Newbie in Car Issues? Smell Car Trouble for Early Intervention


If you once longed to own a car, you know the excitement that comes with finally holding your key, and having the freedom to go wherever you want. It’s all fun until the mechanical problems start. Many first-time car owners hardly know a thing about car problems. What follows are endless trips to the mechanic, usually pocket-draining.

One of the major ways to save on car maintenance costs and evade the inconvenience is to detect the problems early. Otherwise you may find yourself stranded in the middle of the highway with no help in sight. If you’re a newbie in car matters, a whole list of terminologies on what to keep tabs on will definitely be confusing. Trying to study the manual will make matters even worse.

Here’s a simpler way to detect problems; use your nose. When something is going wrong, you can literally smell the trouble. You can then seek an expert opinion before the situation gets out of hand.

Normally, car smells come either from a leaking fluid or a faulty component, or a combination of both. When some components break or rupture, fluid leaks causing a distinct smell. Others can produce a smell even without any leak.

For instance, when a battery is overcharged, it produces excess heat and with it a pungent sulphuric smell.


Here are some more car smells and what they indicate:


If you smell gasoline at any other time other than when refueling; there’s a problem. Chances are the gasoline is leaking from one of the supply components, most likely the filter, hose or distribution lines.  The fuel could also be evaporating from a broken component. Being highly flammable, the smell of gasoline should not be taken lightly. Leaking gas can be ignited even by the slightest spark. Take your car for check up right away.


Exhaust in the cabin can be fatal. Remember it contains Carbon Monoxide, which can turn fatal when inhaled. CO can cause you to get dizzy and eventually unconscious. Prolonged exposure can cause death. The smell of exhaust in the car points to a fault in the exhaust system, which then allows exhaust fumes to get in from somewhere under the car. The fault needs to be rectified immediately.

Sweetish Smell (like maple syrup)

Mostly indicates a problem with the coolant. The coolant circulates throughout the engine and radiator. The coolant smell is mostly followed by an overheating condition.


This smell is similar to that of a struck match and indicates a problem with the catalytic converter or an overcharged battery.

Burning Rubber

This points to a problem with the brakes tires or clutch. Switch off the car and let it cool for a while. If the smell persists, you can then seek an expert opinion.

Keep your nose on the ground and you’ll smell trouble and have the car attended to on time. For the overall security of your car and those of your family members, consult gps fleet management system experts for advice.