Spill something in your car—say, coffee or soup—and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s causing any strange scents. But if the origin of an odd odor isn’t clear, chances are it’s coming from the engine—and it’s not a good sign.

In some situations, you can fix this on your own. In others, you must stop the car immediately and bring it to the nearest garage while the burning smell coming from the car happens. But how can you distinguish each case? Here’s what could have possibly happened to your car if your car smells like burning.

Burning Plastic Smell in Car

The smell of plastic burning, it usually occurs after starting the heater or fan in the car. This burning smell coming from the car phenomenon is related to some parts such as fans, resistors, or some other high-temperature electronic devices.

#1. The smell from The Heater

If all the above parts are working perfectly, check the heater if you smell something burning. There could be dust accumulation in the system if you haven’t used the heater for long. But if the burning smell from the car still presents even after you use the heater regularly, then you may have particles or some debris clogging the vent.

People often find plastic bags and other objects stuck in the engine, causing the frustrating issue that car smells like burning plastic. However, maybe the heater itself is broken and the antifreeze is leaking into the vents. This could also cause the smell. Worse still, some part of the heater could be broken or have melted to cause the smell. It usually happens with the heater’s motor. If the smell gets stronger and you find no debris stuck to the vent, immediately take your car to the mechanic. Get the heater checked along with other suspected parts.

Solution: Air filters cleaned or replaced if any. Using the anti-bacteria products for the vents and checking the heater, fuel lines for any leakages.

#2. Electrical Short problem

A major cause of the burning smell from cars is the electrical short circuit in the engine. The plastic coating on wires, fuses or other connections may produce the smell. So the smell would be similar to the burning plastic smell in a car.

Solution: All you need to do is to fix the electrical system to avoid major problems running the car. Also, you need to connect your car to the computer system that would help you to identify the problem of electrical. In this case, a technician would be perfect for you.

If you have more questions about why your engine smells like burning plastic, give us a call at Advanced Auto Care -vista to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians.