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Vehicle Odors: Five Signs of Wear and Tear to Be Wary Of

When having a car inspection and maintenance, it’s easy to rely on the visible signs of wear and tear. Drivers simply have to be on the lookout for visual damage such as dents and scratches, flat tires, and broken wiring. Also, they simply have to test the vehicle’s functionality and overall performance by driving.

However, it’s essential for drivers not to ignore foul odors emanating from their cars. Sure, most vehicles are manufactured with a “new-car smell.” But over time, they can unleash certain odors due to constant use and abuse. That’s not a problem, as they can simply clean out their cars and install air fresheners for vehicles.

However, certain vehicle odors must not be taken for granted. These peculiar smells are notable signs of wear and tear that must be quickly addressed and fixed. Unless they own an AI-simulated car with a sense of smell, drivers need not worry about detecting and identifying vehicle odors.

That said, follow the Car Care Council’s recommended sniff test and be wary of these warning signs below:

Be wary of these five vehicle odors

  • Burning Odor: Burning odors must not be taken for granted as they are strong signs of car problems. For one, a burnt oil smell is a sign of overheating petrol or diesel engine. It indicates you’re running out of engine oil as well. Also, a burnt paper odor means the paper-based clutch facing is burning off. This usually happens when you’re stepping on the pedal more often, causing friction, creating heat, and burning the clutch facing. Lastly, a burnt carpet smell indicates overheated brake pads after extensive use. It can also mean that you’ve left the hand brake on. That said, be sure to attend to this burning odor right away.
  • Gas Fume: Sure, smelling gasoline in a vehicle is normal, especially during and after filling the fuel tank. However, you must be wary of the gas fume if you constantly smell it emanating from your vehicle. This can be a sign of a gas leak, particularly in the fuel injector line or the fuel tank. When confronted with this problem, get your vehicle immediately checked and fixed. You don’t want to light a cigarette and start a fire. For safety issues, get your car inspected right away.

brown eggs

  • Rotten Egg: Smelling rotten eggs can be disgusting; smelling a similar odor in your own car can be concerning. The smell is especially present every time you start your engine, which indicates you have a worn-out catalytic converter. This can be caused by an engine or emission problem causing its overheating. It is actually the additional heat that’s causing the rotten smell. Hence, get your converter checked and fixed.
  • Musty Smell: You may be familiar with the smell of mold and mildew, especially in damp areas of your house. But if you start smelling a musty odor in your car, you better not take this for granted. Chances are, you have mold or mildew in your air conditioning unit. You’ll usually notice this smell once you turn on your cooling system inside your car. When faced with this problem, you have no other choice but to get your AC unit professionally cleaned and maintained.
  • Maple Syrup: While this sounds (or rather smell) fragrant, this maple syrup odor must not be neglected at all. Why? It means that your coolant with ethylene glycol is leaking from the radiator or cylinder head. Also, it can indicate that you have a failed intake manifold gasket. Lastly, a strong smell inside your car means a problem with the heater core. Therefore, you need an auto mechanic for professional inspection and repair.

Get a vehicle repair and maintenance

It’s one thing to have an olfactory inspection of your vehicle. It’s another to get vehicle maintenance and repair. As soon as you smell the warning odors mentioned above, have a petrol or diesel car repair right away. Bring your car to an auto mechanic shop and have a car professional inspect your vehicle, identify the odor, and fix the problem immediately. The last thing you want to happen is for minor issues to escalate into bigger ones.

Wrapping up

At this point, you now know what vehicle odors to observe and inspect. As discussed above, be wary of burning odors, gas fume, rotten egg, musty smell, and maple syrup. Be sure to have a professional auto mechanic repair your vehicle. All these steps will ensure your vehicle will be in top shape and working condition. Ultimately, your car will last for as long as possible.

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