Car smells unrelated to your last stop at Burger King or McDonald’s mean danger. Let’s discuss 6 common types of smells your car uses to notify you when issues exist. If you recognize any of these smells in your car, don’t wait to fix the related problem.

1. Do you smell exhaust?

You should only smell exhaust coming out of the back of your car. You have an exhaust leak if you smell exhaust inside the car as you drive. That’s dangerous because you’re inhaling carbon dioxide and it must be fixed immediately.

2. Do you smell gasoline?

You should never smell gas while driving. Check if you forgot to put the gas cap on at your last fill up. A gas cap’s seal goes bad every once in awhile, so you might need to replace the cap.

If the gas cap isn’t the issue then you most likely have a leak. If you can’t see anything leaking on the ground then the smell is coming from a leak somewhere throughout the vents and filter connecting your engine with the gas tank. Have a mechanic fix this immediately.

3. Do you smell a sweet smell (almost like maple syrup)?

You have a coolant leak. Check your temperature gauge to make sure the car isn’t close to overheating. If you’re driving and the car is close to overheating, turn the heater on full blast. The heater acts as a small radiator and should dissipate the heat long enough to drive to your mechanic.

4. Do you smell sulfur?

Either your battery is getting overcharged and is close to replacement time or your catalytic converter on the exhaust system is going bad. You’ll know if it’s the catalytic converter if the smell is coming from the exhaust pipe.

5. Do you smell burning wood or rubber?

Under inflated tires (or tires close to wearing out) will cause this. Sticky brakes can cause the same smell. Have a standard clutch? If you smell this smell constantly, then it may be time for a new clutch.

6. Do you smell hot oil?

This is caused when oil is leaking or seeping through gaskets. Look under your car for leaks. Or, look at places such as your head gasket to see if oil is leaking out the edges. Either way, get this fixed.

7. Do you smell a musty or mildew smell coming from the vents?

Replacing the cabin air filter may fix this. If it’s really bad with mildew and mold growing then you should have your mechanic thoroughly clean out the entire system.

Don’t let smells in your car persist. Diagnose what type it is, see where it’s coming from and then get it fixed before risking further damage to your health or your car. In some cases you may need to speak to a trusted used car parts dealer to replace the auto parts that are causing these issues. Dodson’s Japanese Partsworld has been helping New Zealanders find the second hand car parts they need for more than 30 years. Our friendly and professional staff goes the extra mile to give you the best part for the best price. Give us a call today for more information!