Modern vehicles have a few ways of letting you know there is trouble aboard. More often than not a little light will appear on your dashboard, indicating something is wrong with this system or that. But sometimes, you just have to use your senses. Many auto issues will cause a certain smell to develop. If you can pinpoint what that smell is you can often figure out what is wrong. The following are some of the most common odors you may catch a whiff of and what they mean.
Burning Oil Stench
If oil is leaking from the motor onto an exhaust manifold you’ll be able to smell the oil burning. The stench may remind you of the smell of oil used for deep frying foods. There is a good chance you’ll be able to spot smoke coming from under the hood as well, due to the oil burning up.
Gas Station Smell
Gas stations have that smell of… gasoline. If you can smell automotive fuel as you drive, or more commonly when the car is parked indoors, you may have a gas leak, in either vapor or liquid form. Both of these are dangerous. Most likely it is likely coming from a faulty gas cap but it could also be from a loose fuel line.
If you smell something like maple syrup it is likely due to a radiator leak. Coolant has a very sweet odor that can attract animals, however it is very poisonous. For that reason it is incredibly important you clean up any spill. If there is not enough coolant in your car it will be at risk of overheating.
If you begin to smell smoke, like that of burning wood, it could be a burning clutch. This is a nice reminder that your car is due for clutch service. However this smell may occur if you drive a stick in heavy stop and go traffic.
Dirty Laundry Smell
Does your car smell like a hamper full of dirty clothes? There is a good chance your heater vents have mold in them. The best way to resolve this is to turn the heater on full blast and let it dry out the system.
If you notice any strange smell coming from your vehicle make an appointment with your local auto repair shop so it can be properly diagnosed. For expert auto repair in Mountain View you can trust A-1 Auto Tech. We use not only our senses but the latest diagnostic equipment to figure out exactly what is wrong with your car. To learn more about our services or to schedule professional auto repair in Mountain View give us a call at (650) 487-2240!
Related Articles: “5 Signs Your Brakes Need to Be Repaired” and “5 Tips on How to Tell the Difference Between Automotive Fluid Leaks“.