Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I have a strong burnt metal smell.

asked by on

Got off the highway, and as I stopped I could smell strong burning metal smell. (Jb weld smell) the engine was running fine, no lights came on, heat temp was normal, rpms were normal. Pulled off got out, you can not smell the burning smell but not in one certain area (tires, engine), but could smell it in general. Waited 30 minutes started it again, there is now a weird sound almost rattling, but not loud. Within minutes the smell was back through the heat ducks. Checked the oil, and it seemed normal. Went around the block breaks are fine, and car seems to run fine,minus the new rattle sound/smell. Background- Noticed a pulling to the right 1 month ago. Since then tires were balanced, and aligned. New winter tires were put on, a bushing, and sway bar has been replaced. Since the alignment the car still pulls to the right.
My car has a manual transmission.

Most of the time, bad smells indicate leaks. Oil, coolant, or brake fluid can leak onto hot surfaces and cause some really potent eye burning type smells. But in your case, I’m suspicious of the brakes. If you have a brake caliper that is sticking, it can cause the car to pull in the direction of the bad caliper. It will also cause the brake lining to overheat and produce a really acrid smell as the binders in the lining burn off. You can check for this if you have a non-contact thermometer. Drive the car for a while and then check the temperature of the front wheels. One of them might be hot. If you want some help with this, you can Contact Your Mechanic. They can send a technician to your home or office to check out your bad smell and tell you what it means and what can be done about it.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine and electrical system pulsating

Hello, Quite often, electrical system surges are caused by damage to relay components. If the fuel pump or ignition system relay is damaged, it may cause the engine RPM to rise and fall or cause the pulsating symptoms you're experiencing....

Q: My car has a fuel smell inside after putting gas in it

This is likely an evaporation emissions system leak. All modern cars are equipped with an Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and...

Q: Buying a car--2016 Camry V6 with 6-speed auto vs. Accord 6 with the CVT

Yes it is true. I'd go for the Camry by far. Those 6-speed autos are tried-and-trusted transmissions. They can last a really long time. For Hondas, it has always had problems with the automatic transmissions and the CVTs are even...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.