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Ladies Auto Know…What’s That Smell?

Most vehicles may start out with a wonderful “new car smell,” but there are other odors that drivers definitely shouldn’t ignore. Knowing and identifying these smells early on can help vehicle owners and their technicians to pinpoint maintenance issues early on.

Smell-Test-BCCA1-219x300“Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for you 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 of the Car Care Council.

As strange as this may sound, I recommend a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

  1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accesory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.
  2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.
  3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.
  4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot!
  5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during otherwise normal driving conditions.
  6. The smell of 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 be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

This article should not be used as means of self-diagnostics. When you smell any sort of peculiar odor, you should definitely make an appointment here at Linear Automotive right away and have one of our experienced ASE certified technicians check out the problem. This could actually help to avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown.

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