Why Does My Car Smell Bad?

Do you experience a bad smell in your car and unsure about what is causing this strange smell? If you are, rest assured, this happens to many of us.

Whenever you experience a bad odor in your vehicle instead of the familiar new-car smell, it means there’s something that is causing this smell. The ideal way is to follow your nose and try to determine the source of the smell. Unattended bad smell can lead to hefty repairs and damages, so don’t ignore it.

Let’s discuss some common bad car smells and probable causes behind them.

Your Car Smells Musty

If you experience a musty smell, then the most probable cause behind this sort of smell is mold or mildew. Often, a musty smell comes from the vehicle’s air-conditioning system, meaning there’s something wrong there.

Since moisture occurs in the cold air-conditioning evaporator, it’s a highly likely place for mold to grow there. Running the fan can dry the place, and it’ll become mold-free.

If you still experience a musty smell in your car, check the carpets because they can also harbor mold.

Your Car Smells Sweet

Antifreezing agents that you use in your cooling system features a sweet or syrupy odor. If there’s a leak in the cooling system, a sweet odor might occur in your car. There’s no obvious source of a sweet smell, and it always requires you to inspect a few different locations to finally determine the source. The leak might result from a corroded heat exchanger lying behind the dashboard. The steam entering the cabin might also be the cause of a sweet odor.

Your Car Has a Burning Smell

If you experience a burning smell in your car, it might be because of the oil leaking onto some hot parts of the engine. Sometimes, when you apply the brakes too many times, they get heated and cause a burning smell.

If you drive a vehicle that has a manual transmission, the clutch plate could be damaged. A burning smell should be taken seriously, and you must take appropriate action to identify the smell and get rid of it.

Your Car Smells Like Rotten Eggs

A bad catalytic converter usually causes the smell of rotten eggs. The catalytic converter isn’t converting hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide if it is broken. Sulfur dioxide is odorless, while hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs. Faulty catalytic converters should be repaired right away. Failure to fix can cause the car to run at higher temperatures and could potentially cause a car fire.

Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber

If you smell burning rubber, then some rubber accessory might be burning because of overheating or slipping. An overheated clutch plate also smells like burning rubber.

Your Car Smells Like Gas

Often, a gasoline smell is experienced while sitting inside the car. When the engine is cold, a gasoline smell typically occurs for the reason of incomplete combustion. However, if you smell gasoline even after the engine is warm, the gas cap could be wobbly. If you experience gasoline’s smell frequently, it’s always better to get your vehicle inspected by your mechanic.

Know what bad smells are possible in your car in advance and what those smells may mean. That way if you ever find yourself recognizing a smell in your car, you can have an idea about how serious that may be and how it might be rememdied. Always have smells checked out by a trusted mechanic to ensure there is no serious cause to it.

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