cause of burning brake smell in a vehicle. Each time you make use of your braking device, what they do is to create friction, which helps to slow down your car. Unfortunately, when you overuse the brake, this could cause overheating, burning down the brake parts.

  • Electrical-related issues

Apart from brake and clutch issues, another thing that can cause a burning smell is when you’re experiencing electrical issues. For instance, an electrical short circuit is one of the few factors that could cause burning in your car. Unfortunately, if the issue occurs, the plastic around the cable could burn or melt, causing this smell.

Can You Drive Your Car If It Smells Like Burning?

Can You Drive Your Car If It Smells Like Burning?

It’s not a good idea to drive your car if it smells like burning. However, there are a couple of cases where driving your car in this situation won’t cause any harm.

As earlier mentioned, a burning smell can occur when you get a new brake part for your car. If you’ve just installed new brake pads, for instance, and you keep perceiving a burning smell when driving your car, this isn’t a bad thing. This is most likely telling you that the brake pad is settling inside the brake system. In this case, you can always drive your car, as nothing bad will happen to it.

Apart from the example mentioned above, it’s not ideal to drive your car if it’s giving off a burning smell. Instead, stop the car immediately when you start perceiving the smell and call your mechanic to run a check for you. However, if you’re pretty much close to your home or your mechanic’s shop, you can always drive the car gently over.

If your vehicle smells like burning, driving it, in most cases, will end up adding to the issues already on the ground. Apart from being dangerous, it may also require more money than expected, which is why it’s advisable to stop driving your car.

The bottom line is that it’s not ideal to drive your car if it’s giving you a burning smell. The only time I’ll advise you to do that is when you’re sure driving your car won’t cause any harm or hurt your vehicle.

Can I Drive My Car If It Smells Like Gas?

Like a burning smell, it’s not ideal to drive your car if it gives you a gas smell. So, in this situation, the best thing you can do is to stop the car and run a check to identify where the issue is coming from. If you can’t do that on your own, the safest thing you can do is to call your mechanic to troubleshoot the issue and fix it.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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