Serious 5 car odors you cannot ignore

man driving car

Some people understand their car’s intricate workings better than others. If you’re not an auto-savvy individual, then you probably rely on warning lights and taking your car to the shop when necessary. For millions of Americans, however, those trips to the repair shop are outside of their budgets.

Drivers push their cars to the breaking point when repairs are too costly, simply not having any other option. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can lead to dire complications. If you’re on of those millions of Americans, then these are five serious car odors you can’t ignore. 

1. Sulfur

Sulfur and rotten eggs smell almost identical, which is how you can identify this scent. It means that you catalytic converter is turning hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide. This gas can damage your nose, throat, lungs, and eyes. The warranty on newer cars usually covers this repair, but you’ll have to fork over the cash otherwise due to the health risks. 

2. Hot Oil

If you’ve ever smelled a deep fryer filled withhold grease or one that was about to catch on fire, then you’ll recognize this one immediately. When you do, you need to get it repaired just as fast because this oil can and will set your car ablaze. 

The issue commonly lies in the crankshaft, but you can place a piece of carboard under your vehicle to make sure. The crankshaft drips oil under the vehicle when it needs repaired. If you are still driving and notice smoke, pull over immediately before a fire starts. 

3. Maple Syrup

You coolant contains ethylene glycol, which just so happens to smell like maple syrup. Picking up on this scent could signal a leak in your heating system, radiator, or the hose connecting the radiator. This isn’t quite as dangerous as others on the list, but it will destroy your car’s heating system if left untreated. 

4. Burning Carpet

The smell of burning carpet, which is very similar to plastic and fabric, means your brake pads are in the danger zone. Alternatively, your handbrake/emergency brake could be dislodged. Either places you in terrible danger on the road. 

You might be able to recover damages with a car accident lawyer if something does happen. However, you’re likely to be held liable for not maintaining your brakes. This is an expensive repair, but the cost of an accident and an increased insurance premium is far higher. 

5. Gasoline

If you smell gas, the most likely explanation is that you spilled a little when filling up or didn’t tighten the gas cap enough when you finished. Either of these are okay as long you re-tighten the cap. A persistent smell after that simple fix, however, could mean your vent hose or fuel injection line is leaking. 

Both are extreme fire hazards and your car will o up in flames if this is left untreated for even a short while. Get your vehicle to the shop as quickly as possible and never light an open flame when a gasoline smell is present. Smokers, that means no cigarettes while driving until this is fixed. 

Author: Marty Shumaker