Preventive service and maintenance is key to ensuring maximum utility and enjoyment of your vehicle. If your car or truck was built within the last 10 years, it most likely has features like a check engine light, temperature gauge, fluid level gauges, and other tools that help you prevent significant damage to its components. As helpful as these tools are, though, there are many problems that exhibit symptoms that go undetected by the computer, and that require you noticing the ominous signs before the problem ends up costing you more time and money to fix. One of the greatest diagnostic tools you have is your sense of smell. Here you will learn about three smells that indicate a serious problem with the car.
1. Burning, Rotten Egg Smell From Under The Vehicle
Your vehicle's catalytic converter is going bad, and will most likely have to be replaced. The converter normally replaces carbon monoxide in the exhaust with carbon dioxide. There are two possible problems with the converter; either it got clogged with too much soot and needs to be cleaned, or an excessively high level of oxygen in the exhaust caused the converter to burn too hot, requiring a replacement part. The latter cause means that one of the engine's sensors is letting too much oxygen into the air/fuel mixture. Each of the engine's sensors will need to be inspected and, if necessary, replaced.
2. Burning, Syrup-Like Smell From Under The Hood
What you smell is radiator coolant, or antifreeze, leaking out from hoses and onto the hot engine. Normally such smells would only indicate problems with the radiator or its many hoses, but the smell may also indicate a problem with your heater core. Refrain from using your heater until you can have the car looked at by a professional.
3. Burning, Syrup-Like Smell From Under The Vehicle
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, then the gearbox will use a fluid that smells similar to antifreeze when it burns. Your transmission will overheat or burn fluid when the fluid level is too low, the filter is clogged, or if the transmission is under a great deal of strain. If your vehicle will be hauling lots of people or cargo for a long drive anytime soon, be sure to switch your overdrive function off. This places less stain on the gears.
Each of these five smells indicate a particular problem. They each generate their own smell based on the fluid the components use, where the components are located, and how strong the smell is for the driver. Fortunately, even with the most serious problem on this list, you will still have time to get the vehicle to a european auto repair shop without having to replace the parts as long as you act quickly.