• Professional Automotive Working HoursMon - Fri: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Professional Automotive Address19 Mechanic St,
    Marlborough, Ma 01752
  • Contact Professional Automotive(508) 485-8633

If you smell burning rubber while driving your BMW, the first thing you should do is find a safe spot and STOP. Let the engine cool down first, and then check under the hood only if you feel comfortable. Otherwise, get help. Safety First!

Burning rubber or any burnt smell can indicate a number of different things, the worst of which could be an engine fire due to some mechanical or electrical issue. However, the most common reason for a burnt rubber smell is due to worn brake pads or stuck calipers. There are other reasons for a burnt smell also. We will list and explain below, and at Professional Automotive, we can certainly help you with any of these problems.

  • Worn Brake Pads: Worn-out brake pads, which have been overused and not maintained properly, can create intense heat from friction and emit burnt rubber smells.
  • Stuck Brake Caliper: The same thing happens when your hydraulic brake calipers are stuck and cause excessive friction and heat. It smells like burning rubber.
  • Excessive Braking: If you are in the habit of doing jackrabbit starts and stops, not only are you putting undue pressure on your engine and losing fuel economy, but in addition, the aggressive braking creates acute stress on the brakes. This causes the brakes to overheat and give off an odor like burnt rubber.
  • Clutch Problems: In a manual transmission beamer, if you ride your clutch too much, which happens in stop-and-go, slow-moving traffic, you will wear out your clutch plate. At this point you will start to notice your clutch is slipping and you’re having difficulty changing gears. You will also smell burning rubber. Trained professionals such as us at Professional Automotive can check this out for you.
  • Engine Oil Leak: There are many extremely hot surfaces inside your car, like the exhaust pipes and intake manifolds to name a couple. If engine oil leaks onto these hot surfaces, it may give off a smell similar to burnt tires. Leaking engine oil doesn’t necessarily mean your Beemer has a cracked oil pan, leaky gasket or joint, or a faulty crankshaft seal. It could just be that you had an oil change recently, and there’s some remnant of oil on the sides, or perhaps the plug was improperly fitted. In any case, you can only be sure whether the problem is serious or not by bringing your BMW over to us for a check under the hood.
  • Coolant and Fluid Leaks: Your BMW has several different types of fluids that cool off the entire mechanical system of your car. If any of these fluids leak and touch a hot engine part, it can give off an offensive odor, quite often resembling burning rubber.
  • Hoses, Belts, or Gaskets Heating: There are so many plastic and rubber pieces inside your engine system; for example, the drive belt is usually made of rubber. If any of these were to become loose or dislodged and touch the hot surface of the engine components, it can create a burning rubber-like smell.
  • Electrical Issues: Similarly, all the electric wiring inside your BMW, which is usually made of plastic, can overheat and melt or get loose and knocked out of place, and come in contact with a hot surface and melt. When this happens, you may detect a burning rubber smell.
  • Engine Debris: Sometimes, it’s inevitable your car may pull in road debris into your engine bay. Something apparently as innocuous as a plastic bag can get stuck to a hot component. As it starts to melt it’ll emanate a burning rubber odor.
  • Exhaust System Leak: An exhaust leak happens when the catalytic converter is not functioning optimally. This is the component that filters out the harmful emissions of your car. This smell may or may not be like burning rubber. Most often, it smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. Whatever the smell, it is vital that you have your Bimmer inspected so that you avoid any further issues.
  • Wheels and Tires: Finally, the part of your car that is actually made of rubber can certainly be the offending agent and create burning rubber-like odors. Misaligned tires, incorrect tire pressure—especially over inflation—have a negative effect. If you are gunning your car, the tires will cause more friction against the asphalt, overheat, and burn rubber. Also, if you’ve had a tire burn out, you’ll certainly smell burning rubber.

Stop in at Professional Automotive for Help

You should not ignore any unexpected smell BMW Worn Brake Pads coming from your BMW. The smell of burning rubber can be the precursor to some serious problems. Therefore, it is best that you have your BMW inspected quickly and thoroughly by professionally trained mechanics and technicians. We at Professional Automotive in Marlborough, Massachusetts are here to help. Stop by or call us.