Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tire

Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tire: Causes And Solutions

Have you ever smelled something like burning rubber while driving? It may come from your car tires mainly though there are also some reasons for this. Since the tires are brand new, why does the burning rubber smell from the car tire?

There are several reasons for this smell. Notable among these is that the tires may have overheated or aggressive driving has been done. Tires can be misaligned or braking too hard. However, there are several other significant factors related to this topic that you need to know.

Today in this post, I will discuss most of its reasons with you and give you a simple solution. Hence, read the entire article carefully and come to the conclusion.

Problems And Causes Of Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tire

When the tires start producing a burning rubber-like smell assume there is something inappropriate happening to the tires. Let’s take a close look at the possible problems and why the problems occur.

OverheatingDue to harsh friction and road heat
OverpressureOverload the car
Scuffing Not ideal tire size or turning the car with pressing the brake hard
Inappropriate pressureUnaware about tire pressure
Problems And Causes Of Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tire

Possible Causes For Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tires With Solutions

You can notice the burning rubber smells coming from the car due to many reasons, but when you experience this wired smell from the car tires, you likely have a tire issue. In the following, I am going to cover every possible causes that are the culprit for this smell.

Overheating Tires

The first reason one or both of your tires smell like burnt rubber is overheating. Suppose you’ve been out in the hot sun and the road is overheated. This causes the tire to heat up a bit when it comes in contact with the road and the friction there.

Due to the friction between the tire and the road, more heat is generated and the small rubbers in the tire begin to burn. In this case, a burning smell starts coming from there.

Since the tire contains rubber material or is a rubber-like part, it is normal for it to smell like burning rubber.

Possible Solutions: When the problem is overheating or the tire heats up too quickly and the rubber melts, stop the car. After that, inspect the tire whether it’s overheated or melted the rubber. Then, try to leave the hot spot.

Also, try not to brake hard and suddenly when driving in summer. This will reduce friction and generate less heat which can eliminate this odor. If you notice the tires get flat and heated completely, change them immediately.

Overpressure Or Overload

The 2nd cause I have identified is overpressure for this issue. Let me clear the matter broadly. Each tire has a specific load capacity.

It is unlikely that the tire can handle more than this load, and even if it does, it could get punctured very quickly. This will increase tire and road friction.

And if the friction between the tire and the road increases, excess heat will be yielded on the surface of the tire and it will gradually melt. Thus, the moment the tire wears down and generates heat, this kind of awkward smell will be produced.

As a result, the tire will likely wear out very quickly and produce a burnt rubber smell.

Possible Solutions: As a solution, I will suggest you give less pressure on the tire.  Never exceed the limit given by the manufacturer. This will make your tires last longer and reduce surface friction with the road. And less friction means less heat, which will largely prevent such problems.

Tire Scrubbing And Scuffing

More and more tire scuffing is likely when you drive on pavement.  Also, this type of smell can also be found when the tire is scrubbed with something. Tire scuffing is usually caused by ill-fitting tires.

If you fit large or oversized tires with standard-sized rims, they can catch well against the wheel when you turn left and right.

Also, this can happen if you make a 180-degree angle turn. Scuffing can also be caused by unfavorable speeds, turning, and excess car weight.

Possible Solutions: As a solution, you should change the tire. Set tires that are compatible with the rims and the weight of the vehicle.  Also, flooding the pavement with water reduces the temperature a bit which reduces scuffing.

Inappropriate Tire Pressure

The wrong tire pressure is the fourth reason I would blame.  There are many who do not insist on proper tire pressure. This causes many problems, one of which is a burning smell like rubber. 

When a tire is overinflated, it wears down faster and usually has higher friction levels.  This may leave you smelling like burnt rubber.

Possible Solution: In this case, you must give proper pressure to the tire. 42 Psi pressure is considered standard by most. However, each tire has an indication of how much pressure it can take. According to this, it is enough to give pressure to the tire.

Having under-inflated tires

Low pressure also plays a role in producing a burning smell like rubber. When the tire pressure is below the minimum limit, its sidewall is more connected to the road. Since there is no tread block on the side panel, it heats up quickly.

And this is how the smell of burning rubber comes to the nose. When this is the problem, you should definitely inspect the sidewall first.

Then take a good look at the rubber around the tire. However, above all, you need to maintain proper tire pressure.

Related Questions:

Does The Stick Wheel Cylinder Cause A Burning Rubber Smell From The Car Tire?

When the wheel cylinder gets stuck, it’s possible to experience a burning rubber smell from the car tire, especially the rear tire. It happens due to having a drum brake option. The wheel cylinder gets stuck or blocked over time due to many reasons.

Also, you may notice smoke produced from the back tires due to constant friction. It then produces excessive heat and produces smell and smoke. In addition, there are many reason behinds why a car tire smell like burning rubber.

What Causes A Burning Smell From The Wheel Well?

There are plenty of reasons why burning smells come from the wheel well. It happens due to dragging the emergency brake hard when emergency, faulty pressure on brakes, or damaged wheel bearings.

Also, if the tire is flat, it is more likely to encounter burning smells coming from the wheel well. You need to check the wheel bearings as well because they also contribute to producing burning smells.

Is The Burning Rubber Smell From Car Tires Dangerous?

Not all times it could be dangerous. But in most cases, it would be dangerous. It depends on why the car tire produces burning rubber smells. If it happens due to inappropriate tire pressure or inappropriate tires, it could hazardous. So when you encounter this issue, get a qualified mechanic and let him check.


The tire is the most critical component that should be right while driving. Over time, you may notice a burning rubber smell coming from the tire, right?

Often, it can’t be figured out why a burning rubber smell from car tires happens. Hence, I covered a details discussion f the possible reasons with solutions.

I hope this guide helps you out next time when you encounter this issue. Don’t let your car unchecked when you get the smell. Try to0 solve the issue for a better driving experience.


Why Does My Car Smell Like Burning Rubber? (2019, August). DRIVING LIFE. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from https://drivinglife.net/car-smell-like-burning-rubber/

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