By Bob McGartland


We get frequent complaints that “my car smells funny.” This is just another way that your vehicle is trying to tell you something. Here are a few examples that you may find useful when your car smells like:

Rotten Egg – This is caused by hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust. This is caused by a fuel-injection problem or a failed catalytic converter.

Burnt Carpet – The brake pads are overheated or you left the handbrake on.

Gym Locker – Mildew in your air-conditioning evaporator.

Gas – Leak in fuel injection line or a fuel-tank vent hose

Sulfur – Gear lube is leaking from the manual transmission, transfer case or differential housing.

Hot Oil – Oil is leaking onto the hot exhaust manifold.

Burnt Newspaper – When the clutch slips, the clutch facing is burning off.

Maple Syrup – Coolant is leaking or you have a bad heater core.

Some of the symptoms are serious, some not. The best course of action is to have it checked out so it can be determined if it is something you can live with, if you choose, or something that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

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