What’s That Smell? 5 Vehicle Warning Signs

What’s That Smell? 5 Vehicle Warning Signs

If you buy a new car, you expect it to have a new car smell. While that smell is a very pleasant one, far less agreeable smells can accompany a car that you’ve been driving for awhile. Although vehicle smells are often written off as minor inconveniences, ignoring this type of sign can be a big mistake. The reason is a noticeable smell coming from any part of your car is generally a sign of something that’s not right.

Even if the smell isn’t overpowering, it can indicate a problem that’s only going to get worse. Because car smells can indicate a variety of issues, we want to shed some light on five of the most common warning signs:

Burnt Rubber

Smelling burnt rubber? The two most common causes are misplaced loose hoses or slipping drive belts. Although it’s always best to have this type of issue looked at by a professional, if for any reason you want to inspect it for yourself, be sure to let the engine compartment fully cool before reaching inside.

Hot Oil

This smell is generally caused by oil leaking onto a vehicle’s exhaust system. If you think you’re smelling burnt oil and want to confirm that’s the problem, the easiest way is to check for oil that has spilled on to the pavement.


Unless you’re at a gas station filling up, there shouldn’t be any normal reason that you smell this substance. If you do, it means there’s an issue with a component like the fuel injector line. Since leaking fuel can be a fire hazard, don’t wait to get this problem checked out by a professional.

Burning Carpet

Although this isn’t something you’d expect to smell when you’re driving, it does happen. And when this smell arises, it means there’s a problem with the brakes. Because brake trouble can put you in danger, it’s important to get your vehicle in for a service appointment right away.

Rotten Eggs

No one ever has a desire to smell rotten eggs. Unfortunately, this smell is even worse when it’s associated with a vehicle. The most common reason for this smell is when a catalytic converter fails to properly convert hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide. Because the smell is often a sign of an impending catalytic converter implosion, don’t put off getting this problem checked out.

The best way to figure out exactly what’s causing a specific smell is to have your vehicle looked at by a certified mechanic. By opting for service you can trust, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong and fix the problem for the best possible price. So if you have an issue with a smell in your car now or in the future, contact us for prompt and trustworthy service.

July 1, 2015
BY Joe Hawk