What’s that Smell Coming from My Vehicle?

While your vehicle is equipped with lots of sensors and a check engine light to indicate that there may be an issue, sometimes just your natural senses can be enough to help you sniff out a problem. If you start to smell something funky coming from your car, truck, or SUV, you should be asking, “What’s that smell coming from my vehicle?”. We are going to review some of the common smells a vehicle can produce to indicate trouble ahead, and what they may mean.

What’s that Smell Coming from My Vehicle?

Not all smells coming from your vehicle are an immediate indication that you need to go to a local Phoenix auto repair shop right away; however, if you are ever in doubt, that is exactly what you should do. You should never risk your safety or the longevity of your vehicle just because plugging your nose may be easier than dealing with the problem.

Let’s review some smells that may suggest that your vehicle may have trouble ahead.

  • Maple Syrup or Sweet: If you get a whiff of a sweet maple syrup smell, there is a good chance that your vehicle has a coolant leak. While this smell may not be unpleasant, a coolant leak could cause major engine damage due to overheating. When it comes to cooling system issues, at the first sign of a problem, you should visit a local Phoenix automotive repair shop.
  • Campfire or Burning Wood: While campfires are enjoyable for most people, when your car, truck, or SUV smells like burning wood, that is not a good sign. This smoky smell usually indicates an issue with your clutch. You could have a burnt clutch and should have it inspected as soon as possible to keep you and your vehicle on the road.
  • Dirty Laundry: If you have to look around your car for a gym bag, dirty laundry hamper, or just a stray sock, there may be mold or mildew in your air conditioner or heater. You can usually resolve this smell on your own by turning the heat all the way up with your windows down for several minutes. If that doesn’t work, visit a local repair shop to inspect your vehicle and help you resolve this unpleasant odor.
  • Gas: If you smell gas in your car long after you fill up your tank, there could be an issue. A prolonged gasoline smell in your vehicle could indicate problems with your gas cap or a leaky fuel tank or injector. Some people may like the smell of gasoline, but it is harmful for your health and if there is an issue with your vehicle, if unresolved, it could lead to bigger problems.
  • Exhaust: This is one car odor you should never ignore. Exhaust fumes in the interior of your car usually indicate a leak in your car’s exhaust system or poor seals on your windows or doors. This car smell is dangerous, as exposure to exhaust fumes inside a confined space (i.e., the inside of your car) can be deadly to both people and animals.
  • Cooking Oil: To many people, the smell of burning motor oil is similar to that of cooking oil. If you smell this in your vehicle, it could be an indication of an oil leak inside the engine. If an oil leak drips onto a hot exhaust manifold or other heated parts of your engine, you’ll be able to catch the smell of the oil burning. This is an issue that you will want to have resolved as soon as possible.

When it comes to answering, “What’s that smell coming from my vehicle?”, sometimes you may not actually mind the odor; however, it could be an indication that there is an issue with your vehicle and could lead to bigger problems down the road. You should not leave any new smell in your car, truck, or SUV unattended to.

Advanced Transmissions & Emissions is a full-service Phoenix auto mechanic repair shop. If your check engine light is on, call us we can do a diagnostic check while you wait. We understand your time is valuable, and we want to get you back on the road quickly.

Contact us today so we can help you diagnose and resolve any strange smells coming from your vehicle.

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