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Burning rubber smell

Last Fall I bought my grandson a 2003 Grand Am with a 4 cylinder Eco Tech engine.

It had only 6175 miles on it and now has 8353 miles. At various times we can smell what seems to be rubber burning. I don’t see smoke and I can’t tell where the smell is coming from. Any ideas? Thanks for listening. I love your program and listen as much as I can.

Don’t be offended if you get very few answers. These types of smells are very hard to identify. I have 3 suggestions, none of which might really help you.

  1. Buy a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it, then keep it in the car.
  2. Make sure the insurance covers fires. Comprehensive almost always does.
  3. Drive it on a longer trip. If you are worried, have a mechanic look it over first, but I think it’s possible that a longer journey, maybe a couple of hundred miles, will get rid of some mysterious odors. If a car rarely gets heated up fully drips and blobs of glop that stick to various engine and exhaust parts never dry up and go away, and leaves, mouse nests and things like that that that accumulate under a car that’s parked a lot just stay there forever. A nice long drive will clear a lot of that stuff up.

I dont think a clogged cabin air filter would cause a “burning rubber smell” but it only takes a few minutes to take a look at it. If your car has this filter, take a quick look see.

I know that some of the folks on the Hyundai owners website have mentioned the filter can get pretty nasty in as little as 10K miles. Just depends on the air quality in a particular area.