Auto: Diagnose Odors in Your Car

What is that smell? And why is it there? These are often the first questions that people ask themselves when there is a funny unusual smell coming from there car. Any smell that comes from your car, whether it be because of something minor or major, most likely you want to remedy the problem as soon as possible. The first step you must do is diagnose the car smell. Some automotive problems are accompanied by a distinct odor. Identifying the odor can often times give you the problem, and this way you can start your solution to the problem.

If you smell an exhaust smell in your car, this can indicate either a leak in the exhaust system. It can be a hole in the tailpipe, muffler, exhaust pipe, or even the exhaust manifold. If you have a hatchback car, the smell could be coming from a worn seal or rear door. The solution to this first off is take care of the problem immediately. Carbon monoxide can be leaking and can cause death. Take the car to the mechanic and get it professionally serviced. Now what if you smell raw gas? This can indicate a leak in the fuel delivery system such as in the fuel lines, fuel filter, or gas tank. This situation can have a potential hazardous effect. Gas leaks can cause fires in the car. Check to see if you left the gas cap off. If the gas cap is on tightly and you still smell the odor, make an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible.

Have you ever smelled rotten eggs before? Not a very pleasant smell at all. If you begin to smell a rotten egg smell in your car, this may be a sign of a plugged catalytic converter or very rich air fuel mixture, which can cause poor gas mileage. Two words: call mechanic. Even though this may not be as hazardous as a carbon monoxide leak, the smell will make you want to jump out of your car while in motion. Burning plastic smells can result in a plastic bag that was left in the road and possibly stuck to the hot part of your exhaust beneath your car. Check underneath your car with a flashlight to see if you see any plastic. You can either wait until the bag burns off or crawl under the car to scrape off the bag. If you do not see any visible plastic, get the car checked out. Burning rubber smell can be quite different than burning plastic smells. Burning rubber may indicate melting rubber hose on top of an exhaust manifold or the belt being shredded. Turn your engine off immediately to try to visibly see the problem. If it is a hose or belt, replace it as soon as possible. Do not drive the car until the problem is solved.

Any time that an awkward odor is in your car, check it out immediately. Even if you choose not to check it out for yourself, always have a reliable and trustworthy person or mechanic to solve the problem.

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