Five Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Recognize

Most vehicles start out with a “new car smell,” but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help you avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown. When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor.

Unusual smells can be the sign of serious and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car,” states Frank Leutz, COO, Desert Car Care of Chandler.


1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or leaking, cracked or bloated radiator hoses. Do not reach in under the hood if the engine compartment is hot.

2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.

3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given. If you smoke, immediately put out the cigarette, get out of your vehicle off the floor mat which can start a fire attributed to static electricity and of course move away from the vehicle.

4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s coolant system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.

5. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter, a poor running engine or a potential battery leaking acid. These need to be checked immediately.

Questions? Concerns? For more information visit or call 480-420-3555.

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