A strange smell coming from your car can be hard to bear, especially when it is coming through your air vents and smells terrible. Although it isn’t uncommon to get a random whiff of a regular car scent one in a while, a persistent smell while driving your car can indicate an issue with a major component.
Here are the most common smells associated with car issues and what they can mean:
Moldy - If you notice a moldy or musty stench when the air is turned on, chances are that mold or mildew has actually formed somewhere in the air vents. This should be cleaned right away as breathing in mold particles is extremely bad for you.
Burning smell - A burning smell can come from a few different places, but most commonly can indicate a timing belt or drive belt issue. It can also indicate engine and transmission problems.
Rotten eggs - The smell of rotten eggs can indicate an issue with your emissions system, and more specifically the catalytic converter. This is an important problem to repair quickly, especially because a failing emissions system can put you and your passengers at risk to being exposed to harsh gases.
Gas - If you notice a constant gas smell while driving, it is important to have it checked out right away. This can be caused by a leak in the gas tank or injector line.
Sweet - If you smell a sweet, almost syrupy type smell, it is most likely an Antifreeze leak.
As soon as you notice a smell while driving that won’t go away, bring your vehicle into your local auto mechanic for an inspection. A strange smell is never a good indicator, and can sometimes be a risk for your health and safety.