Nine Common Car Odors

9 Common Car Odors to Be Aware of


No one knows your car better than you do. Every little rattle, ping or squeak - you hear it, diagnose it, fix it or get it fixed. Along with knowing the sounds that indicate something might be wrong with your rig, you should be aware of the different odors and smells that waft up from the engine or emanate from the air conditioner vent. They could be telling you that you have a potentially dangerous problem.


1. Moldy Dust
That's how some people describe the smell of mildew and mold that has started to grow inside the A/C evaporator. Changing your car's cabin air filter could be a first step to solving this putrid problem.


2. Sweet and Syrupy
If you smell something sugary and sweet, it might be engine coolant leaking from the radiator, hose or some other component of your cooling system.
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3. Sulfur and Rotten Eggs
"Why does my car smell like rotten eggs when I accelerate?" is a question we sometimes get here at Rick's Camaro. If your engine is running poorly, your catalytic converter will have trouble converting hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide. This could lead to the failure of your catalytic converter.
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A rotten egg smell could be the result of problems with the car's battery. This can occur with a battery charger. Is the rotten egg smell from a battery dangerous? It could be because the hydrogen sulfide causing the smell can be explosive and poisonous. A sulfur smell in car batteries is worth checking out to ensure your charger is working correctly.


4. Gasoline
"Why does my car smell like gasoline?" is another question we often hear at Rick's. If your car smells like gas, it should set off alarm bells. This is a possible sign of a potential fire hazard. A gas leak may be occurring from the fuel tank or a fuel injector line. A gas smell requires immediate attention.
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5. Burned Carpet
If you are driving along and suddenly smell something similar to the smell of burned carpeting, it may be a sign you are having serious brake trouble. Get your brakes checked immediately.
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6. Burning Newsprint
This smell, similar to setting an old newspaper on fire, is usually the result of friction material slowly being burned off when your clutch starts to fail and slip.
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7. Burning Rubber
The smell of burning rubber can often be traced to moving parts. Hoses and belt drives can slip. When they do, they often end up rubbing against moving parts, such as drive pulleys. Take a peek under the hood and see what's happening.
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8. Hot Motor Oil
Burning oil smell is often the result of oil that has leaked onto the exhaust system. This is frequently accompanied by the tell-tale smoke coming off the engine and oil stains on the pavement under your vehicle.


9. Simply Disgusting
Nothing to be worried about, we assure you. Your stomach may turn, your eyes may burn, but it's really just because you dropped some food on your last grocery trip, and it rolled under the seat. Take a look under the seats and in the back and hunt for that elusive rotting head of lettuce. In a pinch, baking soda or even tea bags can make good odor absorbers. A little shot of odor eliminator for cars will help clear that up. The best odor eliminators act like deodorizers for your car, just like a good deodorant can mask a serious case of body odor.
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Whatever that smell is, there is one thing that's most important to focus on - your safety. Take the time to investigate the problem or get a professional to check it out for you as soon as possible. Your car may be important, but the health and safety of you and your passengers should be your primary concerns. We recommend you share this article with your fellow car enthusiasts so they can better protect their lives and property.