5 Car Smells To Watch For and What They Mean

Uh oh. If your car is suddenly putting off an unusual odor, it could be a sign of troubles to come. Here are five smells you’ll want to watch out for and what they most likely mean.

Your car smells like bad eggs

The gas your car uses contains a very small amount of sulfur, which is then converted into a by-product that makes this nasty smell. Typically, your car’s catalytic converter helps to make this by-product odorless, which is why this smell’s sudden appearance is a warning sign. You will likely need to replace the converter and should see a mechanic ASAP for a diagnostic.

Exhaust smells coming from inside the car

Exhaust fumes are dangerous and need to be taken care of right away! This smell could mean that your door or window seal is failing, but it could also mean that your exhaust system is leaking into the vehicle. This can quickly turn deadly and should be taken seriously. Open the windows right away and keep them open while driving to the repair shop.

Musty smells in your air conditioning vents

Moisture is never good inside a home or vehicle, and it almost always means mold is growing. This happens when water pools someplace, and the resulting mold can cause serious respiratory issues if you continue to breathe it in.

A burning rubber type of smell

The smell of burning rubber is never good, and it could be a hint that something important under the hood, such as a hose or a belt, has come loose. This could mean that it is resting against a hot part of the engine, creating the smell in question. Sometimes it can also indicate that a belt has worn out. In either case, you’ll want to get it checked out before more damage occurs.

Burning paper smell

If you smell burning paper while driving, it’s a sign that your clutch facing is getting eaten up. In many cases, this is due to poor driving practices causing damaging friction. Unfortunately, once this happens, you’ll likely need to replace it.

A sweet smell, like syrup

While a sweet smell may not raise alarm bells, it should. What you’re smelling is actually your coolant leaking out. This could indicate a leak in your radiator or a hose and needs attention immediately. You should also be careful, as pets are attracted to the sweet smell and may poison themselves trying to drink leaking coolant.

In short, any unusual smells coming from your car should be checked out by a professional.

Photo by Daniil Dubov from getty images via Canva Pro

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