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Your Nose Knows: Six Vehicle Warning Signs You Can Smell

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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

What People Say About Us

  • reviewicon
    , 07/02/2021

    Our van started making a very weird sound on our way to a softball tourney in pigeon forge. It just so happened that this occurred right before the exit that Surber's auto repair is on. Chad diagnosed right away that it was a water pump issue. He told us he would get it in within the week, but couldn't get it in right away. We were stuck there until our grandma picked us up, and he was most hospitable. He offered us drinks, transit to the mall, and also gave us phone numbers to different repair shops to see if they could get us in quicker. He did the repair within a week and was more concerned with how the softball tourney went and also asked right away about a personal matter, in which one of our family members recently had surgery. If you are in the Florence area, you should get all your auto repairs at Surber's! I wish he would move closer to my location because I would go to him in a heartbeat. Thank you Chad for all you did.

  • reviewicon

    Hit a stone mailbox on Monday afternoon & car repaired by Wednesday afternoon. The estimate thst was given to my husband was almost what we paid. They kept us informed on how repsirs were going on the car.

  • reviewicon

    Since 2002, upon recommendation from a neighbor, I've been taking my vehicles to Surber's Service on Hwy 18 in Florence, KY. My first impression was it appeared to be an old mechanic's shop from back in the 1960's. Well, that's exactly what it is. Except today, Chad Surber is trained and equipped to handle all the latest technologies. Just like everything else in life, my experiences have run from absolutely pleased with the results, to there was a problem, and it needed more attention to get it right. But, I still give this old school style auto repair shop the full five stars as a sign of my overall satisfaction.

  • reviewicon

    Friendly, fair service work. What more could you want?

  • reviewicon

    Have used them for the past 9 years on anything too difficult for me to handle myself. Never had a complaint, and the jobs are done right the first time.

  • reviewicon
    , 07/02/2021

    Our van started making a very weird sound on our way to a softball tourney in pigeon forge. It just so happened that this occurred right before the exit that Surber's auto repair is on. Chad diagnosed right away that it was a water pump issue. He told us he would get it in within the week, but couldn't get it in right away. We were stuck there until our grandma picked us up, and he was most hospitable. He offered us drinks, transit to the mall, and also gave us phone numbers to different repair shops to see if they could get us in quicker. He did the repair within a week and was more concerned with how the softball tourney went and also asked right away about a personal matter, in which one of our family members recently had surgery. If you are in the Florence area, you should get all your auto repairs at Surber's! I wish he would move closer to my location because I would go to him in a heartbeat. Thank you Chad for all you did.

Call us for service: 859-525-7262

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