Chances are, when you got your new car, there was an unmistakable “new car smell” that lingered for some time. Other than signaling how long it’s been since you got the keys, your car can give off other smells that you should definitely not ignore.

Unusual smells should be taken seriously because they could be an alert to something very serious. The Car Care Council recommends taking a whiff of your vehicle to identify any of these six warning smells:

Burnt Rubber

Smelling this could indicate that there are slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that could be rubbing against something else. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot because you will definitely get burnt.

Hot Oil

If you smell this, it could mean that oil is leaking where it shouldn’t be, like in the exhaust system. To check and see if this is what’s happening, look for oil on the pavement under your car or smoke coming from your engine.


Don’t just brush off the smell of gasoline. While sometimes it can get on you or your car when filling up at the pump, it could be a sign of a gas leak. No matter what it is, it could be a fire hazard, so please do not delay in getting this checked out!


Unless you’re making pancakes in your car, this smell shouldn’t be there. Your car could be leaking engine coolant. Don’t open the radiator cap when it is hot to avoid injury.

Burning Carpet

This smell is definitely a safety hazard and can signal brake trouble. Make sure to have your brakes checked right away, especially if you notice the smell during a regular drive.

Rotten Eggs

This aroma is never pleasant and you definitely don’t want to smell it coming from your car. It could be a problem with the catalytic converter. It could also be because your engine is running poorly.


If you smell any of these strange odors that definitely don’t belong, make an appointment with us to have your vehicle checked out! You can make an appointment online or by calling us at (651) 457-5757.
Categories: Service
Tags: tips, Service, Smells