After purchasing a new automobile, owners usually delight in the smell of the car's fresh interior. But, as the vehicle acquires mileage, there may be other odors that are not so pleasant. They could even be rather disturbing since they may be an indication of a mechanical problem. So, it is a good idea not to try to ignore these odors or hide them with air fresheners and deodorizers.

There are four automobile odors that are not merely annoying. These smells can emanate from different areas, and they are usually an indication that there is a serious issue in the vehicle that needs to be addressed. Below are the smells that should not be ignored.

Burnt Smell

Several issues can cause a smell of burned rubber inside the vehicle. One of these is wear and friction on the drive belt. Another cause of a burned odor is an oil leak that leaks onto the vehicle's undercarriage and burns. Such an oil leak demands a mechanic's immediate attention.

Burned Carpet

An odor that resembles a burned carpet can indicate problems with the brakes. If the brakes have been used extensively, a burning carpet smell can be caused by the brake pads' overheating. Worn brake pads can also cause this smell. So, the owner needs to drive the car to a mechanic who can replace these brake pads.

Gym Clothes

An odor that is similar to used gym clothes left in a locker is indicative of air conditioning problems. Just as the damp clothing enclosed in a locker begins to mildew, such mildew can grow in the air conditioner evaporator. Sometimes, the air conditioning system can dry out if the owner turns off the AC and runs the fan. But, if doing so does not work, the system may need to be thoroughly cleaned.

Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

An odor resembling that of sulfur or rotten eggs indicates hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust system. The catalytic converter may be at fault as small amounts of sulfur that are in the gasoline have not been converted as they should be.

Syrup Smell

The odor of syrup is usually an indication that the vehicle is leaking coolant. This odor is often detectable either while the vehicle is running or right after it is turned off. The leak may be from a heater or a radiator hose, the intake manifold gasket, or the cylinder head. Also, the radiator or the cap to the radiator may leak and cause this syrup smell.

If the vehicle produces any of these scents or any other unusual odors, owners should not ignore these smells as they are almost always warnings of problems. Contacting the dealership and making an appointment for repairs is the first measure to take.


Arrowhead Cadillac

8310 W BELL RD
Directions GLENDALE, AZ 85308

  • Contact: 844-872-4550

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