Everyone knows…and probably longs for…that “new car smell” in a vehicle of their own. But some time after the new car smell fades…other vehicle odors that are less pleasing and more unexpected may rear their ugly heads as possible warning signs. Learning to identify these suspicious odors in advance…will help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.
“Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
Learn how to perform a simple sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:
6. Gasoline – likely means a gas leak in some area of the vehicle…like a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any hint of fuel odor can result in a potential fire hazard, obviously a warning that should never be ignored or even delayed investigating.
5. Syrupy Sweet smell – often an indicator that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. NEVER open the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
4. Burning Carpet smell – could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.
3. Rotten Eggs – is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.
Moral of the story: strange & stinky odors probably smell bad for a reason…DON’T IGNORE THEM. A trusted professional service technician is always the best bet for getting an accurate diagnosis on what’s causing your vehicle’s unusual odor.