You don't have to be a mechanic to know that something is wrong with your car—especially if something doesn't smell right. Let your nose be your guide to potential trouble with your vehicle. If everything is in working order, you shouldn't be able to detect any unusual odors. If you do smell something, it may be time to take your car into the shop.
Car smells usually mean trouble. If you smell something burning, it could be a loose hose resting on the engine, a brake pad dragging or you may have inadvertently left the parking brake on. If it smells like oil is burning, you could possibly be running out of oil or the engine may be overheating. Be sure to check the oil and transmission fluid dipsticks regularly.
If the smell of oil or exhaust is inside the car, it could be a faulty exhaust pipe or burned oil from the engine area that gets into the car through the floor. Since exhaust contains carbon monoxide, make sure windows are open for the air to circulate and have the problem checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
An odor you can't ignore is the smell of rotten eggs. If the catalytic converter is malfunctioning, or you have trouble with your engine, you may experience this strong scent.
If you smell gasoline and you had difficulty starting your car, the engine might be flooded. You may also need to check your fuel injection system to confirm it isn't leaking fuel. The smell of gasoline can indicate dangerous leakage that is best left to a professional technician.
If you can't figure out what might be causing the odor coming from your vehicle, be sure to have it checked out at your local AAA Car Care Center.