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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

Most vehicles start out with a "new car smell," but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.

"Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you'll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

  1. The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.
  2. The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.
  3. The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.
  4. The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car's cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.
  5. The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.
  6. The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

"When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor," concluded White.

Source: Car Care Council

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TESTIMONIALS

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Needed my passenger side rearview mirror replaced after somebody's ignorant kids knocked it off my car. I thought he was overpriced, but he was able to get the mirror the next day and paint it to match my car exactly, so I got it. The guy (Louis) was nice though and once I got there, it only took about 10 minutes to put it on...a month+ later and it's still holding up well and the color is exact...so fresh in fact that I know how crisp the paint looked when the car was first bought!
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Love love my car. They did a good job fixing my car. It took a little longer than expected but when I got my car back it was good as new. If you need an auto body person this would be the place. Luis was very helpful and friendly too.
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Superb! Not your run-of-the-mill body shop.
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This place towed my 2009 Acura after an accident. The guys here spoke to the insurance company for me, got me a rental car, and repaired my car. The repairs look great. They also cleaned the entire car for me. I would definitely take my car here again.
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At first I was skeptical about leaving my car with the repair shop that towed my car but the manager here was very friendly and helpful. They filed the claim with Geico, and had the rental company pick me up from their shop. After the car was repaired, they cleaned my car and provide lifetime warranty on the repair. I cannot even tell the car was in an accident. I would definitely bring my car here again.
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Awesome guys, bought a car from them that was totaled, and there were no hidden mysteries for me to find when I got it home. Everything they described to me was to the T, and were super nonnegotiable on time frames. Very reputable sellers, and I will absolutely be doing business with them again!