Car Warning Signs – What Different Smells Mean

Whether you own a brand-new vehicle or a Japanese used car, there are dashboard notifications that tell you when something goes wrong. You will be alerted when you need an oil change or when you need to check your engine. However, you would not always need your sight just to identify the car warning signs. Sometimes, you use your ears, and in other instances, you can use your nose.

Aside from knowing common problems behind different car noises, you should also know what the smell of your vehicle is telling you. Typically, unusual smells can be signs of serious, and possibly expensive trouble for your vehicle. It is important to know where they are coming from so you can quickly make necessary repairs. Watch out for the following smells:

Burning Rubber

If you smell burning rubber, it is possible the drive belts are slipping. It is possible that the loose hoses are rubbing against the rotating accessory drive pulleys. Make sure that you do not reach inside the engine compartment if it is hot. Once it is cool, inspect the tension of exposed belts and look for cracks, uneven wear or missing chunks. If you own an older car, check if the vacuum hose is resting on the hot engine block.

Burnt Oil

Keep in mind that your engine’s lifeblood is the oil. So, if you smell burnt or hot oil, it is possible that oil is leaking onto a hot portion of the driveline or the exhaust system. If you are buying a Japanese used car, you must be wary of clean, clear, and shiny parts on the drivetrain or the engine. Look for oily patches on the area underneath the vehicle. This could be a sign that the oil is leaking. Aside from the burnt smell coming from under the hood, you will also see smoke coming from beneath the vehicle or around the engine.

Gasoline Smell

If you smell gasoline, it is possible that gas is leaking from the fuel tank or the fuel injector line. You have to give this immediate attention because any fuel smell can be a fire hazard. On the other hand, this is not a minor issue that can be quickly fixed. In most cases, the vehicle gets engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes. So, it is best to leave your car and go somewhere safe.

Sweet Syrup

If you smell something sweet from your car, it is possible that the engine coolant is leaking from the radiator. At first, the scent may be faint, but it gets progressively worse. If you want to check the cooling system, make sure you do not open the radiator cap when it is hot. You can determine the severity of the leak by checking the coolant level after the first smell of syrup. There are products that temporarily plug or lessen the leak. However, they won’t be able to permanently solve the issue.

Burning Carpet

If you smell burning carpet from your car, it is possibly a sign of brake problems, which can be a safety hazard. So, if this is the case, have your brakes checked immediately. You should also check for leaks at the master cylinder. This allows you to determine where the smell is coming from.

Rotten Eggs

If rotten egg smell is coming from your vehicle, it is possible that the catalytic converter is not properly converting hydrogen sulphide to sulfur dioxide. You will notice your engine performing poorly, overloading the catalytic converter.

If you notice any of the aforementioned smells, you should inspect your car. Determine the severity of the issue to know if you need to have a professional take care of the issue.

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