Hello - Lately I have smelled a “hot” smell when I get out of the car. The temperature gauge is not running hot nor do I see any spills. What could possibly be the cause
It is summer, and the block gets hot when you drive. But what I understand by your very limited post is that this is a new condition. Open the hood, and look for a small oil leak say from the valve cover. It wont be large enough to put a puddle on the ground, or much affect the oil consumpiton, but a drop on or around the exhaust manifold is all it takes to create a new car aroma, er, not a newcar aroma, but an aroma that is new to your car. by the way, it could be some other fluid leak too, such as coolant or something, so look with care.
'nuther thought, the catalytic converter is the hottest thing on your car, it could also be the source of this smell.
Carefully touch your wheels and see if one is hotter than the others. You might have a slightly dragging brake.
Also, follow Ignoramus’ advice. Oil being pushed past tired valvecover gaskets and dripping onto a hot exhaust is not uncommon. The coolant leak he suggested as a possibility would not be uncommon either.
Since there is not much detail to go on, there are many possibilities.
One possibility not yet listed is that a plastic bag could have blown under your car and hit some part of the exhaust. It could take a few days for it to burn completely off.
I just had he catalytic converter replaced about 4 months ago - what could be the potential problem?
Another possibility is a leaking oil pressure sending unit. It’s easy to miss and a fairly rare event.