What’s That Smell?

Although some smells in your car can just be the leftovers you forgot to put in your refrigerator, other smells can be a sign that it’s time to take your car in to see a mechanic. Here are some smells to sniff for.

Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell

A sulfurous or rotten egg smell, especially if it’s a constant and especially strong, usually means there’s something wrong with your catalytic converter. The catalytic converter isn’t processing exhaust from the fuel properly. If you can smell something like sulfur, you need to get your vehicle into the shop.

Gasoline Smell

If you smell gas when you’re not at the pump, then you have a problem. You may have a gas leak, which can be costly and dangerous if not fixed, or you may have some other problem with your engine components that help your car to achieve suitable emissions. Either way, you need to take your vehicle in and get it checked out.

Sweet or Oily Smell

The coolant that used in automobiles has a very distinctive sweet smell. This often means that your heater is damaged. Check the carpet on the front passenger side of the car. If it’s wet, your heater core is leaking. If it’s dry, you should probably take your car in anyway and get everything checked out.

Burning Carpet Smell

If you come across a smell that reminds you of burning carpet, then you may want to have your brakes checked. You may have a dragging brake, which means that one or more brakes are slightly engaged while you’re driving. You may also notice this smell if you leave your emergency brake on. If your brakes are really bad or if you leave your emergency brake on, you should be able to hear your brakes as well as smell them.

Burning Rubber Smell

If you’re driving and you smell burning rubber, you should stop and check under the hood. Sometimes all that’s causing the smell is a loose belt or a hose that’s been pinched up against a hot part of the engine, but it may also mean that your belts are old or do not have the right amount of tension applied to them.

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