Sniffing for clues

by Nathan Michael - Posted 1 year ago

Sniffing for clues

Some car smells are welcome, such as the scent of your leather seats or a clean new car smell. Plenty of other odors can offend your nostrils and cause you to worry about impending doom. Use those smells as clues to figure out what might be wrong with your car.

·         A maple syrup odor is a sign that coolant is leaking somewhere. This usually becomes apparent once the car has been running for a bit and the engine is nice and warmed up. Your mechanic should be able to locate the source. It could be your radiator cap or the radiator itself leaking.

·         Smelling something akin to carpet burning after you’ve been driving a while is never pleasant or a good sign. Think back to your recent driving and you will probably recall frequent or heavy braking. Chances are you have a brake pad that’s stuck or just overheating.

·         A strong gasoline odor is another unwelcome one, especially when you’ve not been anywhere near a gas station in the last day or so. You may experience this when the car has been parked for a bit in warmer weather. Have your fuel injection system checked to see if there’s a leak.

·         A rotten egg or sulfur odor is not only unpleasant to the nose, it can be a sign of expensive things to come. Some gasoline has tiny amounts of sulfur in it, but it shouldn’t be apparent to you if your car is functioning properly. Let a mechanic in on the smell first hand and he should be able to pinpoint the cause.

Bottom line with any unusual smell coming from your car: get it to a mechanic to figure out the source. Trust your nose to know when something is wrong.