Weird Car Smells and What do they mean?

  • Sep 17, 2015

MANILA: Does your car smell weird? Is getting inside the car gives you a headache and brings embarrassment when your friends point out towards that strange stringent smell? Have air fresheners stop working and you are left with no solution but to avoid car rides. Well, these smells can mean much more than just unclean car and can be an indication towards some mechanical malfunctioning inside.

Well well well, no more sitting and wasting time, worrying. Move it buddy, it’s workout hour for your nose, and we assure you the better your nose will perform the better it is for your beloved car. You know something; there are some smells that despite their dirty aura are equally hateful for your car too. And the worst part is yet to come, the damages that comes attracted with these smells are big and are not even covered by your insurance company.

The solution lies in detecting the smell and taking your car for an early check-up. So that the bill doesn't hurt you bad and you live happily with a good smelling and even better performing car. In here, we have combined some peculiar whiffs that usually rest in a car and are as harmful as one can imagine.

The Smell monster comes in following variety 

Rotten Eggs 

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We all hate this smell, don't we and when your car smells like one, it’s no less than a nightmare. Rotten egg smell indicates towards an ill-health engine and catalytic converter issue. What does it mean?
Well the catalytic converter like its name is assigned with the job of converting hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide and when it’s not done properly your cars fuel diet increase rapidly making it low fuel efficient.

On time repair is a must, or else the converter will reach a near to useless stage, leading to a large service center bill.

Burning Carpet 

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This one is a bit dangerous, whenever your car smells like a burning carpet, it is an indication towards ailing brakes.

So, we advise you to get your car immediately checked and don't ride it before the mechanic gives it a perfectly healthy score.

Sweet Syrup 

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Foodies and mommies listen up; such a smell is not necessarily coming from the weekend old ice-cream treat. It could mean a coolant system leakage and that my friend is not a good news coz coolant works as an engine refrigerator and helps keep its temperature down.

An overheated car will not run for long and can dump you in the mid of your destination acting as a perfect spoiler.
What's good is the fact that you can check the leakage at your home itself, but remove the radiator cap only after the car is completely cool.

Burned Rubber


Smelling burned rubber odour in car and thinking what it could be, well think no further coz one of your drive belts has slipped down or have misplaced and have landed on a hot engine part. We would advise you to rescue it before it melts down.

And like above, you can yourself inspect the situation by peeping inside the hood after its temperature is down.

Hot Oil


Next up in line is the oil burning smell, well first of all check your oil dipstick causse chances are that you may have run out of oil or your engine may have overheated a bit. If neither is the case that look around, oil leakage is the next best answer to this awful smell. You can find traces of same around the engine or on the exhaust manifold.



Many of us find the petrol smell mesmerizing and often enjoy it at the refueling station, but if that smell continues to reside in your car then it is a warning alarm. We would advise you to check the fuel injection system or the carburetor for any fuel leakage.

One easy way of doing the same is by inspecting the area where your car was parked overnight. The stained floor can hint towards a leakage that calls for a service centre visit.

Burned Toast


Hmm, this one is a light sharp smell that hints towards an electric short circuit or a burning insulation. Stop the car and check as driving any further can be risky. Also stop at the first service station and get your car thoroughly checked.

Boys’ locker room


We bet, you’ll not be able to stand it and will end up covering your nose the entire journey, praying to god to end this traumatic experience soon. Well the culprits are the minute hyphae (fungal filaments) growing inside your a/c evaporator that provides a good moist home for their growth. Well, this problem will not cost you much neither will it require a service center visit. All you got to do is just turn on the fan on high and leave the system to dry out completely.


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