A few days ago, the engine temperature light came on in my 2015 Chevy Trax (31k mileage). I checked the coolant levels & they were low, so I added more coolant. Since then, there’s been a burnt plastic smell when I drive the car for more than 15 minutes. It’s mostly outside but sometimes you can smell it inside if I run the fun without a/c. Turning on the a/c made the smell go away. There are no leaks under the car, engine is not overheating & I checked the oil (it’s good). I don’t think I spilled a lot of coolant when I filled it (I used a funnel). I haven’t noticed any problems when driving?
The cause of the low coolant level needs to be fixed.
Coolant has sort of a sweet, chemical odor. Some folks might call that a burned plastic odor, so that’s one guess, either you spilled some coolant, or you got an unexplained coolant leak somewhere. If you can see the water pump, there’s usually a little hole on the top or underside, or both, called a weep hole. Near where the pulley connects. There shouldn’t be any liquid coolant coming out of that hole. If there is you need a new water pump.
Another possibility is the heater/AC blower fan (in the passenger compartment) is obstructed for some reason, loading down the motor and what you are smelling is the is the fan’s electrical insulation heating up and burning. Sometimes debris gets into the fan-cage area and causes that. If you have a passenger compartment air filter, double check that’s in good condition too.