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Burning Tires

Recently I had my struts replaced by a friend and being car illiterate I put off getting an alignment and my tires went in about 4 weeks. I bought 2 new front tires and immediately got an alignment done. Its been about a week and I can still smell my tires burning after I drive. Is this a bad alignment job or could it have anything to do with the struts being replaced?


If you believe that you smell anything burning on or in your car, you should not be driving it anywhere except directly to a qualified mechanic. While you delay repairs by asking for remote diagnoses, you could be endangering yourself, your passengers, and those who share the road with you. Take the car TODAY to a well-reputed independent mechanic or, alternatively, park the car until you decide to take it to a mechanic.

I understand that, and I am not driving it, but I am trying to find out what the problem could be before I take it somewhere.

Hard to believe it could be that bad, but if your tires were so out of alignment that you could smell them getting hot, you should hear them squealing. Also, you would be able to see the misalignment, particularly if you put a straight board alongside each front tire so that you could sight along the boards and the side of the car and see them ‘toe out’ or ‘toe in’.

Any chance that the tire is rubbing on something?

You may be smelling a brake shoe dragging. You should get this checked out immediately. Just in case.

I gotta add, however, that of you went through a set of tires in only four weeks you have serious misalignment. Your friend, was he a mechanic?

Not really a friend but someone I know. If it is something rubbing on the tire, could it have been done when replacing the struts? I was already questioning the work when I got the car back.


“If it is something rubbing on the tire, could it have been done when replacing the struts?”

Yes, definitely.

And it could be a brake line. Get it checked out ASAP.

Another possibility is that it could be unrelated to the work that has been done. A dragging brake was a good answer. If you have a clutch, it could be a problem. The misalignment can put a lot of stress on a clutch. The strut could be rubbing the tire, check the size of the tire with the recommended sizes on the door pillar. See if a plastic bag has been welded to the catalytic converter. Check the radiator for debris covering it. See if your parking brake is really easy to pull up if you have a lever. If it is, the cable may be stuck.