Edmunds Answers



  • sandman235 02/29/08 7:26 am PST

    as long as the fluids are fine and the engine is not overheating I wouldn't worry about it too much. Keep your eye (or nose) on it and if it seems to be hot then check the coolent temp with a gauge, I have an infrared gun that I use. The smell could possibly be oil or coolent leaking on the exhaust system some where and burning up.

  • kiawah 02/29/08 10:48 am PST

    I usually take the attitude where there is smoke, there is fire.

    If you now have an uncommon smell, then you are right to be at least slightly concerned....until you figure out what the problem is.

    You should be looking at your coolant. Look for oily substance in the radiator (only open when it is cool), and the radiator should be filled with no air. Oily substance would indiate a potential blown headgasket. If you have air in the radiator, then you could have a leak in the overflow tubing, a problem with your radiator cap, or again a head gasket problem.

    Check to be sure your oil is clean, not milky, and not overfilled. Milky would indicate water in the oil, overfilled would indicate that liquid getting into the oil crankcase.

    A head gasket problem is very serious, as coolant that gets into your oil will ruin your engine bearings, and will be extremely expensive to fix.

    You should also make sure your radiator fans are turning on as appropriate, you may have a fan motor, a sensor, or relay problem if they aren't.

    Do you know what an overheated front disc brake smells like? If you have a sticking brake caliper you'll smell burning brakes and the wheel will be very hot.

  • wern10 04/13/08 11:18 am PST

    you need to get your vehicle to a shop that has a xternal thermomter that they can verify your actual temp.the gauges are there as a reference and they do fail,if it smells hot then 9 times outa 10 it is hot,trust your own judgement you dont need a repair bill in the 1000's of dollars if you can prevent it,most shops wont even charge to verify the temp reading.the temp lite comes if the gauge pegs out hot, if you have a gauge problem your lite will malfuncon to.you have every rite to be worried.I dont like paying for something thats avoidable.so trust your gut,if it smells hot it is probly hot.it only takes a couple of seconds for a garagecheck your temp.hope i caught you in time.....


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