When I drive in the morning, after I've been sitting in traffic for a while, I smell burning plastic, and sometime see a slight plume of white smoke coming in from the steering column. This doesn't happen all of the time but it is a concern. What could be causing it?
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Re: Smell of Burning Plastic
You could have a short in the wire harness that runs up your steering column. i would check under the dash for worn,frayed or burnt wires immediately. you have a great potential for an electrical fire. good luck. please rate this solution
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Are you loosing radiator fluid. sometimes the heater core will rupture and you will smell burn odor. also check for strange rubbing sounds or screeching coming from the blower fan motor. or engine exhaust manifolds are hot when car is on, make sure nothing is leaning on them which will cause a burn odor. Any odor coming from outside will find it's way inside through the fresh air vents.
Hehe...Well, unfortunately without smelling it, or looking at the vehicle, there's not much I can do for you here. Check underneath for oil leaks getting onto the hot exhaust, or maybe a plastic bag stuck to exhaust, etc. Good luck.
TAKE IT BACK RIGHT AWAY. if im correct switch i mite not be but i think that year ford owned jag. ford transmissions are known for having bad cooling system(over heating) for the trans causing bad vavle boxs in the trans causing that buring smell. you do not want to pick up that cost out of pocket. i did:(
If the smell is like burning oil or really hot coolant. you may have killed the motor. If it smells like burning plastic ,look for shorthing wires around the exhaust manifold battery, alternator or place that a wire could be burnt. If a rubber smell check for belt failure.
You will need to check where the liquid is coming from, It may be anything from Air Con, Fuel, Transmission Fluid etc..
The fact you smell burning plastic could be 3 things..
1, Brake pads could smell and burn down if they are on too tight (Had this problem with a trailer). Hence when you apply the brakes it could be squirting brake fluid out due to too much pressure. - Check brake fluid
2, If the smell and liquid is inside the car (front pass side) it could be the air ducts. Under the dashboard you have air ducts etc for the fans and in car cooling (brother had issue with this)
3, Whatever the fluid is, it could possibly drip onto something hot, unusual for liquid to smell like plastic though, Auto transmission oil smells like fish.
Best bet would be the brakes. Next time you smell it just smell in the wheel mag and see if you can smell it, check the engine fluids often and dont use A/C (Air Con) as that does drip fluid (normal). If it is the brakes smelling you will need to have the lines bled out, tyre places may be able to do this, and possibly new brake pads