Smells That Indicate Car Trouble

With everything we keep in our cars, from groceries to kids’ sports equipment to pet supplies and more, it’s not unusual to notice different smells there. But certain smells can be a sign of a problem. So what smells should you look out for, and what do they indicate? We’ve been doing this a long time, so let’s give this a quick rundown.

Does Your Car Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

If you notice a sulfur smell, similar to the smell of rotten eggs, in your car when the engine is running, it could be a sign of a problem with the car’s exhaust system. The smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust. Your car’s catalytic converter is supposed to convert the hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide, so what makes a car smell like rotten eggs is likely an issue with the catalytic converter. Driving with a faulty catalytic converter can be dangerous, so it’s important to get the car looked at by a professional.

Does Your Car Smell Like Damp Socks?

When there’s a musty odor in your car that smells like damp socks or a gym locker, it’s likely a problem with your air conditioner. If condensation builds up on the air conditioning unit instead of being drained, it can lead to mildew and mold growth, which causes the damp sock smell. To get rid of the problem, bring the car to a mechanic to have the air conditioner cleaned. In the meantime, you can try turning off the AC but keeping the fan on in an effort to dry out the system.

Does Your Car Smell Like Something Is Burning?

If your car smells like burning, it’s likely because there’s an issue with the brakes. A burning smell is created when brake pads are extremely worn out and cause friction in the engine. The smell may also be caused by rotors or brake pads that are not properly aligned and therefore cause friction. If you drive a manual shift car and notice the burning smell when you accelerate, it’s likely an issue with your clutch. Replacing the parts will fix the issue.

Does Your Car Have a Sweet Smell?

A sweet smell in a car is usually associated with engine coolant. Engine coolant is treated ethylene glycol, which smells sweet. If you notice the smell in your car, there’s most likely a coolant leak, which can be caused by the engine overheating and/or having other performance issues. Check underneath your car for moisture and condensation as well as puddles under your engine compartment.

Solutions to Common Car Smells

If you experience any of the above car smells, the best solution is likely repair or replacement. For leak repair, remember that Bar’s Leaks products are perfect for vehicles of all types. We are America’s best known brand of leak repair products, and all of our products are made right here in the USA. To fix your car leak safely, quickly and affordably, buy Bar’s Leaks products today. Use our store locator to find a retailer near you, or contact us today for more information about our products.

Subscribe to updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Email that matters

don't miss our sale notices, product tips, and videos from bobby j.

We won’t spam you or sell your email to anyone, ever. Promise.