Smells Your Car Makes and What Does It Mean



In general, the only smell your vehicle should have is the smell of an air freshener of your choosing. Other than that, you shouldn’t smell anything unusual from your vehicle. However, if you do smell something a little funny, you might want to take a closer look under the hood.

Something’s Burning

If you smell burning, turn off the vehicle immediately and check your fluids. If all is well there, it could be the brakes, the clutch, an electrical short, or the heater—all of which need immediate attention from a professional.

Gas or Sulphur

If you smell a weird gas smell or a smell like rotten eggs, your exhaust system is probably in trouble. This is extremely dangerous for your health and needs to be addressed as soon as possible by a service technician.

Maple Syrup

This is a real thing. And if you smell this particular smell it’s possible you have a coolant leak. This highly toxic chemical smell could mean you need a heater core replacement or that you have a radiator leak.

Burnt Carpet

If you ever smell like there’s a house on fire and it’s coming from your vehicle, it likely means your brake pads are overheated. There’s actually no need to worry with this smell, just ease off the brakes a little to preserve them.

Your car really shouldn’t have any of these smells if it’s in good running condition. Make sure you keep it that way by stay up-to-date on your regular service and maintenance at your local service center. If you do smell any of these, however, be sure to get it checked out immediately to prevent further damage from your vehicle.