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How To Troubleshoot Bad Smell From Your Car Engine

The car engine should not smell. Surely, the latter has an odor, but it should be something that will not stand out. If your nose picks a strange or distinct odor coming from it, that’s a bad sign. Most of the time, the odd smell is an indicator that potential problems are just lying on the corner. 

Hence, it is essential that you don’t ignore this matter. When you notice a strange smell while you are driving, locate its source. You are fortunate if the scent is produced by some spills or rubbish in your vehicle that you failed to clean up. However, if it originated in the engine, you have to pay attention to it. 

Smell Of Rotten Eggs

Jill Trotta, the vice president of the RepairPal and a certified ASE technician, said that “a sulfur smell could indicate an imbalance in your engine’s air-to-fuel ratio.” This means that there are fuel-injection problems. It will result in the unburned fuel to plug into the catalytic converter, which, in turn, will cause the exhaust to be displaced. The end result of this flaw is a vehicle that will not run at all.

So what’s the solution for this matter? Well, if you are not an automotive mechanic who has vast experience in troubleshooting this problem, your best choice is to go to a shop and have a professional check it. If you do this early on, you can save the catalytic converter from being damaged. Replacing this part is not cheap, by the way. 

Smells Of Mildew Or Mold

If this is the odor that your nose picked up, the problem might have originated in the air conditioning of your vehicle. You see, the AC system of a car works by removing moisture from the air. The water that it has extracted goes to a box that is placed behind the dashboard. It is where the water gets drained. 

However, rubbish like papers and leaves can pass through your dashboard and get into the way of the box. Their presence obstructs the water from being emptied. The water will eventually stagnate. And over time, it will get moldy, too. This problem is quite annoying because it requires expensive repairs. In some cases, the water will go past the box and down to the floor mats and carpets of your vehicle. Also, the moisture can cause molds to spawn in the duct system if you won’t regulate your AC.

If you smell molds already, it is vital that you have a mechanic to check it. Doing so will spare your vehicle from moisture build-up. You should run the AC of your vehicle for a few minutes every month to eradicate the existing water in the system. 

Smell Of Fruity Candy Or Maple Syrup

Don’t ever think that smelling something sweet from the engine is a nice thing. If this ever happens, this means that the coolant is leaving from the cooling system. In short, it is a leak–and a serious one. 

Leakages in the cooling system could potentially damage your car. One of these potential risks is the sudden overheating of your engine while you are driving. 

Leaking coolants are serious matters that should be fixed right away. In some cases, you need your car to be towed to the nearest automotive shop for it to be fixed right away. 

Smell Of Burning Oil And Acrid Smoke

The smell of burning oil is not a good thing. In fact, it is the most harrowing thing that you can encounter while you are driving. Oil leaks are actually dangerous because of two reasons. First, it damages the exhaust, which can potentially cause a fire. Second, it signifies that your car’s engine is not receiving enough oil. The performance of your engine is heavily reliant on oil; when there’s no oil, the engine is susceptible to damages. 

If you noticed the smell right after you have changed your engine oil, the leak might be due to a loose drain plug. Alternatively, the problem could also lie on the filter that was not properly attached. An oil cap that was not tightened properly could also cause this problem. 

If you are uncertain where the leaks originated, have a professional mechanic check your vehicle.