Cars and trucks provide plenty of warning signs when they need auto services, such as pulling to one side when the wheel alignment is off and screeching sounds when the brake pads need replacing. Vehicles also give off a variety of odors indicating problems that require the help of an auto maintenance expert. Familiarize yourself with these smells to take your car in for timely services.
Vehicle Smells to Look For
1. Burnt Sugar/Syrup
Sweet, syrup-smelling odors point to an antifreeze or coolant leak. Ethylene glycol, a type of toxic chemical, produces this smell when there is an antifreeze leak in the radiator (the part responsible for regulating engine temperature). Radiator hose leaks also create this odor, as do those in the heating and cooling system. All of these issues can cause your vehicle to overheat without immediate auto services.
2. Rotten Eggs
A rotten egg odor emanating from your exhaust system typically signals a problem with your catalytic converter. It means this component is no longer converting sulfur into an odorless sulfur dioxide. Instead, it produces hydrogen sulfide due to the part being clogged or broken.
If your car smells like a musty basement each time you turn on the air conditioner, you may have a mold or mildew problem. AC systems need annual cleanings and inspections before the start of summer to remove any mold buildups and ensure the component will last for a long time.
Gas leaks in the fuel injection line, fuel tank, vent hose, or anywhere else in your vehicle create gasoline odors in the cabin when you drive your car. An auto service technician will identify the leak’s source to prevent dangerous problems such as an engine fire. Gasoline odors are also hazardous in cars and trucks because they are concentrated and can make you feel lightheaded.
5. Hot Oil
Unless you just had your oil changed and spills are burning up on the engine, a hot oil odor shouldn’t be ignored. This smell tells you the engine crankshaft or a valve cover is leaking. Expect to see oil accumulating under your vehicle. If the valve cover is the issue, the exhaust will produce heavy smoke.
If you notice any of the above smells, contact Vito’s Auto Tech. This Waterbury, CT-based auto service has served New Haven County for over 30 years and also offers tire and used car sales. Call (203) 755-0020 today to schedule auto services, or visit the mechanic shop online for more information.