Following your nose to your car’s problems

It’s usually a splutter, or steam coming out of your bonnet but suffice to say, car problems aren’t limited to just a few of us. Every single one of us will experience the sinking feeling when we have to pull over and as the title of this page may have suggested, there are some occasions when your nose can actually help you diagnose the problem.

That’s right, by following your nose you can be given a good indication of what exactly the problem is with your vehicle. Usually, problems are accompanied by some sort of odor and by establishing what this is, you can start to grasp a solid idea of the cause.


In other words, if you do suspect a problem but don’t spot any obvious signs with your eyes, this is the route to go down. According to Steve Sorensen, it’s the next-best thing to quickly diagnosing a fault.

Following on from the above, let’s take a look at some of the common odors that might tell you more.

Burning odor

If this has already hit your nostrils, you’re naturally going to be sent into worry-mode.

Unfortunately, there are all sorts of possible problems which can cause the burning odor. One of the most common surrounds oil which leaks into the hot part of the engine and subsequently, makes the odor become exceptionally poignant.

Other reasons include braking too frequently, while for manual vehicles it could be the clutch which is overheating.

Regardless of which of the above it happens to be, the burning odor means that you need to get it to a mechanic as quickly as you can.

Musty odor

Something which isn’t quite as concerning comes in the form of a musty odor.

Most of the time, this is simply put down to the air conditioning system, which is probably starting to process mold or mildew that have formed.

Fortunately, this is a problem that doesn’t necessarily result in a trip to the mechanics. Most of the time, it can be rectified by running your fan at the highest speed possible, in a bid to dry the evaporator and eradicate the moisture which has caused the initial problem.

Sweet odor

There aren’t a huge amount of sweet odors emitted by a car so if you do find your nostrils edging towards this scent, the cause is quite easy to find. It usually comes in the form of antifreeze, which will have probably leaked in your cooling system.

While this isn’t as severe as some of the other problems we have looked at, the fact that you are probably breathing in antifreeze means that it’s still an issue that should be rectified as soon as you find a mechanic.

Rubber odor

Finally, we’ll end with another one which can often prompt panic. Usually, if you start to smell something resembling burning rubber, it’s because of one of the accessory drive belts that has slipped and is therefore rubbing against another part.

This is another odor which can be mistaken for the burning one we’ve already spoken for as well, particularly as it could also relate to a clutch overheating.

Gossip Admin
Gossip Admin
Articles: 1871

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *