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2008 Subaru Legacy melting/burning smell

After driving my car sometimes there is a smell like something is melting or burning in the dash I dont know if its actually in the dash or blowing in thru the dash from something under the hood? It doesn’t smell like oil, antifreeze or anything like that it smell kind of like melting plastic or something of that sort and I have yet to find anything burnt in the dash area. Also the little dash storge compartment gets REALLY hot and anything you put in there gets so hot so beware what you may put in there.anyone else experience this.?

Sounds like a poor electrical device or connection that is overheating because of high resistance. It happened on my 1976 Honda Civic back in the 80s. It was not an expensive repair. You do need to get it fixed - could start a fire, or blow a fuse that will take out some important circuits.

Are you sure nobody has put a too-high fuse in the car? Something getting hot that shouldn’t is usually something that will blow a properly-sized fuse.


Lower the glove box and see if the cabin air filter is installed.


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Seems unlikely, but ask you dealership if it might be related to tsb 12-197-16r (melting/sticky/dashboard). OP might be able to view that tsb by googling its number.

Even if that is the OP’s problem, the time limit is up, the repair had to be completed before March 31, 2017.