Taking care of your car on a regular basis is the best thing you can do. Although standard routine service is designed to keep your BMW i3 running smoothly over time, some unexpected breakdowns can add heavily to your annual car budget. In this article we’re going to talk about your sense of smell, and the clues it can give you about a possible malfunction, that’s why our team has written this content to help you in the event that you identify a burnt plastic smell coming from your BMW i3 . To help you verify that it is nothing significant, first we will detail the different things that can generate a burnt plastic smell on your car, then, in a second step, how to find the origin of this burnt plastic smell on your BMW i3? .


The different possible roots and risks of smell of burnt plastic on a BMW i3

So we commence our article content with the different possible roots of burnt plastic smell on a BMW i3 . In general, noticing a plastic or rubber smell is never a good signal. Obviously, modern cars are full of it and it could be the sign of a critical malfunction. Below we will review the different possible origins of burnt plastic smell:

  • Transmission oil: This is the main possible origin of such an odor. Obviously, the objective of gear or transmission oil is to lubricate the different components of your gearbox so that all the gears and pinions are not broken, it as well has a second objective as a temperature regulator. Nevertheless, with time, the oil will lose its efficiency and will not lubricate the auto parts and regulate the temperature as well, which will trigger the oil to overheat and thus give off that burnt plastic smell on your BMW i3. You risk pre-wearing your gearbox if you don’t take care of it.
  • The accessory belt: Although rarer, it is possible with wear and tear that your belt, which is mainly done of rubber, will deteriorate and no longer rotate totally on its axis. With the friction that this will trigger the plastic will heat up and burn out, this reaction will generate a strong smell of burnt plastic or rubber in the engine unit block of your BMW i3.
  • Defective hose wear: This case occurs especially on BMW i3 that are starting to get a few years old or that have stayed a long time without rolling. In reality, storing your car contrary to what you might think will trigger the plastic auto parts to wear out more quickly. Hoses are the first to be affected by this phenomenon. The rubber will disintegrate little by little and with the rise in heat of the fluid that circulates in it, it may possibly melt. The risk of this problem is the breakage of the accessory belt.
  • A body component: Less basic, especially present on BMW i3’s that have suffered a small shock. Following a front or rear impact, wheel arches, bumpers or other plastic body auto parts that may possibly have been bent may possibly rub against one of your wheels and give off that burnt plastic smell. This may as well pre-wear out your tyres.

How to find out where the smell of burning plastic comes from on a BMW i3?

And now, to finish our content, we’re going to try to help you find the origin of the smell of burnt plastic on your BMW i3 . Now that you know the different possible roots of this smell, we’ll just have to do some checks to get rid of the tracks that don’t concern you and solve your issue quickly. If your BMW i3 smells hot, don’t think twice to read our content on this topic.

  • Transmission oil: Nothing could be easier, open your transmission oil cap (when cold) and verify that your oil is reddish in colour and fluid enough. If you discover debris inside, and it is darker, it’s time to change it. Do not think twice to consult our content to find out how to change the gearbox oil on a BMW i3.
  • Accessory Belt: Visually check that your accessory belt is not in poor condition, it may possibly also produce a whistling sound if it is in poor condition. Do not think twice to change it.
  • Hoses: For hoses, you will need to visually verify all your hoses to discover if any are frayed or melted. If this is the case, replace them.
  • Body auto parts: Last but not least, the last element that can trigger the smell of plastic or burnt rubber on your BMW i3, a body component, verify all wheel arches, that no component rubs against

    If you want more tutorials on the BMW i3, go to our BMW i3 category.