September 15th, 2015
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- If the smell is akin to the smell of burning bread, as in a light but sharp odor, there is most likely an electrical short, which is burning insulation. Get the smell check out as soon as possible. Try not to drive it.
- The sulfuric smell, or ‘rotten egg’ smell is an emission control device such as the catalytic converter.
- A thick acrid odor usually means burning oil. Look for signs of a leak.
- Should your car fail to start and you notice the smell of gasoline, you may have flooded the engine. Before you try to start the car again, wait a few minutes. Should the odor remain, you are probably facing a leak in the fuel system. This can be potentially dangerous and you should have it addressed immediately.
- A bitter chemical odor or burning resin may indicate overheated brakes or an overheated clutch. First, check your parking brake; when making repeated hard braking on hills or mountain roads, stop and allow brakes to cool. If there is a light smoke coming from a wheel, there’s a brake that is stuck. Have the car towed for repair.
- A sweet, steamy odor indicates a coolant leak. Even if the temperature gauge in your car doesn’t indicate the car is overheating or the warning light doesn’t illuminate, keep an eye on the gauges. Carefully drive to the nearest service station. If you also smell a metallic scent and notice steam coming from under the hood, the engine has overheated. You should pull over immediately, if you continue driving, you could cause severe engine damage. Have the car towed for repair.