DON’T GET OVERWHELMED BY AWFUL ODORS FROM YOUR CAR
No one likes a stinky car. While it may sometimes be hard to tell if it’s coming from outside or the car itself, sometimes looming car repair services can present themselves as strange smells while you’re driving. If you notice any of these five smells coming from your car, it’s a good idea to make an auto repair appointment sooner rather than later to prevent a potentially more serious repair service.
HOT GASOLINE OR OIL
If you smell gasoline and you haven’t just pulled away from a gas station, it may be time to visit a mechanic. It’s possible you have a leak in your vent hose or fuel injection line that’s causing gasoline to leak under your car. Not only does this mean you’re losing gas faster than you need to, but it’s also a highly flammable substance, meaning you’re playing with fire by not getting it checked out.
On the other hand, you may be dealing with an oil leak onto your hot exhaust manifold. If this is the case, you’ll also find oil spots on the ground beneath your car or maybe more smoke coming from your exhaust than usual. You can also check your oil level. If it’s lower than it should be and you’re noticing those symptoms, be sure to top off your engine oil if necessary and have your car checked.
If you notice a burning smell, pay attention to timing. You may have left your hand brake on or could be using your brakes too heavily. This is especially likely if you’re driving in hilly or mountainous areas. Generally, the smell should be temporary and not last long if it’s your brakes; otherwise, you may have a more serious car repair to deal with or you may have an issue with your brake pads and shoes.
Alternatively, if the smell is persistent, you may have a bigger problem under the hood. If your drive belt is slipping or any belt is wearing out, it can cause a lingering burning smell. A loose hose could also be the underlying cause. Whichever it is, it’s best to get your car to a mechanic to prevent a more serious car repair.
You’ve probably been stuck behind a car and been hit with the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs before. It’s not pleasant and it can mean a variety of car problems. One such possibility is a faulty fuel injector, which can be relatively simple to fix by a mechanic. On the other hand, it could be the catalytic converter, which is a more serious issue within your car’s engine. To prevent a pricey engine repair, it’s a good idea to have your car checked out whenever you notice a rotten egg smell.
DIRTY GYM SOCKS
We all know that unpleasant musty smell you get in your gym bag after a while. If you start smelling that in your car, it’s time for an AC repair service. What you’re dealing with is mildew in the air conditioner evaporator. It’s possible you’ll be able to fix it yourself by blasting the AC for a while, though you’re more likely going to need a full cleaning, which requires taking your car to a mechanic. It may not seem like an urgent auto repair but it can cause allergic reactions in some people if left untreated, including watery eyes, sneezing, and headaches. Plus, you just don’t want to smell that every time you drive.
While this is definitely not the worst smell on this list, it can mean a problem with your cooling system. What you’re smelling is engine coolant, which could be leaking from the radiator or a hose. If your coolant level gets too low, you risk your engine overheating, so it’s a good idea to check your coolant level, at the very least. And regardless, you should get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your engine and cooling system.
Related: Car Maintenance Basics Infographic
GOT A SMELLY CAR? LET AAMCO BAY AREA MECHANICS HELP
From major repairs to regular car maintenance, our expert mechanics can help keep stinky smells at bay and keep your car running optimally. Don’t wait for a bad smell to turn into a bigger problem. It’s easy to make an appointment online and have your car diagnosed and repaired at the earliest sign of a problem. Contact your nearest AAMCO Bay area location for a diagnosis or a free quote. Our technicians will work promptly to resolve your smelly smells problem.