Q: Strange new smell - 2001 Toyota RAV4

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Just had fuel line replaced; had been chewed completely through by a rat while inside garage. Car was towed after I smelled gasoline after I started car and saw gas on garage floor. Just got car back. Was told electrical system showed no damage. There is now a strong smell, like burnt rubber or plastic that I noticed while driving home. Smell inside garage since car was parked is VERY strong. I don't see any leakage of fluids on garage floor. Temperature gauge while driving was fine. Radiator and hoses were just replaced a couple months ago due to hoses had just started to crack. No engine overheating or damage had occurred. What could this smell be? If it persists will return to dealer on Monday to have it checked.

My car has 177000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. Trying to diagnose a smell remotely is very difficult as it’s hard to describe what something smells like. However, in some cases, when a vehicle is stored, excessive dust or, if in moist areas, mold or fungus can collect on engine components. As the vehicle is driven, this will burn off exhaust or other hot engine parts and cause an odd smell to occur. This is more common inside interior heater and cooling vents.

The best way to know for certain is to have a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home or office to determine the source of the smell and suggest the needed repairs.

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