The Source of the Stink

auto smells - car full of pizzaIf you own a car, you’re probably used to a lot of smells. Some smells – like the distinctive smell of a new car or the crisp, refreshing scent of air freshener – are pleasant. Others – like the stale smell of summer heat or the lingering scent of wet dog – are less appealing. But there are a handful of car scents that double as warnings. These smells tell you more than “you need to stop by the carwash,” or “it’s time to toss the trash.” If you smell one of these six odors in your car, it’s time to get it checked by an auto care professional.

  1. Hot oil. If you smell hot oil in the cab, there may be a leak in the exhaust system. Check the pavement beneath your car for oil and watch for smoke issuing from the engine.
  2. Gasoline. Some people love the smell of gasoline, some people hate it. But regardless, if you smell it in the car it’s probably warning you of a dangerous gas leak in the fuel tank or fuel injector line.
  3. Syrup. If you smell something sickly sweet in the cab of your car, you may have a coolant leak.
  4. Burnt carpet. The scent of burning carpet is a warning that your breaks might be faulty. The loss of breaks is a serious road hazard. If you smell burnt carpet in your car, have the breaks checked immediately.
  5. Burning rubber. If you smell rubber after peeling out of a parking lot, you should probably revisit a drivers’ safety course. If you smell it during a normal drive, it may mean your engine has slipping drive belts or loose hoses.
  6. Rotten eggs. No one likes the putrid smell of rotten eggs; but the smell isn’t just unpleasant, it’s an important warning that something is going wrong in the exhaust’s catalytic converter.

Do you have a bad smell lingering in your car that’s not a sign of imminent engine trouble? Visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for a full interior auto wash.

photo from flickr

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