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Funny Smell after not driving car

I left town for 4 weeks and left my car in my driveway. Now when I drive, it smells like something is burning . . . maybe a burning rubber smell. It’s not terribly strong but enough to notice and worry me a little. It’s an '05 BMW so a service call would be more expensive than my student budget would like. Any ideas?

Have you tried opening the hood to make sure a critter hasn’t built a nest on the engine somewhere?


Look for an oil leak. Specifically, look for a place where oil can drip on hot exhaust parts and burn. Check the oil to make sure it is at a safe level.

Your student budget can’t afford a service visit, but you are driving around in a BMW? When is the last time this car was serviced? I have been seeing a lot of discussions about people who drive luxury cars but can’t afford either the expensive gas that is required or the expensive labor rates associated with properly maintaining the vehicle. If you can’t afford to maintain a luxury vehicle, don’t drive one. I think you should get an economical car you can afford to drive AND maintain.

Just Wild Guessing. Did You Leave With The Parking Brake Set ?

Are you smelling “hot brakes” ? I’m not sure what the climate is like where it was parked, but driving the car in wet or salty/wet winter conditions and then parking and setting the brake could possibly cause it to hang-up instead of release, one month later.

BMW’s typically have a bumper to bumper 4yr/50k warranty. If you are in it visit the dealer.

If you are out of warranty most decent independents can work on them. They really are not anything special mechanically or technically.

Yeah, I’d start by, you know, looking for something burning.