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Burning smell


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Hi, I need some advice of you lovely people please. I've got a 1.6 sport ka about a year ago and after about a week of wondering why the heater wasn't working it turns out the thermostat had gone (common issue i believe) when it went in to get repaired I was told that someone had done a bodge job on it and rounded off 1 of the screws so the mechanic was unable to do a compete repair he replaced the thermostat and sealed it with some sealant. Anyway since then the heater works really well but from the front grill (mainly on the left) I can smell like a  burning smell...maybe oil I don't know...there are no leaks I can see and it doesn't drip from underneath, no smoke from bonnet or exhaust and everything else seems ok & coolant level is still the same as when it got repaired...no overheating light either. it's just I'm planning a 600 mile trip and don't want to get down the road and it breaks down. Anyone got any suggestions of what it might be please....sorry for the long post but I'm trying to give full known details.

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Does it smell like burning oil or fabric or something else.

The type of smell can sometimes give you a pointer but it could be anything.

But i would always look at the last job done - sounds like the heater guy did a bum job and either drilled through something when he was i presume drilling the rounded screw out unless he was using a screw removal bit or not put something back properly - personally i wouldnt ever take my car back to any garage - i do all my own mechanics.
There isnt a single garage i know bar 1 which does a proper job without ripping you off - it seems to be the norm these days - the typical British workers attitude of 50% workmanship and 100% pay and we wonder why we are becoming the 3rd world of european workmanship! How very sad.

Ok rant over - why dont you lie under it while the engine is running and put it up on a ramp or jack with axle stands of course and try and locate the smell or fumes/smoke?

In my experience burning smells ae often to be found on the exhaust - oil drops on it or catalyst going bad!

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Thanks for replying, it does smell like oil burning. When the mechanic did the repair he said he didn't want to drill the screw out as it's located next to the manifold/head gasket...or something like that....to be honest I don't know. So he left that screw in a sealed it up with a sealant. So I guess it could be that, I think he may have mentioned something about the radiator being a temp repair too so maybe it needs a new rad????. Like I said tho it doesn't overheat, but it only gets driven about 20 miles so i don't know if it's something that would overheat badly after that length ... It all looks dry from the top and I regularly check underneath as my last car wrecked my drive with oil leaks. I like the car itself but I want to be able to trust it on the planned journey so I don't mind paying out on a few new parts so sort it as everything else on it seems ok. 

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Yeah it will be as the heating sucks air in and its obviously mixing with the fumes from the engine so that really is a false identifier imho

20 Mins is long enough for anything to overheat!

You could use a heat meter to check the hotspots in the car.

 I am just about to get one myself from eBay or amazon!


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