5 Car Smells And What They Mean

Recognizing when your car is in need of some fixing can be tough if you're not a professional mechanic. However, it's certainly not impossible – especially when you're smart enough to use all of your senses. Your nose may be able to smell some strange things going on under the hood, and it can be a good indicator of what needs to be checked out. 

Below are five smells you may sniff around your car and what they could mean. Even if you can accurately locate the sources of these odors, be sure to schedule an appointment at NJ State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. The professionals there can address any issues causing the smells while also making sure there are no underlying problems. 

1. Burning rubber
If you smell burning rubber, it's probably not because you're starring in your own version of "The Fast and the Furious." Instead, it could be due to belts and hoses rubbing up against the hot engine, which burns through the material and causes leaks or tears. You can lift the hood and check out the situation there, and potentially make some easy fixes, but the burning could also result in the need for replacement parts. 

2. Gasoline
It may sound obvious, but smelling gas is a sign of a potential problem with your gas tank or fuel injection system. Leaking fuel is a fire hazard, so be sure to get this checked by an expert as soon as possible. 

3. Burning carpet
Chances are you haven't smelled burning carpet before, but if you start inhaling something that could be this odor, it's time to check the brakes. When brake pads wear down or drag on the ground for extended periods of time, they emit this smell and may be unsafe. Have your brakes serviced and the pads replaced if necessary. 

4. Rotten eggs 
Rotten eggs isn't a pleasant smell at any time, and that extends to when you're in the car as well. The most common cause for this odor is a problem with your catalytic converter, which likely needs to be replaced. While this can be expensive, it's also a preventative measure that will definitely save you in the long run. 

5. Sweet syrup
Getting a whiff of something sweet may be nice when you're stuck in traffic, but if the smell is coming from your car, it's usually a warning sign that something is off with your engine coolant. Your best course of action is to let an expert examine the fluid levels when the car has cooled down.