Why Does My Car Smells Hot but Not Overheating?

Check the coolant level. If it’s low, add more coolant and see if that helps. If so, great. You’re all set. If not, move on to checking your thermostat. If your car is overheating but not smelling like it’s overheating, then your problem is probably that your thermostat is stuck open or closed.

Remove the radiator cap and check the coolant level; add more if necessary. Disconnect the hose from the thermostat housing and check for air bubbles coming out of it if there are no air bubbles coming out of it and no coolant flowing through it, then you need a new thermostat housing or a new thermostat.

The smell is coming from the engine

The smell is coming from the engine. It’s a chemical reaction that happens when your engine overheats and cools down. The smell is usually caused by the evaporation of coolant that has leaked into the engine block.

When this happens, the coolant mixes with oil and dirt inside the engine, causing a greasy sludge to form. The sludge can then evaporate as it cools down, leaving behind a burnt odor.

The heat is making the smell worse

The smell is just the result of the heat, which is making it worse. If you’ve got a hot car that’s not overheating, chances are good that there’s nothing wrong with your engine. It may sound like a weird thing to say, but if your car smells hot but isn’t overheating, it’s probably just because the heat makes the smell worse.

If it does start to overheat, though, pull over and turn off the engine immediately. That’ll probably clear up some of the smell.

The heat is causing the rubber to dry out and crack

If your car smells like it’s hot but not overheating, it could be that the rubber is drying out and cracking. The heat causes the rubber to dry out, which causes it to crack. The cracks allow more air into the system, which increases pressure and makes the engine run hotter.

Because of this, you need to check all of your hoses and belts to make sure they’re not cracked or frayed if they are, you’ll need to replace them before they burst open and cause other damage.

The smell has been getting worse as time goes by

The smell has been getting worse as time goes by. It’s like an old car smell, but not exactly. It’s almost like a burnt smell, but less intense. It doesn’t smell like burning oil or anything like that. And it’s not getting worse in terms of temperature you don’t think it would overheat if YOU drove it for long enough.

How can you tell if your car is overheating?

Check the temperature gauge in your car. If it’s moving into the red zone and staying there for more than a few minutes, it means your car is overheating. If it goes into the red zone for just a second or two and then drops back down again quickly, then your car has probably just run through some hot water or steam which can happen if you drive through a steamy field or park in front of a fire hydrant.

If you don’t see any steam coming from under your hood and the temperature gauge doesn’t stay in the red zone for more than a few minutes, then chances are good that your smell isn’t related to overheating at all! It could be something like burning oil inside the engine (which is normal), or it could be something like dirty air filters or even mildewed interior surfaces.


The reason your car smells hot but is not overheating is that the radiator fan is not working. If you want to fix this problem, you need to replace the fan. If you don’t, your car will continue to overheat and cause damage.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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