What Does the Smell of Your Car Tell You?

As soon as you step into your vehicle and smell something unusual, do not ignore it. Most likely, your car is trying to tell you something. If it’s not the smell of a new car then you need to identify where the smell is coming from. Usually, it means that you need to have something fixed.

Here are some ways to identify the possible causes of bad odor:


A sweet smell is often caused by a leak in your cooling system. However, the problem may not easily be visible especially if the leak is from the heat core which is located behind the dashboard. The leak may be in the form of steam which produces a certain odor and may also fog up your windows.  

The leak can also come from the radiator, gasket or cylinder. As soon as you notice this, have it checked and fixed immediately. Use the KevianClean Auto Detailing Towel to wipe off any residue. The antifreeze is causing the sweet smell which you wouldn’t want to keep on inhaling.


A burning smell can mean a lot of things and problems too. It could be caused by oil that is spilling over the engine or exhaust. Some particles that touch the hot engine can also cause it to burn.  

Another cause could be pointed to brake pads or rotors that are overused and overheated. If there is a burning smell while you are driving it may be due to the brakes or perhaps you’ve left the handbrakes up.

A clutch could also be one of the culprits especially when the clutch pedal is worn out. This means you might have to replace the clutch itself.

Rotten Eggs

When you start the engine of your car and smell a bad odor similar to a rotten egg then it must be caused by your gasoline. Your gasoline actually contains certain amounts of sulfur. It is quite normal for some vehicles to smell gas but if the odor is too strong then the gasoline you are using may have high contents of sulfur.

It may also mean that you have a fuel-injection problem which can be fixed by a professional mechanic. Sometimes the foul odor can be attributed to a failed catalytic converter.

Have your car checked

Self-diagnosis may get you nowhere. As soon as you have any doubts, it’s always best to bring your car to a professional mechanic and have it checked. This way your problem may be properly addressed.

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