Use your nose to avoid big car repair costs. Your sense of smell can help you avoid car trouble. Simply, paying attention now to strange smells from under the hood or from under the car can be the difference between a fast, inexpensive fix now or a costly repair later, or even mechanical failure – and an accident. Here’s a checklist of car smells and what they mean:
Exhaust fumes – If you are getting nauseous from what’s spewing out of the truck in front of you, add some distance, to keep the fumes from entering your own air intake, and switch climate control to re-circulate to further minimize air intake. If that doesn’t fix the bad smell, it could be that your own exhaust system is leaking. Drive to a mechanic – with the windows open all the way.
Burning plastic – A relative of mine took his car in for this smell, because he knew that it usually means insulation around an electrical wire has melted, which could cause a short-circuit. Luckily, it was only a plastic shopping bag which had jumped up from a parking lot and melted itself around the muffler. Easy fix.
Learn the danger signs for the smells burning rubber, burning oil and sulphur, or rotten eggs on the next page.